Olivia MSW, RSW
"My knowledge and experience are built on a foundation of trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and feminist approaches. My work in the non-profit sector focused on women and children/youth who had experienced violence, either in a relationship or in the context of sexualized assault. I have been privileged to learn much from survivors of violence and abuse, and am honored to bring this experience into my current practice.
My passion is in helping people to see that their experiences do not occur in a vacuum; they may have felt isolated, but there were factors at work far beyond their internal experience that are incredibly important and influential. When we can explore the context of a person’s experience (traumatic or otherwise), we can easily see that they are not inherently flawed – we can “zoom out” to see the bigger picture. How has your life been impacted by those around you? By our culture and society? How might your social location (your gender/ culture/ race/ sexuality/ religion/ etc) relate to the oppression and/or struggles you have faced?
In counselling sessions, I use a combination of modalities to support individuals’ growth; I draw on skills from training in narrative, feminist, trauma-informed, response-based and structural approaches. I also utilize cognitive behavioral skills, dialectical behavioral skills, and strengths-based practice. The methods by which I support each person depend on their unique circumstances and experiences. Truly, sometimes what has the most impact is bearing witness to a person’s pain, and holding space for them to share their feelings and experiences without judgment.
I grew up on unceded Coast Salish territory, and have lived as a settler in Syilx Okanagan territory for most of my life. I am grateful to have learned from Indigenous community members, colleagues, and clients. Colonial violence and genocide has forever marked our history; I am honoured and humbled to work alongside, and in service of, those who seek healing and reconciliation.
I hold a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) and am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with the BCCSW. I am an approved service provider with Crime Victims Assistance Program (CVAP), the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the Autism Funding Unit (AFU) for Family Therapy, and ICBC. Many extended health programs also cover the services of Registered Social Workers (RSW)."