Trauma is a normal response by our body and mind to an event that overwhelms us by threatening physical harm, our life, or the safety of someone else.
Examples of traumatic incidents include:
- Witnessing/experiencing wartime atrocities
- Being a victim/witness of crime
- Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis
- Sexual and physical assault
- Childhood sexual abuse/neglect
- Motor vehicle accidents, air plane accidents
- Other traumatic events such as childbirth complications, house fires
It’s common to feel reluctant to want to come in and talk about trauma. In fact, many people avoid it, only coming to counselling when life seems unbearable. Trauma makes us feel vulnerable; that’s why creating a safe, respectful and supportive environment is the foundation of my approach to helping with trauma.
Many people worry that trauma therapy must involve remembering the horror of the traumatic incident, going on a “fact finding” mission, confronting perpetrators, and succumbing to the directives of the therapist. I disagree. For example, some people feel that remembering is critical to their healing while others feel it is damaging. This choice, as well as other aspects of your trauma healing, is personal. There is no “one size fits all” approach here. Another common worry is that one has to become “unraveled” in order to heal. I also disagree and strongly recommend that trauma therapy should first work towards ensuring that you are currently safe and are coping well in your day to day life.
While individuals are unique in the ways that trauma has left its mark and in the path of healing that works for each person, at my downtown Vancouver office you can expect:
- A safe and respectful therapeutic space
- Recognition that you survived the trauma that you experienced
- A customized approach to working with your trauma
- Careful attention to the here and now, ensuring that you are coping well in your day to day life and if not, supporting you to make this happen
- Choice of what aspects of your trauma you want to work on
- Learning what ways for healing your trauma work best for you, including offering the choice of different tools and therapeutic methods
- The message that trauma can be resolved
If you are looking for a trauma therapist, I welcome your call or email message and am pleased to set up a 15-minute phone or in-person consultation to help you make this decision for yourself.
Whatever your route to healing, it is important to not lose hope. People can and do overcome trauma. Recovery is expected!