Trauma-Informed, Person-Centred Counselling
What is trauma-informed practice?
There are five aspects explained as follows:
Safety: physical, cultural, and emotional safety is paramount to our practice. We want our clients to feel safe in our office and experience this as a non-judgmental space. We want to convey respect and positive regard for all our clients and welcome ongoing feedback on client experiences.
Trustworthiness: Each counsellor belongs to a regulatory body (BCACC or CCPA) that ensures we have met the necessary requirements and continue to uphold them for professional practice. Our team of counsellors and other staff members take confidentially very seriously, and we commit to outlining what that entails before one enters into counselling sessions at Haven.
Choice: We want our clients to know they have a choice in whom they work with and offer a free, no-obligation 20-minute session for clients to see if they wish to work with a particular counsellor. We also offer choices in how a session may be conducted according to your convenience, as sessions are offered in person or via telehealth (secure video or phone chat).
Collaboration: Every counsellor at Haven wants to develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship with clients. This means that we want to do therapy "with" rather than "to" or "for" our clients. We want to involve them in the process and will regularly check in with them to seek their feedback.
Empowerment: At Haven, we want to recognize client strengths and skills while building a sense of hope for the future. We consider our clients to be the experts of their lives and strive to have an atmosphere of validation, collaboration, and acceptance.
Harris, M., & Fallot, R. D. (2001). Envisioning a trauma-informed service system: A vital paradigm shift. New directions for mental health services, 89, 3-22.
What is a person-centred approach?
Counsellors using a person-centred approach treat each person respectfully as an individual, not as a condition to be treated. At Haven, we want to understand what is essential to our clients and foster trust and mutual respect. We value our clients' rights to self-determination, which means that we want to honour their choices and believe that they already know what they should do; they simply may want guidance and support in order to put it into action.