Vocational Rehabilitation & Insurer Services

We offer Vocational Rehabilitation and Insurance Services that are based on a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach. We work with insurance providers to offer services that help our clients safely and successfully re-enter the paid workforce after an accident, injury or prolonged leave of absence due to mental health.

Meet Our Vocational Rehabilitation Professional

Shelley Smilek


I have over 20 years of experience in vocational evaluation and rehabilitation work. I work with clients who are returning to the workforce after a period of delay and those who are re-entering the workforce with significant medical, emotional and physical disabilities.

I am a member of the Canadian Assessment, Vocational Evaluation and Works Adjustment Society (CAVEWAS), and have obtained the designations of Registered Vocational Professional (RVP) and Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP). I am a member in good standing with the College of Rehabilitation & Vocational Professionals (CVRP) and Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE).

Comprehensive Services

By Peaceful Waters offers comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services to help clients return to the workforce after a motor vehicle accident, injury or mental health leave.

We provide a supportive, action oriented approach that helps clients identify their strengths, manage workplace related challenges and optimize their functioning at work. Our goal is to make the transition to the workforce safe, productive and engaging for our clients.

Our services include:

  • Transferable Skills Analysis
  • Vocational Evaluations
  • Cognitive Evaluations
  • Social Work Assessments & Counselling
  • Job Search Training
  • Return to Work focused CBT
  • Gradual Return to Work planning
  • Workplace Mediation

All of our By Peaceful Waters therapists have an MSW or higher degree, and are registered with their respective associations and governing bodies. Shelley is experienced in working collaboratively with individuals, employers, therapists and insurers to provide comprehensive case management and supportive client care. 

Transferable Skills Analysis

A Transferrable Skills Analysis (TSA) uses a series of questions to identify clients’ strengths such as their worker traits, education and work or life experiences. This analysis helps clients capitalize on useful skills, even after injury or a prolonged absence from the workforce.

Examples of transferrable skills include the ability to:

  • Communicate a message clearly
  • Organize a space
  • Create and follow a budget
  • Develop  a schedule

Most of our clients are pleasantly surprised to find out they have more skills suited to the workplace than they realized. A TSA also encourages clients to build on their strengths as they rebuild their capacities for the workplace.

Little boy playing carefree at playground on see-saw because parents have protected him from adult conflict.

Vocational Evaluations

Vocational Evaluations, also known as Career Assessments, review our clients’ interests, personality factors, vocational aptitudes, and work-relevant coping strategies. We offer an in-depth, personalized assessment interpretation, a written report and useful follow-up resources following the evaluation.

Based on market research and the results of the evaluation, our rehabilitation professional can suggest suitable job positions, targeted rehabilitation interventions and workplace accommodations that contribute to a successful return to the workforce. 

When appropriate, we guide our clients to consider skills enhancement programs or retraining opportunities that can optimize their contribution at work and increase their potential earning capacity.

Through the entire process, we  support each client’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. 

Cognitive Evaluations

Using various tools and assessments our Vocational Rehabilitation professional will conduct a cognitive evaluation that:

  • Highlights a client’s academic and cognitive strengths
  • Reveals their aptitudes and work-related interests
  • Detects cognitive challenges related to everyday functioning
  • Assess factors like memory and problem solving that have a potential to impact work function.

The Vocational Rehabilitation professional reviews these results with the client and supports them in developing strategies that optimize their cognitive functioning.

    Social Work Assessments & Counselling

    Our Rehabilitation professional coordinates all aspect of a clients’ case management, including counselling.

    The focus of counselling is to support the client as they process issues related to their injury or illness and develop greater autonomy and indepeendence. Topics include:

    • Trauma and PTSD
    • Depression & anxiety related to the injury or illness
    • Identity and self-image
    • Grief & loss due to changes in relationships, roles & ability
    • Advocacy for the integration of resources at home or work

    Job Search Training

    With our personalized approach, we support our clients with their job search skills. This includes:

    • Resume and cover letter writing
    • Finding job postings
    • Networking with local employers
    • Preparing for job interviews

    If a client’s new career path includes retraining, we work with the individual to:

    • Apply to programs
    • Apply for funding
    • Access learning resources and supports
    • Prepare a post-graduaction career plan that results in a job position

    Return to Work Focused CBT

    Research shows that work-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can reduce lost time and costs associated with work disability.

    Work-focused CBT is action-based therapy that helps the individual process and address fears and concerns regarding challenges in the workplace. Therapy can include:

    • Minimizing the impact of symptoms in the workplace
    • Strategies for managing workplace stress and conflict
    • Enhancing communication skills, including assertiveness
    • Managing  cognitive challenges like concentration, memory and organization

    Workplace Mediation

    Returning to the workplace after an injury or extended absence can feel daunting. By Peaceful Waters offers professional workplace mediation to help employers and employees:

    • Communicate their needs
    • Establish appropriate expectations
    • Develop trust and understanding

    As a result, you can achieve peace of mind and contribute to a work environment that feels safe and productive.

    Gradual Return to Work Planning

    We know that returning to work is essential to your life and well-being. A place of employment is primarily a means to earn money and gain financial stability. However, there are additional social and emotional reasons to work, such as establishing a rhythm and routine, learning new skills, personal development, a sense of autonomy, and social connections. 

    By Peaceful Waters will support you throughout the process of gradually returning to work after an injury or prolonged absence. Our team can help make the transition back into employment less stressful while also helping those around you assimilate to the change.

    A Customized Plan for You

    Working with our BPW Vocational Rehabilitation Professional means developing a customized plan that is crafted specifically for each client. We take into account the whole person – mind, body and emotions to help our clients acheive and succeed in getting back into the workplace safely and confidently.