Mental health specialist broadens his scope of practice with leading-edge training from JIBC

2015_07JULY3_AFOT_WadeAlexander650x300Recognizing a need enhance his knowledge and skills to further support his clients, Wade Alexander completed two JIBC certificate programs that have taken his practice to a new level. (Photo and story by Richard Chu)


Wade Alexander is a registered nurse and a mental health specialist currently employed with the Kamloops Parole office in the Correctional Service of Canada. A couple years ago, he was looking to broaden his scope of practice to counsel federal parolees with trauma and substance abuse issues. He decided to take JIBC’s unique Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma (AFOT) Certificate and the Institute’s Substance Use Certificate to further his ability to help his clients.

“Both programs have had a major impact on my practice,” he said. “For a long time, there has been a need to address complex trauma and substance abuse, and both of these programs have been very useful in addressing both issues. In fact, we developed a new healing intervention as a result of my completion of both certificates.”

Through his education, he learned about Indigenous psychotherapy, new treatments to address complex trauma, and new tools to help offenders with substance abuse.

“It was great. All the instructors in the courses are amazing people with huge amounts of experience,” he said. “And the program was designed to be very convenient for people who work full time to access the excellent quality course work that respected adult learning needs. I think JIBC does an amazing at that, at a very reasonable price.”

Each program has provided concrete benefits to his practice.

“For the Aboriginal focusing-oriented therapy program, what really stood out was its use of Aboriginal approaches to dealing with complex trauma affecting Aboriginal people,” he said. “I definitely think it is leading edge. It’s different from Western psychotherapy. And I’ve found I can work with a client’s issues quickly and effectively. “

Completion of the Substance Use Certificate has also taken his practice to a new level.

“In the field of mental health, there has always been a discussion about the value of being cross-trained in mental health and substance abuse treatment,” he said. “I feel that bringing the knowledge and tools from that certificate into my practice, I am more cross-trained to address client issues.”

Stay up to date about the latest course offerings you’re most interested in and subscribe to JIBC’s customizable email mailing list. To learn more about programs available from JIBC’s Centre for Counselling and Community Safety, visit the School’s webpage. Visit the webpages for JIBC’s Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma (AFOT) Certificate and the Institute’s Substance Use Certificate for more details about each program.

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