our services

Counselling Services

How WestCASA can help:

  • Counselling to help you deal with your feelings about what has happened and any concerns or problems you may have because of the assault.
  • Information about common difficulties people experience after an assault and how to manage these.
  • Information about your legal options.
  • Assistance with the legal process such as liaising with police, preparing to be a witness and organising support for you in court.
  • Referrals to doctors who are sensitive to the needs of someone who has been sexually assaulted.
  • Counsellors who will listen, believe and support you.

> See personal reflections on the impacts of counselling

Eligibility and Referral Process

Eligibility

Sexual assault victim/survivors of any gender, ages 12 years and over, their families, partners and friends.

WestCASA covers 5 Local Government Areas (LGAs) the Western (Metropolitan) Region of Victoria including Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Melton and Brimbank.

Referral

We have a two stage referral process.

1. You need to contact us by telephone to make a self-referral.

The Intake Worker will gather some basic information such as name, address, and the reason for seeking counselling at this time.

2. A face to face Intake Appointment will then be arranged.

An assessment is made about the current circumstances, safety and support needs and whether this service is the best fit. You can choose to bring a support person along to the appointment.

If you are assessed as suitable for the service, you will be placed on a waiting list.

We understand that making this first contact can be very difficult for some people and it may be easier to have someone else assist with this process.

In this instance, we are happy to first speak to friends, family members or professionals about a facilitated referral process. This may involve us first speaking to the referrer about your circumstances and then assisting them to facilitate the first contact with our service.

Our intake workers can be contacted on Monday to Friday between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm.

There may times when our intake workers are experiencing a high volume of calls and therefore you will need to leave a message for the Intake worker to return your call. This may take a few days depending on the volume of calls already waiting.

Location

WestCASA is located in the Wyndham MDC (Multi Disciplinary Centre):
Women’s Health Hub
Level 2, 236 Hoppers Lane,
Werribee VIC 3030

Outreach Services

Services are also provided at outreach locations (referrals through WestCASA Werribee):

Footscray on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays:
53 Ballarat Road, Footscray VIC 3011

Melton on Mondays:
Located within Back in Motion Health Group
386 High Street, Melton. VIC 3337

Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (women’s prison at Deer Park) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Do you need an Interpreter?

Victim/survivors who don’t speak English can access our service through the use of both telephone and face to face interpreters.

For ongoing counselling sessions, a face to face interpreter is preferred. WestCASA promotes a gender-sensitive response by using female interpreters for all female clients. Interpreters are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the Counsellor/Advocates.

You can call us and we will arrange an interpreter for your service access.

Interpreter

Personal reflections on the impacts of counselling

If you are considering whether or not counselling at WestCASA might be right for you, it may be helpful to hear from others who have already made that step…

“I liked the techniques the counsellor has given me to manage nightmares and intrusive thoughts.

I am now able to recognise that I am living in the present and I can overcome the effects of my experience.”

“It’s at my own pace, nothing is pushed.”

“…it gave me a chance to say what I’m feeling without feeling judged.”

“I liked the way I was attended to, the attentive and listening pattern of my counselling.

I do love the way I was given little encouraging cards to lighten my moods, the techniques of talking about other things to ease the mood at times and the fact I was treated as part of the family, the yoga and relaxation methods I learnt is also part of it.”

“It was great. It was insightful. I felt safe.”

“I was able to access the help I needed free of charge.”

“It’s wonderful to have a counsellor who really understands the impact of sexual assault.”

Benefits of Counselling:

“I don’t let people treat me with disrespect. I speak up when something doesn’t feel right. I am a more present mother with my children.”

“I don’t let people treat me with disrespect. I speak up when something doesn’t feel right. I am a more present mother with my children.”

“…I am more forgiving of myself and don’t feel as ‘broken’. I also respect myself and think I am starting to reintegrate my body with my mind.”

“I am no longer having thoughts of suicide. I am no longer experiencing anxiety and depression. My life has improved beyond anything I could have imagined…”

“…I am aware of the impact that…sexual abuse had on my life and my identity. I am more protective of who I am as a person and find it easier to say ‘no’ to things I am uncomfortable with. I have grown as a person and I am more aware of who I am separate from the abuse I experienced.”

“Feeling stronger and more capable….”

“I feel like counselling effectively saved my life. Not in the literal sense, but in the fact I now have so much more control (understanding) over my feelings, that it has improved almost all areas of my life.”

“….the most significant is my level of self-care and respect.”

“Compared to when I started so many things have improved. I’ve realized just how severely my childhood abuse impacted my world. I now am starting to make choices, not unknowing reactive decisions based on my past. So much has changed for me and I’m so grateful.”

“I appreciate the counselling now because I now… know I can overcome the experience to live a better life.”

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