Trauma Stabilization and Processing
Exposure to trauma can have a lasting impact. Events that happened long ago may continue to affect our current functioning, well-being, and quality of life. The term trauma often refers to situations or events that individuals have experienced in which significant danger, loss of control, helplessness, and distress were present. Typical examples of these events include car accidents, sudden loss, exposure to violence whether as a victim or witness, relationship betrayal, or physical or sexual abuse. Symptoms of trauma can include recurring nightmares, heightened anxiety and stress response, intrusive thoughts and memories, depression, aggression, and persistent negative beliefs about oneself, among other conditions. While symptoms of trauma can follow exposure to specific situations such as those identified above, psychological trauma can also occur as a result of childhood neglect, prolonged exposure to unstable and unsupportive living environments and caretakers, and continued unmet needs. Unresolved trauma can continue to impact present living, even if the source of trauma happened long ago. If trauma is holding you back from living your life, I can help.
When working with trauma concerns, I utilize Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, one of two psychotherapeutic modalities recognized as gold standard trauma treatment approaches by the World Health Organization (WHO). EMDR treatment often follows a progressive protocol which begins with a discussion of your reasons for seeking trauma counselling and setting collaborative goals for treatment. In general, in our early sessions of trauma counselling I will place a significant focus on assisting you with stabilization. In this stage, I will help you develop effective tools that you can use to help manage ongoing symptoms of trauma include stress, anxiety, depression and other emotional difficulties. Here, I will often integrate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion-Focused Therapy, and skills building approaches to help you engage more fully with your life and manage difficult symptoms of trauma. Processing work is the focus of EMDR and is designed to help you adaptively resolve trauma memories and stuck feelings. Once we have reached a point where you are feeling sufficiently stabilized and emotionally balanced we will begin moving to processing work using EMDR therapy.
Clients who I have helped with trauma concerns report improvements in their mood and functioning and more engaged in their lives and with what matters to them. If you are looking to move past trauma and live your life more fully in the present, book an appointment with me here.