Counselling Services

The Counselling department provides brief and long-term counselling, trauma-informed expressive arts programming, oversees the intake of clients requesting services and operates an effective transitional housing and support services.

Our team of counsellors come from a range of backgrounds and have helped women (self identified) and gender diverse people, non-binary, intersex, and Two Spirit people from many diverse communities in many kinds of situations. 

We can:  

  • Help you when choosing to leave or remain in an abusive situation.
  • Help you following sexual assault or harassment and suggest longer-term support if needed.
  • Help you to identify and reconcile the effect of childhood sexual abuse or incest.

We can help you with:

  • sexual abuse
  • physical abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • forced marriage
  • human trafficking
  • family violence
  • financial/economic abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • legal bullying
  • understanding trauma and oppression

    The abuse could have been done by:

    • your partner or ex-partner
    • a caregiver
    • other family or household member
    • a friend of the family
    • a stranger
    • the state
    • an occupying army

    Individual Counselling

    The Clinic receives many requests for individual counselling and are not always able to meet the demand. Our Intake team will discuss alternative counselling options with you including, group counselling. If we are not able to provide you with appropriate in-house counselling, we can refer you to other qualified, trauma-informed counsellors.

    Group Counselling

    The Schlifer Clinic offers a number of open and closed counselling groups throughout the year, with the exception of summer.

    There is strength in numbers. Sometimes the best thing is to sit down with other women and gender diverse people who are also in your situation and learn from each other how to cope and recover.

    For more information on groups currently offered, please click here.  

    Please check back regularly to learn of added groups, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates.


    Transitional & Housing Support

    Women and gender diverse people who have experienced abuse often need support in making the transition to a new life. For many safety and housing are key concerns.

    The Transitional and Housing Support Program offers women and gender diverse people who have made the decision to leave an abusive relationship with practical supports to assist their transition into their new home and community. The abuse experienced may take the following forms:

    • Physical or sexual violence;
    • Emotional;
    • Behaviour that is intended to control; 
    • Intentional injury to the person or to their property, threatening words, actions or gestures that cause one to fear for their well-being, their children or immediate members of their family; or  
    • Forced labour, sex work or marriage of the member done by any individual

    Our program helps you to re-establish yourself and live free of violence.

    We offer:

    • safety planning and risk assessment for you and your children
    • a collaborative approach to help you set up short and long-term goals


    We provide referrals for:

    • housing, including shelters and subsidized housing
    • legal aid, lawyers and family mediation
    • financial resources, such as Ontario Works, ODSP and income support
    • family doctors and community health centres
    • counselling
    • education

    If you have children, we can refer you to:

    • daycare subsidies
    • counselling for children
    • parenting classes

    You are not alone. Our staff will:

    • work with interpreters if English is not your first language
    • refer you to our own family court support program
    • refer you to lawyers for information, including information on restraining orders and child custody

    We will help you understand your rights when you are dealing with systems such as:

    • Children’s Aid Society
    • legal
    • financial
    • housing
    • health care
    • education

    We speak:

    • English

    Language interpreters are available upon request if English is not your first language.

    Confirmation of Service Delivery Letters for Lawyers

    The Clinic is a not-for-profit agency that provides free legal, interpretation and counselling services to women and gender diverse people of violence. The counselling department can provide confirmation of service delivery letters for counselling clients.

    We receive a high volume of requests for letters and we have minimal recourses. Please submit your request for a letter 30 days in advance of the date you wish to receive the letter. In certain circumstances we may be able to accommodate your request for a letter in less time. If we are not able to accommodate your request we will inform you.

    The fee for confirmation of service delivery letters is $30.00. All fees go directly to clinic programming. In certain circumstances we will waive the fee.

    Client Feedback 

    If you would like to provide feedback on the services received as a client, please click here.

    We're Here to Support You

    Our intake counsellors are ready to listen, assess your situation, and provide the most appropriate resources for your needs.  Please reach out to us today.