Is Counselor Advocate Training Class Right For You?

By Liz Halla-Mattingly

“CAT class made me finally find my passion in life. I always wanted to help women and after a few bumps in the road and deciding OB/GYN was not for me, CAT class showed me the way. Not only that but the credentials that come with CAT class opened so many doors and was a huge resume and confidence booster.” Amanda, CAT student, Fall 2016.

YWCA New Britain's Counselor Advocate Training (CAT) class is a 45 hour in-depth certification training where students learn about the history of the sexual violence movement and the impact that sexual violence has in our community.  Students learn about the local systems in Connecticut for survivors, including the services that YWCA New Britain's Sexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS) program offers, as well as about the medical and criminal justice systems.  They also learn about trauma, and empowerment and counseling skills.

I love facilitating CAT class because every class is engaging and dynamic, and I love getting to know each student individually.  We utilize small and large group activities in addition to using presentations and special guest speakers.  It is an exciting and unique opportunity for students to be in a learning environment with other people who are passionate about ending sexual violence.  By the end of the class, students really do feel like they are a part of our local and statewide movement.

Recently, people who have never been involved in activism have started to look for ways to get involved in their community.  If that sounds like you, our upcoming CAT class may be exactly what you're looking for!  Many of the students who take CAT class become state-certified sexual assault crisis counselors and volunteer on our hotline.  However, you can also take CAT class to enhance your knowledge for work that you are already doing.  If you are interested in either option, our next class will run from June 13th to August 3rd, with no class on July 4th at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT.  The class will run every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:30-8:30 pm.  You can fill out an application here.  

"A person can know how to spell empowerment, use it in a sentence, and recite the definition. Empowerment is only a word until you have lived it’s definition and CAT class is the catalyst that brought my empowerment to life and has helped me convey it to others. CAT class taught me so much more than how to counsel and advocate for others, it taught me how to do the same for myself as a survivor so I could be a stronger and better prepared advocate." Shannon, CAT student, Summer 2016.

For more information, contact Liz Halla-Mattingly at 860-225-4681 x332 or svolunteers@ywcanewbritain.org.