Amy Waluk, above, has five years of experience in therapeutic counselling and recently opened A. Waluk and Associates Therapeutic Counselling Services in Teulon.
Amy Waluk had been a therapeutic counsellor for five years, and as of this month, on Oct. 1, she opened up her own shop in Teulon, at 4-50 Main Street.
"We are really trying to fill a gap in rural counselling services," explained Waluk. "It's few and far between the services that people have access to, especially if they are driving into Winnipeg and being on huge wait lists."
Waluk has a specialization in addictions. She also has advanced training in psychology, as she has her honours degree, and an applied counselling certificate through the University of Manitoba. Currently, she is working towards her master's degree in marriage and family therapy.
"I'm more of a generalist. Even though I have specialized training in certain areas it's the counselling process that I believe in," said Waluk when asked if anyone could go to her business for counselling.
Since opening A. Waluk and Associates Therapeutic Counselling Services, consisting of full-time counsellor Waluk and part-time associate Derek Stewner, Waluk has been running eight pilot workshops, with six to 15 individuals, based on addictions, gang, and crime prevention. Within the workshops Waluk also works with topics such as stress management, emotional regulation, personal empowerment, grief, loss and change.
Waluk has been doing half-day workshops at different agencies and organizations to 'gage interest and support' on her own time and offering her services free of charge. She says so far she has received positive feedback.
"The feedback has been great," said Waluk.
She explained there are two components to the programs she offers: youth services, individuals from ages 12 to 29, as well as adult services, individuals 18 or older.
A typical program for the youth services offered runs about 20 weeks, with the business seeing the individual 14 or 15 times. Waluk says with the program they also try to bring in the important adults in the youth's life to develop a continuing care program.
"That's a major problem I've seen in the work I've done already, is that you can do so much with this young person and then they go out and it's not continued on with the important powers that be in their lives," said Waluk.
"It's a different approach to counselling, especially with the youth services in that we really try to be the liaison. We bring everybody together and we're focusing more on continuing care then brief crisis intervention."
There is also a second type of service offered for youths, which Waluk calls a phase two prevention program. This service deals with individuals, who have already experienced repercussions for choices they've made.
"It's not preliminary prevention, it's prevention at a place where they've already experienced some of these negative consequences, and they can have a deeper understanding of what might imply if they continue down that path," said Waluk.
The topics covered with the adult services are similar to the youth programs, however the way sessions are conducted differ, Waluk explained.
"The youth ones are highly interactive. There's lots of movement, lots of activity, and things like that where the adults basically the same concepts but they're more talk therapy, groups," said Waluk.
Also, with the adult services, Waluk offers individual, couple, and family counselling. She hopes to start implementing counsellor guided support groups as well.
Although Waluk is conducting her workshops she says she is ready to start booking appointments for counselling at her office, (204) 886-8469. Right now the rates for Waluk's services are to be determined with each individual client, however she has applied for government funding through Manitoba Healthy Living. If her business gets approval she says her services will be 'essentially free'.
"We've basically just been working on our funding applications and trying to get ever angle so that the service can really be available to all who need it, not just all who can afford it," said Waluk.
For more information contact the A. Waluk and Associates Therapeutic Counselling Services office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.