Centre for Refugee Resilience


Centre for Refugee Resilience

Direct Services

The Centre for Refugee Resilience supports immigrants on their journey from trauma to healing. The program focuses on holistic and comprehensive support for those affected by experiences of trauma. All clients meet a coordinator who does an enhanced intake to understand their holistic needs and connect them to therapy, if they are ready and willing. The coordinator works with the whole family and therapist to support holistic needs, with internal therapy options for children, youth, adults, and families. The program works in collaboration with their support network in order to build on their strengths, resilience, and natural supports towards healing. All services are available in first language, either through staff or interpretation, and services are free. 

Community Outreach

In addition to the program’s direct services for the refugee and immigrant population, we are involved in raising capacity within the community. There is an education component that offers workshops and presentations about trauma informed care, refugee mental health, cross-cultural approaches in mental health, working with interpreters, and many more topics. The education program tailors its workshops for each setting. The program also offers consultation that allows anyone in the community to talk to a professional who can advise on issues affecting refugees. 


Program Benefits

Program Offerings

All presentations can be tailored to your needs.

From Trauma to Healing
Our core workshop highlights refugee trauma and provides strategies to promote healing, with a focus on either youth or adults.

Honouring Refugee Stories
Teaches skills to redirect a traumatic story, listen if appropriate, and explore why some refugees may never share their story.

Refugee Journeys
Highlighting and understanding the migration process

Supporting Growth & Change
Tailored for volunteers & frontline staff, this workshop explores the “Stages of Change” and provides strategies on service delivery in the helping profession.

Trauma Informed Care
Explore the framework of trauma-informed care and learn the skills necessary to provide service using this approach.

Various workshops explore strategies toward self-care from different angles.
Working with Interpreters Provides new skills to work effectively with interpreters in a mental health setting.


Bethel Abraham | Refugee Resilience Educator
Cell: 403.619.8013 | bAbraham@ccisab.ca

pdfCounselling Practicum Outline


with the Centre for Refugee Resilience

CRR Background

The Centre for Refugee Resilience (CRR) is an interdisciplinary team offering client-centred support for refugees who are healing after trauma. Our team works with clients of all ages with a holistic, family-focused approach. All families entering the program receive support from a case coordinator who offers community navigation, resource referrals, problem-solving support, and settlement support. Therapists work with individuals of all ages, as well as the family unit when requested. The team works collaboratively together and with other supports involved with our clientele. The team environment is an important aspect of the work, and practicum students are welcomed into the team to add their perspectives and outlook into the experience found on the team. The team is rounded out with the Program Manager, Clinical Supervisor, interpreters, and a Refugee Resilience Educator focusing on public education.


For the 2022-23 school year, the program’s supervisor is a Registered Psychologist who will be fully registered for one year at the time of the practicum start. Students will have the opportunity to observe and learn from other team members, including clinical social workers, art therapists, provisional psychologists, certified counsellors, interpreters, and case management social workers.

Population Specifics

The Centre for Refugee Resilience works with immigrants and refugees from all parts of the world. The program focuses on trauma treatment for refugees. Our practicum students work with this population on more general mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, settlement stress) in a trauma-informed setting. Deeper trauma work is reserved for our experienced practitioners. The program’s therapists practice a range of therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, play therapy, art therapy, narrative therapy, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, somatic-based therapies, Accelerated Resolution Therapy, among others.

Student Requirements

The program considers counselling practicums for Master’s level students who are moving into therapeutic counselling. The program will consider total hours required by the academic institution, but we will limit practicum involvement to those that stretch over 2 semesters, as opposed to shorter term placements. Successful student applicants will be able to demonstrate strong cross-cultural skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and a commitment to learning. It would be an asset for applicants to have experience working with refugees and speak a second language, ideally Arabic, Kurmanji, Dari, Pashto, Spanish, Tigrinya, Somali, Amharic, French, or Farsi.


January to March 15: resumes accepted for counselling practicums March: interviews for leading candidates, references checked April: the successful candidate will be offered the placement. The program has capacity to accept one candidate per year. Finalizing paperwork with universities and getting approvals. September through April: the practicum opportunity runs through these months

Start the Process

Interested students should email Jill Edgington Kirby at jkirby@ccisab.ca with the subject line: “counselling practicum application”

How to Apply

Program is administered through professional referral via the referral form. Self-referrals can phone the program line.

Funded by

Upcoming Events

More Information

Centre for Refugee Resilience

There were lots of positives, I cannot really pinpoint one specifically. One of them was having that access to a therapist who helped with the situation at the time and someone to talk to and open up to because I was bottling up my feelings at the time. I also had someone to talk to; the coordinator was great for that and she also connected my wife to other services. That was a breakthrough with our situation.

CCIS avatar
Program Participant 1 Client

You feel like you have someone at your back supporting you. Maybe they can't resolve all the problems, but they can show the way, like a light in the tunnel. I like to have this connection with her. Someone listening to my problems with a lot of kindness and the support I got over a period of time from her. I really needed this big help and she was very patient and helped me with my emotions. I never felt rushed.

CCIS avatar
Program Participant 2 Client

I had never tried counselling before but I'm glad I did because it was very helpful. Flexibility, understanding of clients’ time and available to you. Compared to other programs, it has been easy to open up and I didn’t feel as nervous.

CCIS avatar
Program Participant 3 Client


Make A Direct Impact on Your Community by Donating to CCIS (Calgary Catholic Immigration Society).

We acknowledge all donors who contribute so generously to CCIS. Your contribution honours the courage and resiliency of Alberta’s newest residents.

Donations? Call Us: 403.262.2006

Skip to content