Our Model

Our Model

The Laurel Centre has developed a clinical framework for addressing co-occurring issues related to unresolved trauma from childhood sexual abuse. This model centers on the development of a safe healing therapeutic relationship to guide and support individuals in working through the stages of therapy. Therapy is not a linear process, stages may reoccur and overlap throughout the therapeutic process and they may be continuous or episodic in nature.

Engaging and Assessing

The process begins with a therapist and client working together to determine the fit between the client's needs and the agency's resources. Individuals' stories are shared and validated through a non-judgmental framework. The long term effects of sexual abuse, client's strengths, compulsive coping strategies and internal/external resources are explored and addressed within a three stage model of therapy.

I have learned that I am a worthy person, asking for help is ok and there are people around me I can reach out to. Feelings are allowed, I am not to blame for what happened to me.


Stage One: Creating Safety

Trauma will continue to have a significant impact on clients unless safety in trauma work is established. Interventions at this stage involve helping the client develop skills to manage and cope with trauma symptoms in a safe and healthy way, understanding safety in all aspects of self, and self-regulation. Grounding techniques are used to support the client to return to a physical and emotional state of presence to themselves and their surroundings. This work takes time but is also instrumental to the client's ability to engage fully in the next stages. Stage one is the basis for all other work being done.

Stage Two: Remembering & Mourning

Once the client has worked to achieve new strategies for self-regulation and has built the capacity for further exploration, we may enter into stage two work. This stage involves exploring their narrative and understanding the impact of the trauma on their lives. We help clients link past experiences and messages with their present struggles and behaviors in an effort to create new meaning and understanding. This may awaken the grief of the losses that their experiences brought to them. Grieving reconnects the part of self that has been lost and in the process of mourning we bring honour to and create space for the wounded part of self to find its way.

Stage Three: Reconnecting & Moving On

The work in this stage shifts to where abuse is no longer the central feature of the client's identity and new understanding of themselves are solidified. Accomplishments are celebrated and there is a heightened sense of control and power in their lives. There is a focus on learning to live in the present and look into the future. Closing out the therapeutic relationship involves recognizing that they are their own primary resource.