Peers is excited to offer a counselling and wellness program!

Sessions for current or former sex workers.  There is no formal limit on number of sessions at this time, but counsellors do have limited service hours.

Check out the bios and contact info for the counselors below:

Flora Pagan – (florakpagan.counselling@gmail.com)

Flora Pagan has been involved in social justice work on Songhees and Esquimalt territory for the last nine years, focusing on harm reduction and substance use, poverty and homelessness, and sex work. Her work alongside people who use drugs and people engaged in sex trade, witnessing the care they provide for their communities and themselves, is central to her counselling work.

Her work is informed by feminism, disability justice, and relational and collaborative practices. She is inspired by narrative, response-based, and dialectical behavioural therapies. She has experience supporting people coping with substance use and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and complex trauma.

Flora holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria and is a Registered Social Worker with the B.C. College of Social Workers. She is available for in-person sessions on Thursdays, though sessions by phone may be possible throughout the week. She can be reached at florakpagan.counselling@gmail.com.

Shannon Raisonshannon.counselling@peers.bc.ca

Shannon Raison is a counsellor registered with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) as a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC). She completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria. Both her work experience and training have focused on trauma and in particular sexualized violence. She works at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and has been a counsellor there since 2017.

Her approach is both client-centered and trauma-informed, rooted in a deep belief in both individual and community capacity for healing and change. In addition to her background in trauma she is informed by somatic, relational, attachment, and response-based approaches and is trained in the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

Shannon is a white settler living on the unceded territories of the Quw’utsun peoples.  She understands decolonization and healing as intimately interwoven. She brings a justice lens to her work and is continually learning how to be in better relationship to these lands and their peoples. Shannon works in the sex industry and is passionate about sex worker activism. She helped support the creation and facilitation of the Peer Counsellor Training Program at Peers in 2018 and is excited to once again be involved with such an awesome organization. She is available for sessions on Thursdays and some Fridays and can be reached by email at shannon.counselling@peers.bc.ca.

Gerry Ambers (currently supporting members of the SACRED program)

Gerry Ambers is Namgis from Alert Bay but made her home in Lekwungen Territory in 1992 after receiving her BFA from the University of Victoria.

She learned indigenous brushings, space cleansings and teachings from her people, as well as Wahzinak (Joyce Mailhot Bobb from Seabird Island) and Whistiminee (Johnny Moses from Tulalip). She studied energy work with Sue Peters and received her Master Level Reiki in the Usui Tradition.

As a Coordinator of the Kwagiulth Urban Society Suicide Prevention and Intervention Program(1993-2006), she helped develop and deliver programs for the indigenous communities in the Victoria area.

Gerry also studied spiritual psychology(1998-2008) and worked with survivors of residential school with the Tsowtunlelum Treatment Centre from 2008-2018.

She currently works as an Elder in Residence at the Open Space Gallery and the University of Victoria.

She is a mother of five and a grandmother of six.

Click here to add your own text