Cora Bilsker

Registered Social Worker #11675
In Person Appointments
Accepting new clients
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Victoria, B.C.
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Individual Counselling
"My goal is for us to create a space together where you feel safe to explore what’s weighing you down, and I can facilitate your inherent ability to create the life you want."
- Cora Bilsker
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About Cora

I’m passionate about empathetic listening. Practicing this means I’m going to listen to you with my heart and without judgement. My goal is for us to create a space together where you feel safe to explore what’s weighing you down, and I can facilitate your inherent ability to create the life you want. I believe you’re the expert on your reality and that your experience of life is unique and valuable. If you’re struggling with fear, connection or healing, I can help you understand your emotional process and develop tools to use in the future.

I am a cisgender queer white settler descendant living and working on Coast Salish Territories, specifically of the Lekwungen peoples. I am committed to understanding the impact of my social location and participating in a life long educational journey about how to disrupt structural power imbalances. I have a Social Services Diploma from Vancouver Island University (2007) and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria (2011). I have been a Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers (#11675) since 2013. I have been learning about sexuality and gender spectrums since 2002, polyamorous/open relationships since 2007 and BDSM/kink since 2007.

I focus my practice on areas where I have personal experience and am committed to seek out related courses, research, conferences and resources. You’re welcome to see me for struggles unrelated to my areas of focus, or if you feel these labels don’t apply to you. I’ve explicitly named my commitment to the following groups because so few do for fear of making more normative audiences uncomfortable — I wish to celebrate this diversity of human experience.

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Polyamorous, Open Relationships, Swinging, Ethical Non-Monogamy

I was encouraged to begin my practice when my peers in the non-monogamy community told me they desired to see a counsellor who they didn’t have to educate. Today, most of the people I counsel participate in non-monogamy in some way. Opening up a relationship can shine a light on seldom explored areas of ourselves and it can be very helpful to have a counsellor’s support to help you navigate what comes up.  My experience working with these clients has led my mentor, Cherish Dorrington, and I to offer a course, called “Ethical Non-Monogamy for Therapists”, which we hope will make it easier to find knowledgeable support.

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Kink, BDSM, Fetishes

With long histories of medical pathology and stigmatization, these are areas in which I care deeply about helping my clients release shame so that they can find a way to live a life that honours their whole self. It can be difficult to shock me, which I hope will help you feel comfortable enough to share your truth and what brings you pleasure.

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Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Queer, Pansexual, Asexual, Intersex, Transgender

The queer community was one of the first places I felt at home and there’s so much we can learn about challenging the harmful norms that hold everyone back — whether you identify in this way or not — from those who have explored their gender and sexuality. Most of my experience resides with the GBLQPA parts of this heading, but I’m also committed to providing an environment free of judgement for intersex and transgender people. If your primary reason to seek out counselling is gender exploration, however, I’d recommend my other team members’ services.

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Sex Workers, Adult Entertainment Industry Performers

People seek out these professions for many reasons and I would never assume there must be some sort of problem with your choice. We can dive into the aspects of social stigma, emotional labour and body-based labour that this work may bring up, or, if that’s not why you’re seeking counselling, you can count on me to leave it alone. I am also a counsellor with the Pineapple Support Network, which supports performers in the adult industry. You can check out a seminar I recorded for the Pineapple 2019 Mental Health Summit here.

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Psychedelic Integration

The war on drugs initiated a very effective wave of fear around psychedelics/entheogens that shut down research, development and support interested in educating about how to safely explore altered states. Since most of these substances remain Schedule 1 drugs, I’m not able to administer the psychedelic assisted therapy that organizations like MAPS have received special permission to research. What I offer is a place to set intentions before, or work on integration after your experience. Much like dream interpretation, the messages you receive from a journey may not be as clear as you would like. Discussing your reflections from the experience can help you make positive changes in your life, or even heal from a challenging trip.

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Cora Bilsker

Registered Social Worker #11675
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