The Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society has hired a counsellor to work with its clients as well as women and men in the community.
Funded through the shelter, counsellor Terri Forester (RTCC) will be available to women, and their children, who are fleeing abuse and staying at the shelter.
“As soon as they come into the shelter they will have access to that expert counselling and they can feel supported,” executive director Lynn Loeppky said.
Women and men in the community can also access up to ten free sessions, as long as they participate in the shelter’s outreach programs, these being the women’s group Moving Forward and men’s group Moving Mountains. Local agencies can refer clients to these programs and individuals can also self-refer.
“These programs are a gateway to helping more people in the community,” Loeppky said.
Counsellors are often part of transition houses and the shelter saw a need to have its own counsellor due to waiting times for free counsellors in town, client affordability issues and urgent situations.
Forester recently graduated from the Kelowna College of Professional Counselling and she comes with a wealth of knowledge, understanding and life experience.
“I’ve always been a diplomat, a listener, the one to guide in my family and circle of friends,” Forester said. “This type of work has just come naturally to me.”
Before choosing this path Forester worked at WorkBC. When people lost a job she saw that it was a major loss for them and they experienced grief and emotions they didn’t know how to handle.
“I really wanted to figure out how to help that person move through that transition in a gentler way,” Forester said.
People can come to Forester for a range of issues and some will need a single session while others may need more.
Forester can also work with families or children on their own.
Her therapy style is a mix, focusing on what works for her clients, and she brings a holistic understanding to her work with a background as a trained Reiki practitioner and EFT (emotional freedom technique)/tapping practitioner.
She also volunteers for the national crisis text line for kids and the Revelstoke Hospice Society.
In times of COVID-19 and as we head into precautions for a second wave, Forester said grief is something many people in the Revelstoke community may be dealing with.
“We have lost a way of life,” she said. “Emotions linger and build, I think it’s important that people start talking to one another, now, before they don’t know what to do.”
“I’m hoping that they see it as an opportunity. I think there are a number of people, of all ages, who can benefit from it. We’ve all experienced some sort of trauma along the way. I think walking that path alone can be really lonely. Give it a try, take the first step.”
Moving Forward women’s group): Anneliese Neweduk, 250-814-8387 firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving Mountains (men’s group): Taha Attiah, 250-837-1572 email@example.com
For more information see revelstokewomensshelter.com/outreach-programs and revelstokewomenssheltersociety.com/moving-mountains
Contact Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society office at 250-837-4382