Violence Against Women Therapeutic Counsellor

Job Summary

The VAW Therapeutic Counsellor is responsible for a wide range of services that address the issue of woman abuse and trauma.  Services include but are not limited to short, medium and long-term therapeutic counselling that will be goal focused and improve emotional well-being and healing. 

Additional supports include: safety planning, advocacy, referrals and follow-up.  The position will promote My Friend’s House services and advocate for abused women through acting as a liaison with relevant community groups and responding to public education opportunities.

Responsibilities and Duties


  • Applies knowledge of the issues of trauma and the dynamics of woman abuse to develop and implement effective support strategies
  • Applies knowledge, stays current and demonstrates skill in the area of mental health, addictions and harm reduction practices
  • Works with women (in the shelter/community) to help maximize and strengthen their resources to heal and resolve personal challenges within a feminist, anti-oppression trauma framework in a confidential manor
  • Provides guidance to residential program staff and transition worker on emerging client issues as it relates to mental health and addiction
  • Provides information, referrals and liaises with mental health practitioners, professionals and agencies in the community to facilitate access to services for the women
  • Researches, creates and obtains material to address the needs of women
  • Conducts assessments and identifies counselling goals with women
  • Establishes and maintains safety plans with women
  • Informs women on their rights and supports their access to systems within My Friend’s House and in community.

Group Program (Residential and Community)

  • Leads resident support meetings with residential program staff to monitor and encourage a cooperative living environment
  • Develops, implements and evaluates psycho-educational and therapeutic groups that address women issues

Public Education

  • Liase with mental health practitioners in community to provide education and sharing of information.
  • Participates in related community meetings and events that would promote advocacy for abused women as required.
  • Responds to public speaking request from community groups that raises awareness and understanding of the issues related to abused women and My Friend’s House services.

Skills and Qualifications

  • In-depth knowledge of an academic discipline acquired through the completion of a clinically supervised undergraduate or graduate degree (e.g. Registered BSW, MSW)
  • Registered with College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (CSWSS) of Ontario and/or College of Psychotherapists (COP) of Ontario
  • Certification in mental health trauma and/or trauma counselling
  • Ability to adhere to standards of practice under the CSWSS and/or COP
  • Applies an intersectional feminist framework that identifies women’s relation to social systems
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in therapeutic counselling (individual and group) on mental health, issues of trauma and abuse and its effects on women
  • Working knowledge of harm reduction principles and practice
  • A current knowledge of cultural competency service provision and counselling women from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends and

Special Requirements

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Own transportation

My Friend's House is committed to providing a barrier-free work environment in concert with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code. As such, My Friend's House will make accommodations available to applicants with disabilities upon request during the recruitment process.

My Friend’s House seeks to fully integrate the principles of Employment Equity and will ensure the full participation and advancement of members of historically disadvantaged groups (i.e., women of colour, women with disabilities, lesbians, and Aboriginal, Metis and Inuit women). My Friend’s House will achieve this by ensuring that its hiring process is fair and equitable for all women.