Some experiences shake our foundations, changing our sense of safety in the world. Sometimes the effects are immediate; at other times, we seem to be fine until some other event or experience sets off an overwhelming flood of emotions related to past events. Many people who experience traumatic symptoms question themselves, wondering why they can’t seem to regain control of their reactions. They may compare themselves to others who have had similar experiences, questioning why their reaction is different. They may feel overwhelming anger, fear, or helplessness. Each person’s reaction is influenced by their unique personality, history, and particular experience of trauma. I will help you understand that your feelings a perfectly normal response to a terrible situation.
When you seek counselling for trauma, my first priority is to help you regain a sense of safety and control. This phase of counselling may involve accessing other resources available in the community, practicing new safe coping skills, learning how to calm your fearful brain and body, building up your support network, educating you and your family about what you are going through, or even helping you secure safe housing and employment.
Once you are feeling safe and stable we can begin to look at the traumatic events that occurred and how they have changed your life. I will support you in facing the emotions that come with understanding how the traumatic event(s) have impacted you, and nurturing yourself as you work through difficult memories and emotions. Throughout this process, your emotional safety will still be my first priority; I will never push you past your point of comfort. You are in control of the process, what we talk about, and how much you choose to disclose. I will check in with you often to ensure that you are comfortable with the process.
Traumatic events change us, but together we can integrate those changes so that you can move on with your life with the trauma as just one part of your story rather than the central plot-line. We can find the ways you have strengthened and grown as a person through your painful experiences, and help you direct these new strengths in a positive way.
If you have experienced trauma or been victim of a crime, I encourage you to contact me for a free half-hour consultation. You may be eligible for funding through the crime victim assistance program of BC. Check their website here for more information.