Barry Fontaine MSW, RSW

Indigenous Counselling & Education Services (ICE Services)

315 - 3336 Portage Ave

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3K 2H9

204-999-1625

I am a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation and have lived both on and off reserve. I have learned about my culture and traditions from a variety of perspectives. I have experienced traditional healing methods, the use of medicines, and ceremony. I have also been exposed through my family to the Ojibway language. Through my own life experiences and that of my family I have gained awareness into the many issues facing First Nations. My father was from the Sagkeeng First Nation and my mother was from Sandy Bay, both were residential school survivors. This has given me great insight and understanding to the many problems faced by these survivors, both physically and emotionally, as well as the intergenerational effects on their children and the communities.

I was recently employed with West Region CFS as a Supervisor. I was responsible for the intake unit, family enhancement program and permanent wards. I was also responsible for all incoming file transfers, thus have an understanding of the application of legislation/protocols both provincially and federally. Since 2001, I have been employed in every facet of mandated work including all front-line positions, from support work to supervision. I have worked with other Indigenous people and organizations on a daily basis throughout my career.

I am a graduate (2016) of the Master of Social Work program at the University of Manitoba in the clinical stream specializing in individual, couples, and family counselling. I offer counselling through my own business called Indigenous Counselling & Education Services. I have been offering counselling services throughout my career, but formally since 2015 starting as an Action Therapist and in the OPK program. I currently offer both a Western based therapeutic approach guided by Indigenous traditions and knowledge, and the action therapy model.

 

My practice is based in the Indigenous culture and teachings while also involving western therapeutic techniques. The western knowledge was gained through studies at the University of Manitoba, Master of Social Work program with focus on individuals, couples and family counselling.​ This type of therapy takes place almost exclusively on a one to one basis in an office or less formal environment. In this therapeutic environment the use of Indigenous traditional knowledge and teachings are used as a way to convey the treatment process and goals with the use of western medical style therapeutic techniques.​ In this approach to treatment the client will be exposed to Indigenous knowledge and traditions such as; the medicine wheel, different types of traditional medicines, traditional narratives and sacred teachings as well as many other traditional activities and ceremony. I have training in therapeutic techniques in many areas such as cognitive behavioral therapy, emotionally focused therapy, solution focused therapy, family systems, attachment therapies, mindfulness, mediation, and narrative therapy. My preference is that of narrative therapy as it relates best to the Indigenous ways of teaching, learning and knowing. The power of storytelling is a powerful tool that has been used for generations within the Indigenous community to learn, to teach, and to heal. I believe that the relationship between a person and their therapist is a very important part of the journey to healing and self-discovery. In my practice the therapist takes on a role similar to that of an elder.  Connectedness and being a valued part of this world is an integral part of the Indigenous culture and is used in the type of therapy that I practice. I feel an energy and power by working with people, particularity the children and youth. Respect, compassion, authenticity, and relationship are fundamental values in my practice; accordingly, the use of traditional Indigenous ceremonies and teachings are the major thrust and ideas within the Indigenous counselling.

In general, the Indigenous counselling/ action therapy models can and will involve;
individual counselling, family/group counselling, crisis intervention, consultations with
collaterals, creating/building a connectedness to the Indigenous traditional community
through activities and ceremony, recreational activities and community service. 

I am available to provide services Monday to Friday 9 AM to 5 PM. I also have evening and weekend appointments that are available. Please be advised that these time spots
tend to fill up quickly. 

Indigenous Counselling

  1. Therapy Model

  2. Action Therapy Model

Indigenous Counselling is a service that encompasses two streams of services for youth, adults, and families.

 

Therapeutic Model

 

One stream  involves a more therapeutic approach to therapy. This area of my practice is based in the Indigenous culture and teachings while also involving western therapeutic techniques. The western knowledge was gained through studies at the University of Manitoba, Master of Social Work program with focus on individuals and family counselling.

This stream is done almost exclusively on a one to one basis in an office or less formal environment. In this stream the use of Indigenous traditional knowledge and teachings are used as a way to convey the treatment process and goals with the use of western medical style therapeutic techniques.

In this approach to treatment the client will be exposed to Indigenous knowledge and traditions such as; the medicine wheel, different types of traditional medicines, traditional narratives and sacred teachings as well as many other traditional activities and ceremony.

I have training in therapeutic techniques in many areas such as cognitive behavioral therapy, emotionally focused therapy, solution focused therapy, family systems, attachment therapies, mindfulness, mediation, and narrative therapy. My preference is that of narrative therapy as it relates best to the Indigenous ways of teaching, learning and knowing. The power of storytelling is a powerful tool that has been used for generations within the Indigenous community to learn, to teach, and to heal.

I believe that the relationship between a person and their therapist is a very important part of the journey to healing and self-discovery. In my practice the therapist takes on a role similar to that of an elder.  Connectedness and being a valued part of this world is an integral part of the Indigenous culture and is used in the type of therapy that I practice. I feel an energy and power by working with people, particularity the children and youth. Respect, compassion,  authenticity, and relationship are fundamental values in my practice, accordingly the use of traditional Indigenous ceremonies and teachings are the major thrust and ideas within the Indigenous counselling.

Action Therapy Model

Another stream for Indigenous counselling is the use of an action therapy model as I have envisioned. The term and use of action therapy can be attributed to many types of therapies and mentor-ships.

 

As I envision it, the basic ideas behind the action therapy model are somewhat similar. I see action therapy as  involving all three pillars of our world and ways of being. The first pillar is that of the individual and building outward to the second pillar of the family, and finally the third pillar,  the building of a strong community.

 

The use of Indigenous teachings, culture, and ceremony are paramount to this type of therapy as is having the youth take part in activities that promotes value in one’s self, in one’s family,  and also promotes that worth in our Indigenous community. 

In this model, strength and connectedness are promoted along with Indigenous traditional teachings, knowledge, and way of being.

Clients along with the therapist will learn and take part in ceremony as well attend to community events and other activities that are seen as to have value to the client and community, In general the Indigenous counselling/ action therapy model can and will involve; individual counselling, family/group counselling, crisis intervention, consultations with collaterals, creating/building a connectedness to the Indigenous traditional community through activities and ceremony, recreational activities and community service.

In this stream, the role of the therapist is more intense and involved then in the traditional western style medical therapy model. The client and therapist develop a relationship that is built on strength and mutual respect which is more steeped in the Indigenous way of being.  In this model the therapist takes on the role of mentor and elder to the children and youth.

Contact:

Please feel free contact me anytime if you have any questions or would like to discuss the referral process @ (204) 999-1625 or or email at info@indigenouscounselling.ca

Costs:

Indigenous Counselling - sliding scale, private insurance.,Child and Family Services, and the

Non-Insured Health Benefits (NHIB) Program can be accessed for this program through Indigenous Services Canada

Action Therapy - Child and Family Services