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Adult Therapeutic Groups

Group counselling is designed for clients who have already accessed individual counselling, typically at SACE. For more information about individual counselling at SACE and what to expect from counselling at SACE in general, please visit our adult counselling page.

Groups are not offered in a drop-in format. All groups require registration so that we can manage numbers, and ensure clients will benefit from group. Our varied counselling groups are offered as demand allows, with some groups occurring more frequently than others. Groups are held based on sufficient registration, and once a group session has reached its maximum number of participants, individuals who have not yet completed an intake will have to wait until the next group session to join.

Regular adult group counselling programs are listed below. Additional programming may be offered depending on capacity and demand.

If you have questions or feedback on group counselling programming at SACE, or you would like to do an intake for registration, please email us at counselling@sace.ca, or call our office at 780.423.4102. Please note that part of the intake process will be to determine each individual’s readiness for a group format.

If you have barriers to attending one of our groups, let us know! Our Client Care Specialists work to support people in navigating barriers, and there may be options available.

SASS (Sexual Assault Survivors Support)

Runs once per week for 8 -10 weeks

Who It’s For

Adult women (trans-inclusive) who have experienced sexual assault as adults

Description

SASS is a closed therapeutic group for adult women who have experienced sexual assault as adults. The group is designed to provide support, build community and reduce isolation. This group can be condensed to run in 8 weeks and run as long as 10 weeks depending on the needs of the group. Where demand is sufficient an intermediate “part two” series may be held for participants who previously benefited from the group.

Topics include:

Post-traumatic growth
Grief & loss
Myths
Emotions
Healthy relationships
Shame & guilt
Boundaries
Communication
Healthy sex
Intimacy

ASHA (Adult Survivors Healing from Abuse)

Runs once per week for 9-10 weeks

Who It’s For

Adult women (trans-inclusive) who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood.

Description

SASS is a closed therapeutic group for adult women who have experienced sexual assault as adults. The group is designed to provide support, build community and reduce isolation. This group can be condensed to run in 8 weeks and run as long as 10 weeks depending on the needs of the group. Where demand is sufficient an intermediate “part two” series may be held for participants who previously benefited from the group.

Topics include:

Group Introduction and Coping Skills
Myths & facts
Anger
Trauma, Attachment, and the Inner Child
Self compassion
Boundaries
Post-Traumatic Growth and Celebration
Offender tricks
Anxiety

Men’s Group 

Runs once per week for 10-11 weeks

Who It’s For

Men (trans-inclusive) who have experienced sexual abuse and/or assault, as children or as adults.

Description

The SACE Men’s Group is a closed therapeutic group for men who have experienced sexual abuse or assault, as children and/or as adults, and who have already accessed individual counselling support. The group is designed to further healing by building community and decreasing shame and  isolation. Each week focuses on a topic addressing the impacts of sexual violence.

Topics include:

Post-traumatic growth
Impacts of trauma
Myths & facts
Anxiety and depression
Shame & anger
Boundaries & trust
Sexual healing & intimacy
Male socialization
Sexual problems

The first half of each group is dedicated to check-in and administrative items, the weekly topic, and an associated exercise, and after a break the second half is reserved for an open circle to connect and share with other men about trauma-related experiences, as well as a soothing nervous system activity and check-out activity.

Wîwîp’son Healing Circle

Runs once per week for 8 weeks

Who It’s For

Indigenous women (trans-inclusive) who have experienced sexual abuse and/or assault, as children or as adults.

Description

This closed therapeutic group for Indigenous women works to create a safe space to give voice to experiences of sexual abuse or assault, and to feel validated by the experiences of others in their communities. The group was developed in recognition that the experiences of Indigenous women are unique, and processing trauma from sexual assault or abuse needs to involve education about the bigger picture of colonialism and its inter-relationship with sexual violence.

The group’s format includes exposure or introduction to traditional teachings and ceremony, as well as education about trauma and its effect on the brain and body. It also covers skills to self-regulate triggers, and aims to reduce shame, and build self-confidence and self-esteem.

Each circle group commences with an in-house pipe ceremony, smudge, and prayers. The group is co-facilitated by an Elder (Kookum) and an Indigenous psychologist/therapist.  Blankets and pillows are provided for those who prefer to be on the floor, and fidget items/drawing material/beading/knitting is available for those who need to keep their hands busy. Each circle begins with a smudge and prayer, and a healthy hot meal is provided.

Each group starts with a check-in, and includes an educational component and cultural teaching. In line with the holistic teachings of the four aspects of self, each session and the whole group itself are structured in a way that honours this view of healing.

The four phases of the group are:

Physical: Preparing

Creating a safe space for self and others – boundaries, including an experiential boundary activity
Pipe Ceremony, introductions, and self-care

Mental: Learning

Sexual abuse myths and facts, including an experiential grounding activity
Trauma and impacts, including an experiential grounding activity

Emotional: Processing

Living well with difficult emotions, including a guided visualization exercise that may be with drumming, soft singing
Self-compassion, including discussion of unique challenges that face Indigenous women, internalization of colonial oppression

Spiritual: Moving Forward

Healing and hope, including an activity to make a Hope Pouch
From surviving to thriving

The circle closes with a trip to Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation for a sweat for those who choose to attend, with transportation support.

refleQT 

Runs once per week for 9 weeks

Who It’s For

LGBTQ2SIA+ adults of all genders who have experienced sexual abuse and/or assault, as children or as adults.

Description

This closed therapeutic group is for LGBTQ2SIA+ adults who have experienced sexual violence. Participants must have completed individual counselling related to sexual trauma, whether at SACE or with another counsellor or agency. While the program’s main focus is on supporting processing and healing from sexual trauma, it also provides an opportunity for participants to connect with other people from LGBTQ2SIA+ communities to share intersectional experiences around sexual assault and healing.

Topics include:

Skills and strategies for coping and self care
Understanding the issue
Trauma
Shame & anger
Sexual impacts and healing
Post-traumatic growth
Boundaries
Attachment
Group topics can also change based on the needs of the group
Trust and finding community

For more information about a particular group, to discuss suitability, or to register for the next available series, please reach out to counselling@sace.ca or call our office at 780.423.4201.

Youth Therapeutic Groups

Group counselling is designed for clients who have already accessed individual counselling, typically at SACE. For more information about individual counselling at SACE and what to expect from counselling at SACE in general, please visit our child and youth counselling page.

SACE groups are not offered in a drop-in format. Our counselling groups are offered as demand allows, and based on interest expressed by our clients. Groups are held based on sufficient registration, and once a group session has reached its maximum number of participants, individuals who have not yet completed an intake will have to wait until the next group session to join.

SACE currently has one regular group offered for youth, listed below. Additional programming may be offered depending on capacity and interest.

If you have questions or feedback on group counselling programming at SACE, or you would like to do an intake for registration, please email us at counselling@sace.ca, or call our office at 780.423.4102. Please note that part of the intake process will be to determine each individual’s readiness for a group format.

If you have barriers to attending one of our groups, let us know! Our Client Care Specialists work to support people in navigating barriers, and there may be options available.

Hope for Healing

Who It’s For

Teen girls (trans-inclusive) ages 13-17

Description

The SACE Hope for Healing group provides a safer space for teen girls to learn about healthy relationships, boundaries, coping, and trust. Each session includes a weekly topic and activity.

For more information about a particular group, to discuss suitability or to register for the next available series, please reach out to counselling@sace.ca or call our office at 780.423.4201.

Confidentiality

Counselling at SACE is conducted in a confidential manner. Information related to counselling is only released to other professionals with a client’s written permission, with the exception of other counsellors at SACE, and the counsellor’s supervisor. No information, either written or verbal, gained during the counselling process will be used for the purposes of resolving child custody and access disputes. Client files are retained based on current College of Alberta Psychologists guidelines.

SACE adheres to the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Canadian Psychological Association Codes of Ethics.

Anything you say in a counselling or group session will be considered confidential with the exception of:

Information which leads us to perceive a child (under 18) or other vulnerable individual is at risk of physical, emotional, or sexual violence or neglect, as we are legally bound to report such concerns to authorities under Section 4 of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
Information which leads us to believe that you are in danger of harming yourself or others
Files subpoenaed during a court proceeding
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