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Personal Counsellor, Sexual Violence Support

January 26 2020
Industries Education, Training
Categories Health, Medical, Management, Consulting, Administration, Management, Social Work, Counselling, Psychology, Management staff, Govt., NPO, Social & Community Work
Kingston, ON

Reporting to the Director, Counselling Services, the Personal Counsellor, Sexual Violence Support, is responsible for providing professional counselling to students with a focus on helping members of the diverse student population who have experienced sexual violence. We are specifically seeking a highly experienced therapist who is specialized in the processing of trauma, and experienced in working with people who have experienced sexual violence.  Services will include: one-to-one counselling and crisis response, as well as the provision of resources and effective and timely referrals to on-campus partners and community-based services, as appropriate. The incumbent will also provide monthly supervision to the counsellors working with clients who have experienced sexual violence, as well as provide specific training to the team on best-practice methods used to help clients process and resolve trauma resulting from sexual violence. In addition, the incumbent may represent Queen's University at community meetings and events related to the topic of sexual violence.

As a back-up to the counselling service, the Personal Counsellor, Sexual Violence Support, may occasionally provide individual, crisis and short-term personal counselling to students who are experiencing other personal or academic difficulties. Counselling focuses on crisis-resolution and skill-development. Presenting issues include but are not limited to: stress management, anxiety, depressed/low mood, low self-esteem, academic difficulties, relationship issues, trauma, self-harming behaviours, disordered eating, substance abuse, and cross-cultural issues. 

Note: The schedule for this position may require the incumbent to work evenings and weekends according to program or area needs.


  • Deliver compassionate and professional one-on-one therapy to students who have experienced sexual violence or who are dealing with issues relating to sexual violence.
  • Provide students with interventions that meet them where they are in their readiness for change, ranging from a supportive role to helping them process their trauma and identify stuck points.
  • Develop, organize and coordinate training and professional development for staff, and in doing so introduce best practices and successful interventions related to supporting students having experienced sexual violence.
  • Liaise with SWS staff with regard to case management, and clinical consultation.
  • Support the activities of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Coordinator.
  • Maintain knowledge of best practices in the field of the treated individuals who have experienced sexual violence.
  • Advise Faculty, Staff and QSAS advisors on specific disability-related academic accommodations needed for students who are incapable of meeting academic expectations in the aftermath of sexual violence.
  • When requested, participate in the development, review or implementation of policies related to sexual violence. Assist students in developing skills in areas such as interpersonal relationships, stress reduction, management of emotions, trauma response, mindfulness and self-care.
  • Liaise to identify, develop, build and maintain familiarity, positive relationships, and collaborations with students and student leaders, staff and faculty members engaged in preventing and responding to sexual violence. 
  • Assess students, including those in crisis and who may be at risk of self-harm/suicide, and intervene or refer as appropriate.
  • Provide individual, crisis and solution-focused short-term counselling to students with personal concerns.
  • Maintain up-to-date documentation of client contacts consistent with the policies of Student Wellness Services and with professional standards.
  • Based on the initial assessment refer clients to other sources of assistance where appropriate within Queen's or in the community (e.g., medical, psychiatric, counselling, financial, academic, etc.)
  • Other duties as assigned in support of the department.


  • Minimum of Master's level education in Psychology, Social Work, or Counselling with five or more years of training/experience in individual counselling for sexual violence, crisis response and intervention, and a wide range of mental health issues.
  • Extensive training and certification in processing of trauma (i.e, Cognitive Processing Training, EMDR, trauma informed therapy certificate).
  • Experienced on a variety of therapeutic interventions (i.e., Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral therapy).
  • Experience providing short-term counselling, crisis-intervention and assessment of people in distress.
  • Familiarity with current research and professional literature pertaining to effective interventions for a variety of personal behavioural, emotional and cognitive difficulties.
  • Knowledge of the unique issues facing university students and knowledge of university life and the intersecting nature of issues of social identities and health and wellness.
  • Satisfactory Criminal Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening required.


  • Knowledge of the impact of physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse and violence on youths, and skill working with clients with these presenting issues.
  • Excellent counselling skills, including the ability to establish an empathic relationship and to engender trust; sound clinical judgment; knowledge of counselling process and counselling theory; a non-judgmental stance.
  • Strong knowledge of both individual differences and diversity issues. Familiarity with cultural and spiritual issues and values of the student population. Strong multicultural competencies, and an awareness of adjustment and identity issues in student life. 
  • A dedication to participating energetically in an effective, professional team dedicated to innovation and to the highest possible standards in the delivery of services to students.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral), an understanding of the dynamics of human relations and the ability to communicate effectively with students and with others in the department and the university. 
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to work independently.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and cope with demands on time and energy especially during peak periods of the academic year.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with professionals from a range of varied disciplines in a team-oriented environment.


  • Evaluation of the severity of client concerns to determine the most appropriate intervention.
  • Decisions regarding the most appropriate intervention for individual clients.
  • Participate in decisions regarding a client's ability to maintain their current academic course load.
  • Decisions regarding when and to whom to refer clients, both within and outside the university.
  • Decisions with respect to the degree of risk that a client may pose to themselves or others and how to respond.
  • Decisions regarding appropriate psycho-educational programming to be provided to students who have experienced sexual violence (e.g. discussion groups, film screenings).
  • Decisions regarding capacity of counselling team members to handle complex SV cases independently.
  • Decisions regarding correspondence and recommendations to appropriate university bodies with respect to individual clients.
  • Ability to distinguish between circumstances in which decisions can be made independently and those where consultation is needed.
  • Assesses employees' training needs and makes recommendations for internal or external training to attain proficiency.

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