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Trauma

Have you experienced trauma in your life?

The symptoms of trauma or PTSD can be diverse and often overwhelming. If you regularly experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from trauma:

  • Intrusive flashbacks
  • Vivid nightmares
  • High anxiety or panic attacks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Rapidly changing and intense emotions
  • Strong anger or rage
  • Feeling numb
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating
  • Substance abuse
  • Compulsive self-harming behaviours
  • Dissociation

Those with a history of early or prolonged trauma may recognize other symptoms, including:

  • Trouble managing trust and intimacy
  • Distorted sense of self
  • Negative body image
  • Intense guilt and shame
  • Troubled relationships
  • General difficulty finding meaning in life

Healing from Trauma with Individual Therapy

For several years, Ian has focused on specializing in trauma therapy. He has completed level 1 & 2 certification in Trauma Therapy at Hincks-Dellcrest in Toronto. He has received his Clinical Traumatologist Designation and also Compassion Fatigue Specialist certification. On a monthly basis for the last 4 years, Ian has received clinical supervision at the Hincks-Dellcrest from Natalie Zlodre who is recognized as a specialist/consultant/trainer in clinical trauma therapy. Ian has provided therapy for victims of domestic violence, assault and physical violence, robbery and hold-ups, car accidents, fire, bereavement, child abuse, animal attacks, and suicide. Ian is also trained in field trauma for larger scale trauma events—and is strongly grounded in trauma informed clinical practices.

Before starting trauma therapy, each client will receive a comprehensive assessment, which will guide the clinical process. The assessment process includes a comprehensive historical assessment. Generally, this process takes 3-4 hours to complete. After completing and reviewing the assessment phase, the treatment process will be initiated. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, EMDR, Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR) and Cognitive Process Therapy (CPT) are clinical treatment models used for trauma therapy at our agency.

Our agency is trained in the following trauma therapies:

  • Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Trauma incident reduction TIR
  • Cognitive processing therapy CPT
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy for trauma
  • Prolonged exposure PE

Our Trauma Therapy Also Includes:

A three stage approach to the treatment process based on the clinical work of Judith Herman. These stages are as follows.

1. Stabilizing and managing responses

The first step in managing your traumatic stress responses will be to identify which trauma responses are the most painful and which interfere most in your everyday life. With our support, we will rank your responses from those that cause you the most problems to those that hurt you the least.

We then develop strategies to assist in being able to manage your traumatic stress responses and adaptations. These strategies will help you feel stronger and better able to cope, and find ways to care for yourself. While you may not stop or get rid of all your negative responses, these strategies should help you to control and manage them better.

2. Processing and grieving traumatic memories

The second, or middle stage of trauma therapy involves looking at past experiences of trauma. It explores how the trauma has affected you in the past and how it continues to affect you. Processing traumatic experiences can be difficult and requires special methods. With cognitive behavioural therapy, clients are asked to remember all aspects of the incident(s) as vividly as possible, including aspects that involve the senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing).

Many trauma survivors instinctively avoid memories, thoughts and feeling directly related to the trauma experience they suffered, but avoiding these things prolongs the trauma responses and prevents survivors from getting over trauma-related difficulties. Facing painful experiences instead of avoiding them lets you process the traumatic experience and identifying where you first experienced safety. At this stage one can re-establish an understanding of who was actually responsible for the trauma, of the issues related to boundaries, power, justice, and meaning. Work begins on building trust and improving relationships. This process leads to a reduction in pain and anxiety.

3. Reconnecting with the world

The third, or final stage is about dealing with the issues of daily lif. For example, some people may feel pretty good, but have a hard time reconnecting with friends and family, have trouble finding work you enjoy, find it difficult to get involved in activities you used to enjoy or struggle to maintain healthy relationships. In this stage clients work towards expanding their world, building new relationships, or re-connecting with old ones, trying out new ideas, building assertiveness skills, re-learning how to enjoy the newly found states of calm in their lives and incorporating joy, hope, and optimism into their future.