“They feel heard. They feel relief. They feel hope.”

As a counsellor, it is staggering sometimes to see the “before and after” of a counselling session. Many women have shared with us that it’s difficult to get in the door but once they do it is unlike any other counselling experience they have had. They feel heard. They feel relief. They feel hope. But what are women saying about getting in the door?

Working up the courage to walk in the door can take weeks. even months. Why is that? Sometimes it seems daunting to reach out and accept help. The process is unknown as well as the location and that can be intimidating. Some women have had other therapeutic experiences that have been negative.  Women also have said that “other people” need the service more than they do and it’s free – so that’s too good to be true.

Counselling can be a vulnerable experience but it can also be empowering. It is meant as a time for you to explore ideas and practices that will support your struggles and concerns. The process is about hearing and supporting you and making a plan, not judging you or fixing you. You deserve service that works for your life. Women are the backbone of families and when we are mentally healthy our relationships are better. Drop in counselling is first and foremost a service to support women wherever they are in their lives.

So what is drop in counselling? Well, you can just drop in. You don’t need an appointment. You don’t need a referral. The most a woman has ever waited to date is an hour. Yeah, it might sound too good to be true but every Tuesday and Wednesday (12-5) you can drop by the Women’s Centre and we will be here to meet you with no strings attached. If you want to come back, we welcome you. If one session is enough, that’s your choice. We have built a program to serve women in whatever way they need it. So come on by!

Dana Warren, BSW, RSW

Right here, right now: A drop in counseling program for women.

The St. John’s Status of Women Council in collaboration with Mun School of Social Work is launching Right Here, Right Now: A Women Centred Drop-In Counselling program. This innovative six month pilot program will operate two days a week at the Women’s Centre. On Mondays and Tuesdays, from 12-6pm we will offer brief single session therapy with a women-centred, trauma informed approach.

The drop-in counselling program will begin in September 26th, 2016. Two days a week for six months, women will be able to drop into the safe and welcoming environment of women’s centre and receive therapeutic services that will help them increase their ability to cope and have greater knowledge of and access to a broad range of services and resources.

This ground breaking initiative project will first and foremost help fill the huge gap in services for women in our community who are having difficulty accessing services or experiencing long wait times. Following the successful launch and evaluation of the pilot drop in counselling program, we are hopeful that the partnership between the SJSWC and the School of Social Work will continue.