Beyond The Books: Learning with our clients and from each other

A series of testimonies from Learning Therapists at ProChoices

At ProChoices, Learning Therapists are reminded of power in the room and the many ways that individualism, white supremacy and heteropatriarchy have a say in our experience. As therapists, we come to our learning at ProChoices with a diversity of experiences, political commitments and we are united in our efforts for positive change and collective growth. Sharing our personal stories encourages and nourishes our intentions. It also celebrates our hard work and our personal and political wins.

In our therapeutic practice, we explore witnessing with our clients and with each other, as a potent source for discovery, transformation and engaging care. For this blog series, we extend into these values and invite our ProChoices community (board, council, therapists, clients, administration, clinic management, etc) to share a story of their experience.

Laura’s Story 

Laura Farres, Ph.D., Ch.P.C., Learning Therapist Cohort 6, Jan – June 2018

” I can honestly say that my experiences as a Learning Therapist within the Immersion Program at ProChoices has been transformative. I am not the same therapist I was compared to when I started. My training and background as a counsellor had me connected to one story of how therapy should be; a story I had come to question over the past few years. This questioning led me to explore the Immersion Program at ProChoices. I had been increasingly interested in Feminist and Narrative practices within counselling and was excited when I came across this program that combined these perspectives.  I was not disappointed. The program offered so much that I am grateful for.

First and foremost, my supervisor, Hilda Nanning, was outstanding. She has extensive training and experience in Feminist Narrative practices and was able to embed these perspectives and approaches within her individual and group supervision in a way that was both educational and inspiring. I learned so much just by observing and experiencing her approach through my interactions. She is passionate about the Feminist Narrative approach to counselling and provided me with excellent feedback, insights and opportunities to develop my practice. She truly is someone you need to seek out if you are interested in this approach. She was both supportive when I struggled and inspired when I succeeded. I appreciate all that I have gained through our supervision sessions

Second, the cohort program and bimonthly group sessions were invaluable. To work with other Learning Therapists and explore Feminist Narrative practices together was amazing. My cohort teammates enriched my experience. They were keen, insightful and passionate about the work and about the learning. I can’t imagine having done the program without this group. Our sessions together with Hilda provided a level of learning that cannot be achieved independently.

Finally, the ProChoices Ecosystem, made of Council and Board members, former learning therapists, administrators, and keen supporters was phenomenal. These individuals live the values of ProChoices and it was amazing to experience how they embody the practices within their work and support of Prochoices. I feel honoured to have been a part of such an amazing group and am hoping to continue to be involved with Prochoices moving forward.

The Immersion Program at Prochoices challenged me in a way that I could never have imagined and for that I am truly grateful. It has changed not only how I practice and approach counselling as a professional but also how I now experience my life. Thank you. ”

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The Feminist Narrative Immersion Certificate Program at Prochoices is a customized, practice-based training program that provides rigorous professional development, counselling practice, and experiential learning.  The program is designed for both practicum students and working professionals who are interested in building advanced fluency in Feminist Narrative Therapy within a supportive collective cohort model. It is a six month program that has the learner engaging as part of the clinic not only as a therapist, but also as a member of a feminist grassroots organization. Every person in the program is encouraged to lean into their learning curves and explore with clinical guidance the multitexual nature of poltical therapy work.