ESTEVAN - Sara East, Trina Battersby, and Sarah Clauson felt they had more to offer, so they quit their jobs to start their own private practices.
In a shared office space in Estevan, they reach out to clients in a wide area in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan.
Battersby and Clauson’s grandfathers worked together on building the space the women use.
East started as a registered speech-language pathologist (SLP) in 2009 after she graduated from Minot State University.
She began her career in Cold Lake, Alta., working for Alberta Health. Here she did in-clinic pediatrics and helped people right up to adulthood.
In 2010 she moved home to Alameda and became employed by the school division until 2023.
East is married to Derek East and has two children, Oliva and Brooklyn.
She is a helper and teacher by nature so a career as an SLP was a good fit for her. East had her own private practice called Sara East Speech and Language Services.
Having the thought that she wanted to work with adults changed when she saw the difference she made in a child’s life.
As an SLP, she can assess and treat all areas related to speech, language and literacy, such as reading and writing in children right up to high school.
“Many people think SLPs only work on articulation, which is speech-sound skills,” said East, “But we have so many more services to offer.”
East also has a part-time employee, Brook Zulak, who is also a registered SLP.
Zulak is married to Conrad Beach and lives in Estevan.
“I appreciate the time I get to spend with parents in my new private practice,” said East, “I get to know the children and their parents, allowing me to make meaningful connections and better meet their needs as a whole.”
East also has an office at the RM of Enniskillen Wellness Centre out of Oxbow.
Battersby is another one of the trio and she is a registered social worker.
She is married to Brooke Battersby and has two children, Hannah and Myah, and a son-in-law coming soon. Her therapy dog Thor is also part of the family.
Battersby lives in Estevan and calls her practice Prairie Pathway Counselling Services. She joined the team in the early summer.
She left her job as a school counsellor with the South East Cornerstone Public School Division to begin specializing in grief and loss.
Living her entire life in the southeast corner, she has worked in urban and rural communities for more than 15 years to support students and families.
Battersby believes in people's inner strength and skills to overcome life’s obstacles.
She also wants to build a trusting and collaborative relationship in which people feel valued and understood, offering a safe and supportive environment.
Individual and coupled counselling is also part of her practice, either in person, by phone or virtually.
Currently Battersby’s clients are over 18 years of age but she is hoping to expand this in the future.
Her love for nature and animals has her busy training her dog Thor to be her co-counsellor.
“I am working towards certification in animal and nature-assisted therapy,” said Battersby, “There will be more to come on this topic as we are not yet certified.”
The third piece of the puzzle is Clauson, who is also a registered social worker. She lives in Estevan with her husband Jeff and their daughter Rory.
She left her job with the Envision Counselling and Support Centre to pursue her practice called The Counselling Corner.
For the last five years, she worked exclusively with youth and adults in complex trauma, depression, anxiety and emotional regulation, among other areas.
Clauson felt her community had great supportive agencies, but that there is a need for extra support here.
She also felt there is a need for flexible hours for individuals and families, so she offers evenings and weekends to help those in need.
“Social work has always been my desired path,” said Clauson. “I have always gravitated towards connecting and supporting others.”
It brings Clauson great joy to see individuals achieve their counselling goals, and reflect on their personal strength and growth through the process.
Clauson’s practice is open to children, youths and adults on an individual basis.
It is the desire of these women to offer people a difference in a safe and secure environment while offering support.