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A group for survivors of sexualized violence who are Trans, Two-Spirit, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, or Gender Diverse. 

Initial group Run:
Wednesdays 5:30—8:00PM, October 18 – December 13, 2017
Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, Age: 18+

The Foundations for Healing group is specifically for survivors of sexualized violence who are Trans, Two-Spirit, Genderqueer,  Non-Binary, or Gender Diverse. This group is not open to Cisgender participants, and it is our hope that the restricted nature of the group will make the space more comfortable and accessible for Trans, Two-Spirit, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, and Gender Diverse survivors.


  • Must have experienced sexualized violence at some time in their lives.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Will be asked to commit to attending all sessions
  • Will need to attend a pre-group interview

Purpose and group structure

The intention of this group is to provide information about how people respond to trauma, to help provide skills and strategies for dealing with the effects of trauma (including challenged with managing emotions), reduce isolation, to provide a safe(r) space to connect with other non-Cisgender survivors, and to cover the above issues in a space where participants can more openly acknowledge and explore the intersections of how trauma relates to their gender.

This psychoeducational group will be quite structured, and will be primarily focused on the effects of trauma and sexualized violence instead of the more general aspects of Trans, Two-Spirit, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, and Gender Diverse experiences (except as they tie in with trauma and sexualized violence). It is not a space to disclose specific details about personal experiences and trauma.

The Foundations for Healing group combines the content of two groups – Skills for Healing and Building Strengths – into one. The materials covered by this group are a pre-requisite for longer-term individual trauma processing counselling (this material can be done individually outside of the group as well). Further, this group is closed – meaning that we anticipate that the same group of people will start, regularly attend, and finish the group content.

There is no charge for this group, or any other VSAC counselling services.

Accessing the Group

Interested participants can contact the group facilitators by email at , or by phone at 250-383-5545 -extension 110.

Don’t hesitate to call or email if you just have questions.

This group will be help at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and accessibility information about our space can be found here.

Pre-Group Interview

We are required to meet with potential participants individually before the group begins. This pre-group interview serves to:

  • Provide potential group members with more information about the group structure and materials, and to discuss and concerns they may have.
  • Allow potential participants to learn more about VSAC’s services in general
  • Enhance safety for all participants.

The interview will include questions that will help get an overview of what’s happening in the participant’s life right now, what kind of things could get in the way of completing the group, whether or not this is a good time to participate in the group, and to determine (without a lot of detail) that the participant meets the mandate regarding experiences of sexualized violence.

Facilitation Team

A photo of Barb

Barb Peck M.A, M.S.W

Barb Peck has been a counsellor at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC) for over 15 years.   She has facilitated and helped to develop an extensive number of groups and community trainings.  She also provides individual trauma-processing counselling.

 As one of the original members the Anti-oppressive Practice committee, Barb has been actively involved in VSAC’s Trans-inclusion work since it began.  She is a cisgender woman who strives to be an effective ally of Trans, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diverse communities.




A photo of Metta

Metta VanderVliet M.A., RCC

Metta VanderVliet is a registered clinical counsellor in private practice since 2015.  They have co-facilitated groups at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, delivered trauma-informed counselling at the Men’s Trauma Centre, and are currently finishing a 2-year training in Somatic Oriented Attachment based Relational psychotherapy for people healing from complex trauma. 

Metta identifies as genderfluid and trans-feminine and is excited to be supporting group learning and skill-building for gender diverse clients at VSAC.




VSAC Foundations Group Poster