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.
To access the counselling program send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Flora Pagan (she/her)
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.
Shannon Raison (she/her)
Shannon is a white settler of Polish, German, Irish, and English descent living on the unceded territories of the Quw’utsun peoples. She understands decolonization and healing as intimately interwoven. Both her work experience and training have focused on trauma and in particular sexualized violence. She brings a justice lens to her work and is continually learning how to be in better relationship to these lands and their peoples.
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 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.
Shannon holds a Masters of Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
Annie is a student counsellor, pursuing their Masters in Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy from Adler University. Annie’s co-therapist, Memphis, is a psychiatric support dog.
Annie works from a holistic, trauma-informed, humanistic framework. Annie has experience working within the sex industry, informs her work through a social justice lens, and strives to lower barriers to service for underserved communities such as unhoused individuals, sex workers, and substance users through empathy, advocacy, and meaningful allyship.
Annie has worked for 9 years in crisis and suicide intervention and prevention, beginning on Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee ancestral territories before moving to lək̓ʷəŋən territory in 2020.
Gerry Ambers (she/her) (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.
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