Working with Victims: The Trauma-Informed Court Process
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Presenters Dr. Reagan Gale, Dan Shier, and Michelle Rabeau will discuss ways to make court a more trauma-informed process, specifically how to reduce harm for victims. The panel will discuss the theory of trauma-informed courts and offer practical ideas on how to incorporate these strategies into your practice.
Dr. Reagan Gale has been in practice as a clinical neuropsychologist since 2012. She is the Past-President (2020-2021) and President Elect (2023-2024) of the College of Alberta Psychologists, the founding (past) president of the Psychological Society of the Yukon (PSY), and a past member of the Yukon Capability and Consent Board (2017-2021). In 2021, she was appointed Public Guardian and Trustee for Yukon. She is a full member of the Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment. She has post-graduate specialized training in medical legal assessment through the Canadian Society of Medical Evaluators, and in capacity assessment through Wayne State University. The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General has designated her a capacity assessor under the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act.
Reagan has a part-time private practice for psychological and capacity assessments. She offers both in-person and remote videoconferencing assessments to clients across the Yukon, NWT, NU, and in Ontario and Alberta.
Dan Shier was called to the bars of both B.C. and the Yukon in 1988. Throughout his career, he has practised civil litigation, almost exclusively for plaintiffs. Most of that work has been with people who have been injured and as a result have suffered emotional trauma.
For the last 20 years, a significant part of Dan’s work has been representing the victims of sexual assault and harassment in the civil courts and in the Independent Assessment Process established under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Today, his firm increasingly represents people who are both plaintiffs in civil claims and complainants in criminal cases. This overlap provides insight into the significant differences between the two legal processes and how they approach the traumatic impacts of physical and sexual assault.
Michelle Rabeau has a Bachelor and Master of Social Work and began her career in Yukon as a generalist counsellor. She has worked at Child Abuse Treatment Services, Mental Health Services and Many Rivers. In 2012 she became Supervisor of Victim Services and now works directly with victims in the criminal court system.
This CPD has been approved for 1.5 hours by the Law Society of British Columbia and may be applied towards the mandatory 12 hour Continuing Professional Development requirement in both BC and Yukon.
Working with Victims: The Trauma-Informed Court Process Handout