Counselling for Sexual Assault

Your Journey to Hope and Healing

Saffron Centre provides specialized counselling services for anyone who has experienced recent or historic sexual violence. This includes sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and exploitation. We have a wide variety of programs available from individual counselling to group sessions; our goal is to meet you where you are and provide you with tools to support you as you heal.

Everyone’s healing journey is unique. Contact us today and we will help you identify which of our programs will best support you.

Saffron Centre’s Approach to Counselling

You are not alone. We believe you. We are here to listen and support you on your unique healing journey. 

Counselling is provided by professionals trained in specialized services for sexual violence; our team members work from a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, person-centered, and attachment-informed lens to ensure you feel safe and respected during your time with us. Our therapists draw from several evidenced based therapeutic approaches to support you.

Contact us today and we will help you identify which of our programs will best support you.

Cost for Counselling

Saffron Centre is committed to providing accessible and affordable counselling services. Our counselling program operates on a sliding fee structure based on household income. We understand the importance of making our services available to everyone to heal from sexual violence, which is why we offer discounted rates to ensure the affordability of our programming. Our dedicated client care team is here to work with you, ensuring that you can benefit from our counselling program regardless of your financial circumstances.

WIth Any Questions You May Have

Adult Counselling

Our adult counselling services are meant for anyone 18 years of age and older, who has experienced sexual violence, historical or recent. Whether the trauma experienced happened when you were an adult or a child, we have several counselling programs to meet your needs. Some focus on providing psychoeducation and helping you develop effective coping strategies while others aim to support you to safely heal from the traumatic experiences. 

Our therapy programs are offered in-person, by video or phone, with individual or group options.

Coping Skills and Psychoeducation

For those looking to begin learning some coping strategies to help feel more settled or in control and to gain a better understanding of how the traumatic experience impacted you. Some individuals will use this program to help prepare for the deeper work of processing the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations stemming from traumatic memories.

This program can be completed in group or individual formats. The group format is an 8-week program offered virtually.

Working through Traumatic Experiences

This program gives clients the opportunity to work through the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that may have resulted from the traumatic experiences. Working with an Intern or licensed therapist, clients can have as many as 20 sessions to work on their counselling goals. The length of service is individualized and assessed with you and your therapist.

These sessions may be covered by health insurance plans, and are available on a sliding fee basis.

Child and Youth Counselling

Counselling for children and youth is provided by professionals who can offer specialized therapeutic supports for this age group. This program is meant for minors aged 4 to 17 and requires the consent of all legal guardians of the child. In some situations, an older teen may request to be assessed as a “mature minor”, which allows them to consent to their own therapy. Child and youth counselling is offered at a sliding scale, for up to 20 sessions (Seeds of Healing Program) to work on their counselling goals as needed. 

Sessions for child and youth counselling can be accessed in-person, or virtually (video or phone) when appropriate. If you are a support person for a child who is accessing counselling (such as caregivers, parents, guardians) we are able to offer you counselling as well.

Coping Skills and Psychoeducation

For youth looking to begin learning some coping strategies to help them feel more settled or in control and to gain a better understanding of how the traumatic experience impacted them. Some individuals will use this program to help prepare for the deeper work of processing the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations stemming from traumatic memories.

This program is offered when we have enough interested participants, weekly for 8 weeks in a virtual format.

Working through Traumatic Experiences

This program gives clients the opportunity to work through the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that may have resulted from their traumatic experiences. Therapists employ evidence-based approaches for working with children and youth, including Play Therapy, Theraplay, Art Therapy, Sand Tray approaches, EMDR and Animal Assisted Therapy.

Working with an Intern or licensed therapist, clients can have as many as 20 sessions to work on their counselling goals. The length of services is individualized and assessed with you and your therapist. These sessions may be covered by health insurance plans, and are available on a sliding fee basis.

Support Person Counselling

Support person counselling is provided by professionals trained in specialized services for sexual violence. We understand that sexual violence impacts more than just survivors, and that as a parent/guardian, spouse, partner, friend, or caregiver of someone who has experienced sexual violence, you may benefit from accessing counselling as well.

These individual sessions will provide the support person with a better understanding of how to support a loved one who has disclosed sexual violence and the emotional regulation tools to support themselves. Clients may access up to five sessions (on a sliding scale) of support person counselling.  When we have enough participants interested, we also offer a version of our Foundations of Healing  group program specifically for adult supporters that provides more information on how to support a loved one.

For those looking for a better understanding of how traumatic experience impacted their loved ones and to begin learning some coping strategies to help them offer effective support.

Specialized Police and Court Support Counselling

Preparing to provide a statement to police or testify in court can be emotionally challenging. We offer short-term, individual, solution-focused sessions to support those dealing with these situations. Our goal is to help find the unique strategies that best fit each individual for the situation they are facing. Your counsellor will help identify the fears or emotional triggers in order to develop specific coping strategies for remaining as calm and grounded as possible. 

This service is offered free of charge.

Play Therapy

Play therapy at Saffron Centre focuses on supporting children between the ages of four and twelve who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault. Supporting the expression of feelings and experiences through a natural healing process, these sessions are provided one on one with our therapists in our play therapy room.

For those looking for a better understanding of how their traumatic experience impacted them and to begin learning some coping strategies to help them feel more settled or in control. Some individuals will use this program to help prepare for the deeper work of processing their thoughts, feelings and physical sensations stemming from traumatic memories. This program is offered when we have enough participants interested, weekly for 8 weeks in a virtual format.

This program gives clients the opportunity to work through the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that may have resulted from their traumatic experiences. Working with an Intern or licenced therapist, clients can have as many as 20 sessions to work on their counselling goals. These sessions may be covered by health insurance plans, and are available on a sliding fee basis. Therapists employ evidence-based approaches for working with children and youth, including Play Therapy, Theraplay, Art Therapy, Sand Tray approaches, EMDR and Animal Assisted Therapy.

Group Counselling

Saffron Centre offers a variety of group counselling options that can be accessed before, at the same time as, after receiving individual counselling, or on its own.

There are many potential benefits to group therapy. Participating in a group helps build connection, reduces feelings of isolation and being the only one that feels a certain way, and can provide an opportunity to speak in a safe space and feel heard. In addition, being a part of a diverse group will open up possibilities to hear new and creative solutions, to be supportive to others, and to help shift away from “stuck”, negative ways of thinking.

  • Adults, (bookmark link to adult counselling – Foundations of healing description)
  • Youth (ages 14-17) (bookmark)
  • Support Persons (bookmark)

This group is for survivors of sexual violence who have moved through the survival phase of healing and are looking to build community and connection while working on their post-traumatic growth. The goal of this program is to ensure that clients have transitional support after an extensive amount of individual therapy. Offered monthly virtually with an in person meeting every 3 months.

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Saffron Centre has a Facility Support Dog that our clients may have an opportunity to work with for counselling. Her name is Yukon! Animal-assisted therapy is a guided interaction between a trained animal and a person that can help people ground themselves and cope with difficult situations. Most people find relaxation and stress relief around animals, so animal-assisted therapy can be incredibly effective. Animal-assisted therapy may be available during individual counselling sessions.

FAQs for Counselling

Saffron provides counselling for anyone who has been impacted by sexual violence. This includes people with direct experiences and the loved ones who support them (e.g., caregivers or partners). Sexual violence includes sexual assault, abuse, exploitation, and harassment. If you have been impacted by sexual violence and feel that you could benefit from support, we encourage you to reach out to our centre by calling (780) 449-0900. 

Reaching out for help can be overwhelming, but knowing what to expect can help ease anxiety. When you call Saffron to start counselling, one of our friendly administrators will offer to register you on our waitlist. This phone call should only take a couple of minutes as they ask for your basic information (e.g., name, birthdate, address, and contact information) and book you an appointment with one of our intake workers. After you’ve been registered and placed on our waitlist, you will be sent a couple of forms via email to complete at your earliest convenience (e.g., consent form, sliding fee or benefit information).

The intake appointment is typically done over the phone and takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete. During this call, the intake worker will ask you more about yourself to help us determine how Saffron Centre can best support you. Once that is complete, all that is left to do is wait until you get a call from us to book you in for your first session!

Note: You are not expected to talk about the details of your trauma during the intake appointment; instead, we are interested in how your experiences impact you and how we can help.

Saffron Centre uses a sliding fee scale to ensure that counselling is accessible and affordable for everyone. By considering your income and the number of dependents supported by that income, we determine the cost per session. 

We are committed to reducing barriers to accessing mental health support. If the fee you have been assessed, based on our sliding fee scale, is not affordable for you, we are happy to discuss how we can reduce any financial barriers ensuring that you receive the support you deserve.

Our main office is in Sherwood Park, at 222 Athabascan Ave #110, where most of our counselling happens. However, for residents of St. Albert, we offer in-person sessions two days a week at an office in St. Albert.

No, a referral is not required to access any of the services provided by Saffron Centre.

Healing after trauma can be a long journey. We understand that each person will be ready for counselling at their own time, and, for some people, that is years or decades after the experience of sexual violence. Saffron Centre’s counselling is available for anyone impacted by sexual violence, regardless of when it occurred. Whenever you are ready, we are here to support you.

Yes, Victim’s Assistance Program (VAP) funding covers the cost of your counselling at Saffron Centre and, in most cases, can be direct billed. This program offers funding for people who have reported a crime, such as sexual assault, to the police. If you want to know if you are eligible for VAP funding or are interested in applying, please call our centre, and we are happy to guide you through the process.

Our individual counselling sessions are delivered in-person or virtually (video/phone), based on the client’s preference. However, most of the group therapies offered by Saffron are delivered virtually or in a hybrid format (i.e., alternating in-person and virtual sessions) to reduce barriers people may experience when trying to access these services.

Saffron Centre is an accessible facility. With two accessible parking stalls, a safe drop-off and pick-up curb cut out entrance, an automatic door, and an accessible restroom, we ensure you are able to access our facility in person.

400
Intakes
3200
Hours of counselling
50
Children and youth received counselling
250
Adults received counselling
50 %
felt understood by their therapist

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Monday 9:00am 4:30pm
Tuesday 9:00am 9:00pm Wednesday 9:00am 9:00pm
Thursday 9:00am 4:30pm
Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Christmas Holiday Closure

Saffron Centre will be closed beginning Saturday, December 23rd through Monday, January 1st and will reopen on January 2nd. Voicemails and emails will not be monitored during this time. For immediate support, call the Edmonton Distress line at 780-482-4357 or the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Centre 24-Hour Help line at 1-866-956-1099.

From all of us at Saffron Centre, we wish you a peaceful holiday season and many blessings in the New Year.