Like any small social enterprise, our story and organizational identity has many facets and continues to develop over time. Jonah began without a business plan or model, we were simply responding to community requests for safe helping services. As Jonah grew, more practitioners joined our helper's circle, and we continue to grow in the same way we began; in response to our community. Folks have recognized that Jonah values professional, ethical, creative, justice oriented therapy and groups. We deliver services in ways that always seek to be comfortable and safe, while being attentive to culture, ability, gender, race, and sexual orientation, and always starting from a desire to learn and to offer a judgment free space. We do not cooperate with exclusively medicalized models of care, as these are often cold, distant, and pathologizing, which has caused great harm. We attempt to glean all we can from professional discourses without compromising our commitment to non oppressive practice that centers clients and community.
What's our name got to do with it?
Our name comes from the sacred story about a man named Jonah who reluctantly spoke truth to an oppressive force - and then that oppressive force responded and changed. It's an important story because that's not the usual pattern - power generally protects itself and doesn't listen or change. The Jonah story is about eyes opening and awareness growing and people getting it - and the world changing in humane and just ways as a result. We center our work on this possibility.
The Jonah story is about speaking truth to power, and that represents some of the spirit of Jonah Counselling; we know that people's lives are terribly affected by many oppressive and unjust realities in the world; we know that we don't all have the same experiences and opportunities. The struggles of our lives aren’t solely located within us - in fact, many of them are connected to forces in the world that we have no control over. We are interested in exploring the details and the context, and helping people experience freedom from oppressive forces that affect all of to varying degrees.
The Jonah story is also an example of how stories give shape and meaning to our lives; they help us locate ourselves across time and space; stories connect us to others who have had similar experiences. We are never alone, and stories constantly remind us of that. Not only is the Jonah story important at Jonah, but the power of story is foundational to the way we work with people.
We all need to find time and support for examining our lives and the stories embedded in them; considering our values or purpose, coming to terms with our regrets, finding ways toward healing the wounds we’ve experienced. We also need to be honest about the ways social values and cultural norms both help and harm us. At Jonah Counselling, Consulting & Wellbeing, we’re here to accompany you on your unique journey of awareness and healing.