Trauma-Informed One-to-One Support Counseling
Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center (CMSAC) Staff have, at minimum, a four-year degree in a human service-related field and have undergone 40+ hours of state-mandated training in the field of sexual violence advocacy. CMSAC Staff do not provide therapy, psychological testing, or related services. Staff believe that the impact of sexual violence is unique to each victim/survivor and that a violation of this sort can produce complex social, emotional, and behavioral responses. This knowledge allows CMSAC Staff to provide trauma-informed one-to-one support counseling to victims/survivors of sexual violence.
Trauma-informed one-to-one support counseling takes a strengths-based approach to psychoeducation. Keeping the survivor as the central focus, the therapeutic support that Staff provide empowers clients to regain control over their lives after enduring any form of sexual violence. Trauma-informed one-to-one support counseling is based on the recognition of sexual violence as a form of trauma. CMSAC Staff understand that traumatic stress, one’s social and cultural environment, and many other factors can impact a victim/survivor’s short and long-term responses to sexual violence. This awareness is used by CMSAC Staff to help survivors understand how their lives have been impacted by the abuse. It is also used by CMSAC Staff to support survivors in determining their self-defined goals. (Adapted from the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs’ “Creating Trauma-Informed Services: A Guide for Sexual Assault Programs and Their System Partners”, 2012).
In an effort to be trauma-informed, CMSAC Staff use various educational tools to assist victim/survivors in processing emotions and finding alternative solutions to problems. These tools are designed to support victim/survivors as they heal. Some of these tools include workbooks, guided imagery, writing, journaling, art, videos, books, articles, worksheets, and other psychoeducational activities.
Topics that may be discussed during trauma-informed one-to-one support counseling include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual Violence
- Definitions and Dynamics of Abuse
- Culture, Media, and Technology
- Self-Esteem/Body Image
- Healthy Relationships/Boundaries
- Feeling/Emotion Identification
- Emotional/Physical Safety Planning
- Breaking the Silence/Story Sharing
As a non-profit (501c3), CMSAC provides free, confidential services to primary and secondary victims/survivors of sexual violence. In most cases, CMSAC Staff are not licensed therapists. CMSAC Staff cannot provide testing, diagnoses, or treatment of mental/cognitive health issues. If it is determined that a client’s needs are beyond our scope of practice, we can refer clients to an appropriate agency(s).