Show cover of the Journeys to Hope & Healing Podcast

the Journeys to Hope & Healing Podcast

a Behind the Scenes look at domestic violence and the journeys families take to find Hope and Healing with Rowan House in Rural Alberta.


S3 E7: Emotional Regulation For Kids
The emotional toll of violent and abusive relationships is a heavy one – for both adults and their children. There is a lot of damage to one’s self-worth that needs to be mended to move on to stable lives and future healthier relationships.For the kids in these relationships who witness or even experience the violence and abuse, they may have an even more challenging time understanding or expressing how they feel, and it may burst out in similar ways to what they’ve seen to be the norm or the opposite where they retreat entirely inward. You can revisit Season 1, Episode 3 for more information on the effects of abuse on children, however, in this episode I am joined by Rowan House’s Children’s Program Team Lead, Carlee Marchbank to discuss how the program is implementing the Zones of Regulation curriculum to help our littlest clients address some of those BIG feelings.Towards the end of the episode, I also have a little plug for our upcoming Breakfast with the Guys events. You can find more information about that HERE.
26:28 09/27/2022
S3 E6: Love is Love ft. Marissa Johnston & Siobhan Hourigan
June marks the launch of Pride festivities across the country, including within the Town of Okotoks. In this episode, I am joined by Rowan House's Halle Minkler and Okotoks Pride's Marissa Johnston and Siobhan Hourigan (@TheLesbiansTM), as we explore the intersectionality of domestic violence and abuse within LGBTQ2S+ relationships, and how rural communities are beginning to take steps towards safety and inclusion.Trigger warning: for content about violence toward the LGBTQ2S+ community and its members.
44:25 06/30/2022
S3 E5: Parental Alienation ft. Laurie Anderson, Cindy Marshall and Diana Lowe
Parental Alienation is a loaded term, an accusation that often comes up in custody disputes when the child is expressing a desire to stay with just one parent.In most cases, with just a few exceptions, both parents are given rights to access their child – even if it’s somewhat limited or with supervision. However, this can very much be, to the detriment of the health and mental well-being of that child.In this episode, I am joined by Family Law Lawyers, Laurie Anderson and Cindy Marshall, and returning guest, retired Lawyer and Consultant Diana Lowe to discuss why this is problematic and dreams of making the system better.Trigger warning: discussions of domestic violence and abuse, self-harm.CBC Article: Globe and Mail Article: Globe2Go, the digital newspaper replica of The Globe and Mail (
50:07 05/26/2022
S3 E4: The Times, They Are a Changin'
We talked early in the Pandemic about how these types of events can significantly impact the issue of domestic violence and abuse. (RCMP in Alberta reported an 11.7% increase in those types of calls between March and September of 2020 compared to the same time in 2019, and then we had Corporal Leanne Beatie, the Domestic Violence Coordinator for the Southern Alberta District, on the podcast just a few episodes ago, talking about how that trend is continuing.) Our concerns that Covid would impact the sector were not unfounded, to say the least.But as Rowan House Society wraps up its last fiscal year and looks ahead, we are seeing that the Pandemic truly has affected more than just calls to our support line.We’re seeing quite a difference in the severity of abuse, changes in the overall mental health of clients and their coping mechanisms, lateral violence and people struggling to interact in those in-person settings and just more burnout and turnover in staff.In this episode, I am joined by Rowan House's new Executive Director, Linette Soldan to discuss these issues and how the sector is moving forward.I also want to once again include a Warning for this episode, as there is a point where we discuss the topic of strangulation that may be triggering for some listeners.
33:55 05/05/2022
S3 E3: Jail Isn't Always the Answer ft. Judge Tyndale and Raelene Notti
Working in the shelter, and hearing stories from residents and Outreach clients, we know that the systems of support for addressing domestic abuse can be difficult to navigate and often feel stacked up against the person requesting the help. But there are professionals within the system who understand those challenges and are working to make changes that promote better outcomes for families. One of the common themes we are coming across is that “better outcomes” don’t always mean families splitting up and jail time for the abuser.In this episode, I am joined by Judge, Mark Tyndale, Raelene Notti of Resolution Services ( and Rowan House’s Safe at Home Program Director, Nara Fedozzi to discuss the two cycles of abuse and different avenues for addressing domestic abuse and other family matters.Trigger Warning: this episode has some stronger descriptions of abuse and the court system that may be difficult for some listeners. Please proceed with caution and practice self-care as needed. 
44:49 03/31/2022
S3 E2: MAID - Series Review from a Support Worker Perspective
Have you had a chance to watch the Netflix series, MAID?It's based on the true story/memoir of American author, Stephanie Land, and highlights the reality for people navigating the complexities of life - doing low-paid service work to provide for herself and her child while dealing with the demands of unhealthy and sometimes toxic family dynamics...and abuse. It has received a lot of praise for its accurate portrayal of these issues and many of our staff have watched it and would agree.Rowan House's Shelter Team Lead, Brittany Smith joins me to discuss our thoughts on the series.WARNING... this episode contains Spoilers for the show. Listen at your own risk!
25:20 02/28/2022
S3 E1: The Bridge that Connects Us ft. Kerri Wilkinson
To kick off Season 3, we go back to the beginning. How does someone typically find out about Rowan House and make the decision to come into the shelter or connect with an Outreach Support Worker?  Well, in many cases, the answer may be with support and resource referral from Foothills Regional Victim Services. In this episode, long-time program manager, Kerri Wilkinson joins me to talk about the role they play in helping families begin their journey to hope and healing.
28:53 01/26/2022
S2 E10: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse ft. Leanne Beattie, Diana Lowe & Nara Fedozzi
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to ending domestic violence. Emergency shelters for women and children in need of a safe haven from abuse will be a necessity for many years to come - but to make a real difference, we must continue to take proactive, preventative approaches. Since 2009, one approach Rowan House has been taking is providing Healthy Relationship Education to youth in schools and we've had great feedback from both students and teachers. This is an evidence-based measure and will definitely create change for future generations. However, there's a generation of adults who have been affected by intergenerational trauma who are continuing the cycle in the meantime.In the last episode of Season 2, RCMP officer - Leanne Beattie, lawyer - Diana Lowe and Safe at Home Program Director - Nara Fedozzi join me to talk about the prevalence of domestic violence in southern Alberta and why supports and healing for those using abusive behaviours is an important piece of the puzzle.
45:32 12/15/2021
S2 E9: Revisiting the Idea of Allyship ft. Michael Hoyt
Engaging men and boys is a common theme when it comes to talking about violence prevention...but why? Why is it so important and what role do men and boys play?Michael Hoyt is a municipal social worker out of Edmonton with extensive experience focused on developing the capacity of allies to dialogue about gender-based violence and the role of men and boys as agents of change.  He was also our 2021 Breakfast with the Guys keynote speaker and he joins me to help answer these questions and revisit the idea of what it means to be an ally for the women and girls in your life.
35:28 11/30/2021
S2 E8: Abuse Has No Age Limit ft. Gabrielle Kirk & Donelda Laing
Abuse comes in many forms and doesn't discriminate between race, culture, sexual orientation, gender or age. In this episode, I am joined by Gabrielle Kirk of the Elder Abuse Response Coalition of Claresholm/Vulcan and Donelda Laing of the Foothills Coordinated Community Response Steering Committee to talk about the similarities and differences between elder abuse vs. intimate partner abuse, the signs to watch for and how you can support someone affected. In our conversation they mention some numbers you can call to report elder abuse:Rowan House Emergency Shelter |  403-652-3311Okotoks Family Resource Centre | 403-995-2626 High River FCSS | 403-652-8620 Distress Centre* (24 hours) | 403-266-4357Elder Abuse Response Program | 403-715-9223Claresholm FCSS | 403-625-4417Ranchlands Victim Services | 403-625-4444Vulcan FCSS | 403-485-2192Vulcan County Victim Service | 403-485-6163*The Distress Centre is a 24-hour crisis/support line that can connect you to: Calgary Seniors Resource Society - Seniors Connect Outreach Program, Alberta Health Services - Mobile Response Team for Mental Health, and the RCMP.
28:28 10/28/2021
S2 E7: Tech-Facilitated Abuse ft. Sonya Goulet
Technology-Facilitated abuse is not a new concept - but one that has grown significantly through the Covid-19 Pandemic. Cybersecurity strategist and Rowan House volunteer, Sonya Goulet joins me to talk about what that means and some steps we can take to protect ourselves.Sonya invites you to connect with her if you would like more information or a free consultation: / Also, if you're outside of Rowan House's service area (southern Alberta) and in need of local supports, the number I mentioned in the podcast is the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters 24-hour helpline: 1-866-331-3933 to help you find the shelter nearest you.
27:54 09/27/2021
S2 E6: The Language of Play ft. Alma Fourie PhD.
When it comes to domestic abuse in the home, children witness more than people may think. In this episode Rowan House's Program Coordinator, Janna, and Play Therapist, Alma Fourie PhD. share with me what exactly Play Therapy is and how it's making a difference for the littlest residents of our emergency shelter.
24:41 06/28/2021
S2 E5: When the System Focuses on Families ft. Diana Lowe, QC
In this episode, lawyer, Diana Lowe and I discuss an intriguing project she's a part of called the Reforming the Family Justice System (RFJS) Initiative in Alberta and the difference it is making in the domestic violence sector.The RFJS is a multi-year, multi-sector collaboration, designed to effect system-wide change in the family justice system in Alberta, based on brain science and Adverse Childhood Experiences. The RFJS is seeking to shift the focus in family justice matters away from adversarial, legal responses, to making supports available to assist families with the social, relationship, parenting and financial issues that arise in family matters. The outcome collaborators are seeking is family well-being, which they define as “Helping Families Thrive”.
41:09 05/28/2021
S2 E4: Being Deemed 'Essential' in a Pandemic
Rowan House Society Board Chair Danelle Mirdoch and CEO, Timmi Shorr join me to discuss what it meant to be deemed an essential service in the pandemic and the ups and downs of this past year.
23:17 04/29/2021
S2 E3: Safe at Home - A Change in Perspective
Rowan House is piloting a new approach to addressing domestic abuse - supporting the abusive partner in an off-site facility while women and children get to remain in their homes, communities, and schools.  Rowan House CEO Timmi Shorr and Claresholm Family and Community Support Services Director, Barb Bell, join me to discuss how the program works and what we truly hope to achieve over the remainder of the project.
30:48 03/29/2021
S2 E2: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Did you know that the age group 15-24 experiences the highest rate of dating violence? In this episode, I am joined by our Preventative Education Facilitators, Ange and Keara to discuss Teen Dating Violence - what it is, how prevalent it is, and what parents, teachers and friends can do to support our youth. 
39:37 02/25/2021
S2 E1: The Shadow Pandemic ft. Jan Reimer (ACWS)
In our first episode of Season 2, the Executive Director of the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS), Jan Reimer, joins me to discuss how the issue of domestic violence continues to grow in the shadow of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic - and what the community can do to call it out and make change.
23:21 01/27/2021
Ep. 10: Men & Boys Part 2 ft. Next Gen Men
In this episode Jake, German, Jonathon and I wrap up our conversation - with part 2 focusing on the role men and community must play in redefining masculinity; and the conversations and actions that can make a difference.
23:47 12/14/2020
Ep. 9: Men & Boys Part 1 ft. Next Gen Men
In this episode I am joined by three inspiring members of Next Gen Men:Jake Stika, Jonathon Reed and German Villegas.As Next Gen Men's Executive Director, Jake is a passionate speaker and facilitator focused on gender-based issues related to the social and emotional development of young men, the health and well-being of men in communities, and gender equity in workplaces. Jake was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, as well as having earned recognition from Ashoka, the British Council, and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. He has spoken at the United Nations as part of the Canadian Delegation and participated in the UN Women Safe Cities Initiative Global Forum.Jonathon has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Education focused on boyhood masculinities. With a background in activism, he seeks to empower young people to think critically and make their voices heard. Jonathon is a longtime advocate for LGBTQ+ youth and has years of experience working with boys to expand definitions of masculinity. He coordinates and facilitates Next Gen Men’s youth programs, is a member of the National Youth Working Group on Gender Equality and Men Engage Youth Reference Group, and creates a podcast centred on the inner lives of boys called Breaking the Boy Code.And German is an immigrant that has lived in Canada for 30 years. He cares a lot about systemic issues of gender and masculinity. He is a board member with Next Gen Men and is also the Producer of The Modern Manhood podcast - a podcast about the many ways masculinity is performed that affects all of us. Our interview was over an hour long and has been broken down into two parts. This episode covers the idea of multiple masculinities, how boys are affected by society's idea of what it means to Be a Man, and the work that can be done early to take steps towards gender equity and violence prevention.
40:49 11/27/2020
Ep. 8: Shining the Spotlight
We have often said, abuse thrives in secrecy. November is a time in Alberta where we can raise our voices and shed light on family violence. In this episode, our Preventative Education Facilitator, Lindsay, joins me for a conversation on the importance of Family Violence Prevention Month, and how you can take a stand.We also mention our Breakfast with the Guys event. You can go to to learn more or get tickets if you'd like to join us!
18:52 10/28/2020
Ep. 7: Safety Beyond Shelter
Abuse is a complicated situation, and no two situations are exactly the same. In this episode we discuss how not everyone is ready for, or in need of, the emergency shelter itself - but still require the vital emotional and safety supports. Enter - the Outreach Program.
20:36 09/29/2020
Ep. 6: If You Know Me - You've Been Affected by Domestic Violence
You may not think you know anyone who's been affected by domestic violence - but with all the stigma and shame it causes, it's easy to understand why many people choose to keep it hidden from others. In this episode, our host Ally, opens up about her personal experience with domestic violence as a child and the profound effect it had on her life.Warning: The episode discusses real incidents of abuse and may be difficult to listen to or triggering for some. Please proceed with caution and practice self-care as needed.
15:20 08/27/2020
Ep. 5: The Power of Self-Care and Gratitude
In this episode, our Shelter and Outreach Team Lead, Brittany highlights the importance of self-care and gratitude in the journey to healing from abuse; and discusses how it helps prevent compassion fatigue and burnout in our staff.
27:25 07/27/2020
Ep. 4: Compassion Fatigue and Burnout
Hope and self-care keep us going, but working in the domestic violence sector or the field of social work can take its toll. Today we invite Rowan House alum, Tia Bell (now owner/founder of Unscripted Co.) to the show to talk compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout - what that means, how to recognize it in ourselves and how to take action when we become aware of it.
35:44 06/28/2020
Ep.3: When Children Are Exposed to Violence
In this episode, our Children's Program Team Lead, Janna and I talk about the different ways witnessing abuse can affect children, the beauty of resilience and how little ones can be supported in their own journeys to healing.This is the link to the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative that Janna mentions towards the end of the episode: 
22:23 05/28/2020
Ep. 2: What is Abuse, Really?
In this episode, our Preventative Education Facilitator, Lindsay and I explore what abuse is and how to recognize it, the effects it has on people and one perspective on why leaving an abusive relationship isn't as simple as walking out the door...
26:18 04/23/2020
Ep.1: 30 Days to a New Life
In our inaugural episode, Lisa, a long-time shelter counsellor, walks me through what a typical 30 day program would look like for a family living at Rowan House.
12:03 03/11/2020