“Jobs of the Future” is a series focusing on career paths, local job opportunities, programs, and tales of success that highlight North Bay's diverse job market.
When someone is going through a difficult or traumatic or stressful time, Jennifer Taun says, “The hardest thing for someone to do is to ask for help and it takes an incredible amount of strength to reach out.”
Taun is a Clinical Trauma Therapist/Child and Adolescents Trauma Professional and ADHD Clinical Service Provider. She runs her own private practice out of North Bay Counselling Services, located on Cassells Street.
“Specifically, I work with children, adolescents and adults providing evidence-based counselling approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Generally, people come to see me if they are having some type of difficulty in their life. I have specialized training working with people who have experienced trauma, grief, and loss, who may need additional support in the perinatal period, or individuals/families who are dealing with ADHD symptoms or diagnosis.” says Taun.
“I have also been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, which only a few social workers have in North Bay.”
Taun has been back in North Bay for the past 10 years and started her practice six years ago sharing an office with other Social Workers/ Counsellors in the North Bay area Mack Treanor Greer-Delbarosbel MSW RSW, Steve Spack MSW RSW, Abbie Dube BSW RSW, Anthony Campigotto RP, Jennifer Sullivan MSW RSW and Matt McGillvray MSW RSW
“Treanor and I came together and shared space for a little while. Right around the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I was receiving an influx of referrals and I wasn’t able to respond to all of them in a good amount of time and so we decided to put a team together and expand our practice; we have now grown to six counsellors, working together to serve our community. We all have different specializations and are working together as a team,” she says.
"Building this team was essential for a couple of reasons. The first was to be able to refer clients to someone that I know and trust if I can’t take them on myself,” says Taun, "We are also able to work as a team when working with families, providing therapy groups, facilitating training and professional education."
“Not only are we working with individuals, but also with families with complex needs and in partnership with community agencies. When working with families it allows us to have multiple social workers working with a family at one time, when needed. For example, some children do not want to meet with the same counsellor as their parents or siblings. If the family gives us consent, we can talk together to come up with a treatment plan with a wider perspective and team approach. That is how the team perspective has been effective for the client we serve,” says Taun.
“We’ve also been able to provide Dialect Behavioral Therapy (DBT) groups for youth, as well our Arts-Based Mindfulness groups. Lastly, we have just started Mindful Mondays which is a free program for the Community. As a team, we get to co-facilitate and develop these groups together. Which is another benefit of having Social Workers work together.”
A Widdifield Secondary School graduate, Taun says she takes great pride in being able to have her own practice in the city where she has spent the majority of her life, after initially working in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
“I love working in North Bay, it’s a much different feel to working in Kitchener. There are different needs up here. I’m on Cassells Street so I’m right in the downtown area.
She says prior to this she used her education to find work in a number of different areas.
“The neat thing about social work is that we have the ability to do a lot of different types of work. Before I got into my private practice where I provide counselling, I worked in the public sector in areas that focused on sexual violence, domestic violence, child welfare, and lots of work with youth and mental health treatment. I’ve also done some administration and policy roles and that’s what I really appreciated about the field is that I could use my skills and work in different areas,” she says.
Taun’s educational journey after high school started at Conestoga College in Kitchener, earning a Social Service Worker Diploma.
“That really fuelled my passion for working in this field. I went on to get my BA, and my BSW (Bachelor of Social Work (Post Degree)) at the University of Waterloo and finally my Masters in Social Service Work at McMaster University.”
On top of running the clinic, Taun is also a member of Canadore College’s teaching faculty in the Social Services Worker Program.
“This means I get to have the best of both worlds as I get to teach what I love, and I get to continue doing what I love,” she says.
“We’re a generalist program. What that means is that the students are able to work individually with people on a micro level, or with groups and communities on a macro level doing policy work, so there is some flexibility in what they can do coming out of this program.”
She says to be in this field you need to have a lot of self-awareness.
“We build relationships with people going through a difficult time. It can be really heavy at times. You have to have a lot of compassion and the ability to empathize with others. It's genuinely listening to somebody and understanding from their perspective. Be non-judgmental when they are telling you what they are going through. A strong belief I hold when talking to people is that they are the experts, and we are just helping them with the process,” says Taun.
If you have a story idea for “Jobs of the Future” send Matt an email at [email protected]