Community Counselling & Education

Community Counselling & Education 2018-10-11T12:53:06+00:00

Community Counselling

Counselling Services are available for women, youth, children and men who have been abused, at risk for abuse, and/or are abusive. Abusive behaviours and their generational sources are explored in a caring, non-judgmental way. The commitment to this holistic healing process may be long term, based on the needs of the individual.

Our Programs

Women’s Program – Ah sęh sa wa:dǫh (Sounds like a she saw ah doh)
Onondaga word meaning “A New Beginning”

Child & Youth Program – Gaǫdwiyá:nǫh (Sounds like gao dwee ya no)
Cayuga word meaning “They Take Care of Children”

Men’s Program – Sahoˆnikonrí:iǫne (Sounds like sa ho nee go lee yo nay)
Mohawk word meaning “His Mind, Body, and Spirit Has Been Healed”

Sexual Violence Healing Center – Sonhatsi’:wa (Sounds like son hut gee wa)
Mohawk word meaning “Becoming Your True Self”

How can a counsellor help me?

At Ganǫhkwásra`, Ǫgwehǫ:weh teachings that integrate the mind, body and spirit, are combined with mainstream counselling techniques to provide a basis for helping one to accept responsibility for their total being. Our counsellors are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques. Although every counsellor may not possess a working ability in all techniques, they call on each other for assistance when working with individuals therefore all program participants at Ganǫhkwásra` are offered the same opportunity to experience these techniques. The following are the techniques used at Ganǫhkwásra` and a brief explanation of each.

One-on-one counselling sessions provide individuals with education about issues of family violence and sexual assault. These sessions enable individuals to explore, express and vent their emotions. As this is occurring, individuals are also encouraged to do “present day repair work” on their past traumas. This reclaiming and reparative process may involve practicing within sessions to speak up to someone who is emotionally controlling to them; or practicing how to express self in a good way rather than aggressively.

All programs offered at Ganǫhkwásra` provide their participants with an opportunity to experience healing in a group setting. Currently community counselling programs offer a level one and a level two group. Most often the level 1 group is an educational group while the level 2 group is a therapeutic group where members will do their healing work in the group setting. When needed, a level 1.5 group is offered to those participants who are beyond the education stage yet not quite ready for the intensity of a level 2 group.

Groups are also offered specifically for survivors of sexual assault. The level 1 group for sexual assault survivors is an educational and preparation group while the level 2 group is an art and play therapy group. Art and play therapy provide a safe and gentle way to work with healing from sexual traumas. Ganǫhkwásra` recognizes that most organizations do not support healing from sexual assault in a group setting however it has been our experience that these groups have had amazing results for participants. Group members are able to build trusting relationships with each other which is fundamental to their healing process, trust being one of the main violations experienced by sexual assault survivors.

Many Ganǫhkwásra` staff members have completed or are in the process of being trained and certified in Psychodramatic Bodywork. There are two parts to this work; intense emotional release work and psychodramas.

Intense emotional release work offers individuals a safe method of expressing intense feelings of anger, fear and sadness associated with experienced trauma.

Psychodramas are an extremely reparative, role-playing technique. Staff members are given roles and lines to speak by the participants. Individuals are supported to address their feelings to these characters in a safe environment. With this technique individuals are challenged to take on the perspective of the other characters involved, enabling them to gain a wider perspective beyond their own. New approaches to a situation may also be practiced. Further perspectives are offered as the staff members de-role and explore their own experience with the role they played as well as insights to playing that particular role.

MDR is an excellent trauma-specific technique that offers our participants an opportunity to connect to their spirit, re-visit an experienced trauma or examine a current issue and “see” the reparative piece that needs to occur. Integrating traditional approaches with this technique, the worker guides the participants towards resolution.

Reiki is the channeling of healing energies of the universe. It is used with individuals to release energy build-ups or blocks in their bodies that have formed as a result of physical disease, chronic pain, old injuries, accidents, repressed trauma and emotions.

EFT involves tapping on meridian points throughout the body. Energy tapping will calm an individual, preventing severe abreactions such as panic attacks or high blood pressure which may occur by revisiting an experienced trauma. It can also be used to identify blocks, change behaviours and negative thinking patterns as well as help people with such things as weight loss and allergies. At Ganǫhkwásra` we like to think of tapping as an acknowledgement of the thoughts and feelings we are holding in order to release the negative energy we are attracting to ourselves as a result. This approach makes the technique more culturally appropriate as many of our ceremonies are about acknowledging spirits, energy or “what’s there” and helping them to move on.

Together, these counselling techniques help people to reconnect in their meaningful relationships. They are based on the power to choose healthy behaviours in relation to self and others.

Hypnosis is used in a therapeutic manner to assist individuals in addressing issues or problems they are experiencing.

Art and play therapy techniques as well as grounding techniques, prayer, meditation and visualization exercises are also utilized in assisting individuals with their healing work.

All of these techniques can be considered energy work and therefore compliment the spiritual teachings of First Nations culture very well.

FIT is a holistic self-healing process that uses a series of questions to facilitate the resolution and understanding of personal issues at the root cause. The process opens the doorway to your untapped potential and intuition, which facilitates immediate access to your unlimited potential.

Brief Narrative Therapy involves a collaboration that seeks and activates people’s own knowledge to address their concerns and predicaments as shared through the stories they tell. These knowledges, when brought into ‘stories in the making’ can be developed into proposals for action encompassing counter-actions, counter-thoughts, and problem deconstruction. People experience themselves as knowledged, with the skills and experiences that allow them to address their concern or to more fully step into preferred ways of living.