What you can do with OR without a psychology degree
One could say that I enjoy learning or that I really did not know what I wanted to do with my degree. After my psychology degree, I knew I still wanted to do therapy but I didn’t’ really know how to do it at that point. I still had no idea what social work was (that’s a whole different blog post :)). However, I did find a program that absolutely changed the way that I view the world. This was the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselling and Advocacy (AWCCA) program at George Brown. Although I had a psychology degree prior to enrolling in this program, it is not necessary as there is a 2-year diploma option along with a fast track option if you have the necessary requirements.
AWCCA is a phenomenal program but very specific in who it supports, as noted in the title. This college diploma is a sister program to a social service worker program. Although AWCCA does cover a lot of the same topics, it does so from a feminist and anti-racist lens. Unfortunately, the AWCCA program does not allow you the same options for college registration as the SSW program. Similar to the SWW program, the AWCCA program gives you the opportunity for 1-2 placement opportunities at local agencies to understand how violence shows up in different forms.
The AWCCA focuses specifically on supporting individuals who have experienced gender-based violence. The definition of violence covers many different forms from psychological to emotional, to physical and sexual violence. Unfortunately, this is a topic that is all too well known to many female-identifying, trans, non-binary folks and children. This is not to say that men do not experience violence because they absolutely do and their experiences are incredibly valid. However, this focuses specifically on the experiences of gender-based violence.
This course opened my eyes to the injustices that I was ignorant about growing up in a predominately white area. This program taught me so much about myself but also how violence is much more common than I expected. This course will teach you about the psychology of gender while giving you the counselling skills to support individuals in times of crisis. This course will encourage you to be engaged in activism while teaching you about the necessary steps to organizing round table conversations or political activist events.
This program gave me the opportunity to do my placement at a local refugee shelter, which taught me about the immigration process and how to support individuals who are new to Canada. After I completed this program, I was able to secure a job as a residential counsellor at a local womens’ shelter, supporting women and families who were fleeing violent situations. This is just one of the many opportunities that this program can lead you to!
For more information, check out their website and watch their video on the student experience!