Support for this program has been provided by the North-East Local
Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) and the Government of Ontario, and through community donations.
The program provides free therapy services in the Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound to women who: are survivors of sexual assault; have experienced childhood sexual abuse; and/or, have been subjected to sexual harassment. Staff members work toward integrating this program with those of other community agencies, in order to enhance the services which are offered to women.
SAIL (Sexual Assault Intervention for Living) We also provide a trauma informed, four stage group therapy program which includes psycho-education at stage 1 and 2 and then trauma therapy, CBT and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, in an expressive arts model in the latter stages. Groups are closed for 16 sessions, and two sessions are held yearly. We have two Masters level therapists and one part time social work therapist who provide the long term therapy programs.
A psychiatric consultation through telemedicine is possible through the SAIL program. Due to volumes, women may wait up to 3 months for stage 1 group and then a year or more before they move on to stage 3.
Sexual Assault Intervention for Living
(S.A.I.L.) Therapy Program
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Services include an educational workshop series and group and/or individual therapy. Therapy functions to support women and assist them to self-define through a feminist therapy model (and by utilizing a variety of other approaches), while working toward resolution of the impact of sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and/or sexual harassment. Many of our clients have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual harassment or criminal harassment as well.
S.A.I.L. STAGE 1: THE WORKSHOP SERIES
Prerequisite for long term therapy.
We offer a free, safe, three workshop series to support women survivors. Workshops include:
Workshop # 1: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
• Welcome to the S.A.I.L. program orientation.
• Examine myths and facts about sexual assault.
• Develop techniques to ground yourself for the workshops and afterwards.
Workshop # 2: “UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA"
• Learn how humans process traumatic events in our minds and bodies, and some ways to manage these issues now.
• Practice techniques for taking care of yourself in the healing process.
Workshop # 3: “INCREASING YOUR RESILIENCY”
• Explore further methods for healing both mind and body, with therapy as only one of the numerous ways in which you can help yourself in healing.
Workshops are held three times a year in Bracebridge and twice a year in Parry Sound. Please call or text our offices if you are interested in attending.
S.A.I.L 2: WORKSHOP SERIES (8+ Sessions) --Only offered in Muskoka at this time--
Prerequisite for long term therapy.
Topics include: boundaries, self-care, journaling, sexual assault definitions and myths, yoga and breathing, post-trauma stress and neurobiological effects, affirmations--mind mapping and super self-care.
Offered three times a year. Survivors may come to multiple series. Contact Sara Ross in Bracebridge.
S.A.I.L. 3: GROUP/ INDIVIDUAL THERAPY
Prerequisite for S.A.I.L 4
Therapy groups run in 16 week blocks from October to June yearly using the modalities listed below. The therapy group will focus on topics in depth, and in a safe psychotherapeutic process will explore: - beliefs about self, tactics of offenders, family relationships, inner child, flashbacks, nightmares and dissociation, anger, guilt and shame, self care, impacts of trauma and strategies for mediating these, coping skills, among other topics.
Space for individual therapy is limited and an individual's need for individual therapy will be discussed with women following the workshop series. (SAIL 1 or 2)
S.A.I.L 4: Group Therapy (DBT) --Currently only offered in Muskoka--
Therapy group that runs in 16 week blocks throughout the year using Dialectical Behavior Therapy approaches. Four skill areas are taught and practiced including emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness and interpersonal relationships. Issues within the group members may be processed using the skills, in an atmosphere of safety and respect.
Partners of Survivors Workshop --Offered by demand--
Available to particpants of the SAIL program and their partners.
This workshop offers an informative evening designed for partners of someone who has experienced sexual violence. The workshop discusses questions such as:
How did sexual abuse affect my partner?
What about intimacy and trust?
How can I help my partner?
Can't my partner just get over it?
We do work on a case to case basis so appointments can be booked to accommodate a woman's needs. The above is a general outline of our program. Please call or text our offices if interested in the program.
Bracebridge: 705-646-2122 or 1-877-406-1268. For text: 705-644-3183
Parry Sound: 705-774-9083 or 1-877-851-6662. For text: 705-774-0671
What makes feminist therapy different?
• acknowledgement of a woman’s lived experience as knowledge and expertise
• acknowledgement of the systems of power in a woman’s life, and how these may impact her perception of herself and her choices in life
• acknowledgement that the sexism experienced by women may be further exacerbated by racism, "sizism", classism, ageism, "ableism", homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and oppression (may impact both client and therapist)
• recognition that systems of authority and power will often work against women as part of systemic oppression
• the principle that women must be empowered to recognize and make their own choices and decisions
• the practice of a competence-based approach, which seeks to uncover and use woman’s strengths and resources to resolve problems
• the belief that trust must be earned and maintained, not granted through "expertise"
• the view that intuition can be used as part of the exploration with a woman client
• the practice that professional boundaries must be balanced with some space in a therapeutic relationship
• the realization that the therapist is a person, with her own biases, experience, and knowledge
• the belief that mistakes are "okay", and can be acknowledged
What kinds of therapeutic approaches may be used?
A variety of approaches which fit each woman and her situation are utilized and may include:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:
- uncovering and changing patterns of thinking (e.g., through self talk)
Dialectic Behavioural Therapy:
- teaching and practicing emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, distress tolerance, and mindfulness (i.e., thought without judgement)
Brief Strategic Therapy:
- focusing on a specific area for change, and developing behavioural interventions to reach the target, by using the system of relationships available to the client
Sexual Assault Therapy:
- individual or group interventions aimed at mediating specific impacts, such as shame or guilt (e.g., through talk, journalling, body work, art, activism, music)
Family and Couples Work:
-emphasizing connection, support, awareness, power, shared experience, mediation of differences, relationships, and communication
- involves awareness of attachment styles in primary relationships; and, using this knowledge for reintegrating traumatic memories into 'narrative memory’ by managing post-trauma symptoms (e.g., hyperarousal, dissociation, flashbacks)
- also involves processing traumatic memories, sometimes with somatic (mind-body) technique