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    Individual Counselling for Trauma/
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    What is trauma?

    When we think about trauma, we often think about life-threatening events such as assaults, car accidents, natural disasters, to name a few. These experiences are often very overwhelming. It can affect our ability to cope during and after the event.

    Vicarious trauma can occur when we witness trauma, or support victims of trauma. This can happen to accident bystanders, health care workers, or first responders.

    Trauma can also happen in situations that, while not life-threatening, can still make us feel unsafe, powerless, unworthy, invisible, or devalued. Some examples may include:

    • workplace or school bullying
    • repeatedly being put down, criticized, ridiculed, or shamed
    • being in situations, often at a younger age, where things exceeded your ability to cope (e.g. needing to emotionally or physically take care of a caregiver)
    • a pattern of having your emotional needs dismissed by caregivers growing up

    Some people might experience the following as a result of trauma:

    • reliving the event through nightmares or flashbacks
    • avoidance of the place, person or similar setting that reminds you of the trauma
    • feeling depressed or anxious
    • difficulties with sleep, appetite, concentration
    • feeling angry or irritable
    • triggered by things that seem to be “out of portion” for the situation
    • difficulties with setting interpersonal boundaries
    • untrue and negative beliefs about yourself (e.g. “I am worthless/ powerless/ a failure”)

    These experiences can have lasting effects on our sense of safety, control, and self-worth.

    In my work, no matter what the trauma is, there are tools to help you.

    My approach to working with trauma involves:

    #1) building a safe environment to work on the trauma by going at a pace that you feel comfortable with

    #2) equipping you with the skills and knowledge to cope with challenging emotions

    #3) re-processing past trauma that contributes to your current problems

    #4) integrating these new learnings into the present so you can feel, think and respond differently

    Some examples of what that transformation would look like:

    • able to recall previously traumatic memories without feeling disturbed
    • able to handle your triggers (whether it is a situation, a place, a person, a feeling or thought) without feeling upset
    • a deeper understanding of the problem and more compassion for yourself
    • no longer feeling like you are “stuck in the past”

    Typically, I work with trauma clients using an evidence-based approach called Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR).

    As a clinical counsellor, I have witnessed how consuming the effects of trauma can be. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer alone. There are options and support for you wherever you might be on your journey.

    If you would like to learn more about how counselling can help with your trauma symptoms, please contact me to schedule an appointment or book a free 15-minute consultation.