Counseling

The healing experience is unique for each survivor of sexual violence and abuse, but there are similarities for most. Our philosophy of counseling is derived from trauma informed care, cognitive behavioral and strengths-based therapeutic approaches. We see the counseling relationship as a partnership, in which the counselor supports survivors’ progress and affirms how courageous it is for survivors of sexual violence to tell their stories. All counseling services are confidential and available at no cost to survivors, secondary victims and adult survivors of sexual abuse.

Counseling Services Request Form

What to expect at your first appointment:
• Appointments last between 45-60 minutes.
• Counseling services are available to all survivors and secondary victims ages 12 years and older. If you are under age 17, a parent or guardian will need to accompany you to your appointment to assist in completing the intake paperwork. The parent or guardian will attend the remainder of the counseling session at your request only, and may wait in the lobby area.
• You will complete paperwork at your first appointment with basic information about yourself and the symptoms you are experiencing after the assault. This helps your counselor know exactly how to best help you start your healing journey.
• You will sign a consent form that tells you about our services and confidentiality policy.
• You will have the opportunity to get to know your counselor and receive information on the overview of the counseling process. Your counselor will determine if you are working with other treatment providers to ensure that we work together to provide you with the best care possible.
• Your counselor will complete an assessment with you to understand the impact of the trauma you have experienced, and discuss with you the goals you would like to work on throughout sessions. You will not be expected to share your ‘story’ within the initial session, unless that is your choice.

Individual Counseling
• Individual counseling at Pickens County Advocacy Center is provided by a Licensed Professional Counselor who has received specialized training in the field of trauma. Our counselor creates a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment that fosters hope and healing for each survivor.
• Therapy at Pickens County Advocacy Center is provided using evidenced-based best practice models that are specifically designed to address trauma. Evidenced-based best practice models are proven to be effective at reducing symptoms related to trauma and PTSD and improving daily functioning. Some of the areas that counseling will address are issues related to trust, intimacy, self-esteem, safety, and power and control. You will be asked to complete assignments outside of the sessions to help you to practice the new coping skills you will learn. Sessions are typically scheduled weekly for 1 hour. The goal of therapeutic services is to assist you in getting “unstuck” and moving forward. Click here to learn more about evidenced-based treatment.

Group Counseling
Participation in Pickens County Advocacy Center support groups is an important component of the healing journey. In these groups, 6-10 survivors meet for 1.5 hours and are provided the opportunity to discuss the ways in which sexual violence has impacted their lives; their self-esteem, relationships, feelings of safety, trust, intimacy, and other aspects.
Sexual violence is by nature isolating. Survivors report that they feel like they are alone in their experience, alone in the world. Being surrounded by the support of a peer group is a key part of healing.
Groups offer the opportunity to practice new skills like healthy boundaries and positive thinking while surrounding survivors with encouragement to help them to heal and grow. In our groups, survivors get to come together with other survivors to talk about the many ways in which their lives have been impacted, to share and learn tools to help them to recover, and to support each other to become whole again.

Groups are facilitated by our Licensed Professional Counselor and are offered to survivors at no cost.

Groups are available for:
• Women ages 18+
• Men ages 18+
• Girls 12-17
• Secondary Survivors (parents, caregivers, spouses, friends, and family of survivors)

PCAC also offers groups using alternative healing modalities, such as:
• Art Therapy Group
• Yoga Therapy Group
• Music Therapy Group
• Dance & Movement Therapy Group

Dear survivors,

No matter when your assault or abuse occurred, you do not have to feel alone in this journey. Please allow us to accompany you as you heal.

For more information about how you can participate in our therapeutic services, please contact Deidre Ragan MS, LPC, at dragan@pcadvocacy.org or 864-442-5500.

Counseling Referrals

Individual Counseling Referrals
Pickens County Advocacy Center counseling services focus specifically on healing from the trauma of sexual assault and abuse. Often clients will have an established relationship with another therapy provider, and more specific trauma informed care is needed to address these needs. All PCAC counseling services are available at no-cost to the survivor, secondary victim, or adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Please download and complete our referral form to start the referral process.

To Refer a Client For Services
To refer a client for services, complete the provider referral form below and fax it to our office at 864-442-5505 to the attention of Deidre Ragan, Licensed Therapist. Your client will be contacted according to the information listed on the referral form. As the referral source, you will receive a follow up call and case updates upon PCAC obtaining written consent from the client.