Anxiety is an inevitable part of life and there are times when it is appropriate and reasonable to be anxious. Anxiety becomes a problem when it is experienced too intensely for a situation, doesn’t go away or interferes with your life. Symptoms of anxiety can in range in severity from a sense of uneasiness to a full-blown panic attack marked by shortness of breath, heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, nausea, numbness, and fear of dying or losing control. Therapy provides an opportunity to develop cognitive, behavioural and mindfulness strategies to modify unhelpful ways of thinking and feeling, and reduce rumination and avoidance.
Depression is not caused by any one thing but is likely due to a combination of factors influencing one another. Symptoms of depression range in intensity and often include sadness, a loss of energy, loss of interest in activities or life, changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, self-criticism, difficulty making decisions, feelings of hopelessness, withdrawal from others, irritability, physical pains, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Therapy helps you better understand the role of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors as well as your environment and psychology in the development of your depression. Conceptualizing your depression provides insight into how to best intervene to optimize improvements in mood and functioning.
No one is immune from trauma. Not our friends, not our family, not ourselves. We can be traumatized from war, natural disasters, violence or betrayal in our lives. For the most part, people are resilient however trauma can leave traces in our minds, on our emotions and even on our biology affecting our capacity for living. It is not uncommon for someone suffering from post-traumatic stress to be hypervigilant, detached, numb, angry, or feel like they are losing control or going crazy. With PTSD, the body continues to defend against at a threat that belongs to the past affecting the ability to function in the present. EMDR as well as other therapeutic interventions can help you regulate intense emotions activated by trauma and restore a sense of safety and engagement to live more fully in the present.
Grief and Loss
While grief is a normal and natural emotional response to a loss, it can be a heart breaking and devastating experience. The range of emotions experienced are endless and may include intense sadness, anger, disbelief, shame, guilt, and fear just to mention a few. When most people think of loss they think of loss of loved one. While we can never compare grief other common losses include divorce, retirement, loss of a pet, home, job or health. Mourning needs a voice. Moving through loss depends on emotional venting.
Life can be a unique and challenging experience, and much of the time we are able to deal with the everyday issues that arise however sometimes we lose our balance and life challenges us in unexpected ways. Whether you are struggling with changes to your lifestyle, relationships problems, parenting, weight management or healthy eating, I am here to help by providing you with a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings. Through a collaborative and client-focused approach to therapy, we will work through challenges and help you find solutions for a better tomorrow. There are many different approaches to counselling. My training reflects the following approaches to therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, often referred to as CBT, is an educational approach to therapy that helps you overcome your problems. CBT focuses on the role of thoughts, feeling, behaviours as well as environment and physiology in understanding your problems. It offers practical insight for overcoming problems and offers skills that you can use throughout your life for various problems. CBT has proven to be effective for anxiety and depression as well as wide range of psychological problems and its reputation as a highly effective treatment approach continues to grow. It is often the recommended choice of therapy by doctors and psychiatrists tor the treatment of psychological problems.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) incorporates the concept of the multiplicity of the mind. In other words, we are not single-minded but rather we have different parts to our personality that are operating at different times. Having different parts to our personality is very normal and often very helpful but just like every family, the parts don’t always agree on the best way to approach life. Some parts may have alliances or operate in contrast or against other parts. Getting to know and appreciate the different roles of our parts provides us with insight and understanding that helps us navigate life and the challenges often associated with it.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. It is believed that EMDR helps clients integrate the traumatic memories that are believed to become stuck or unavailable for processing. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.
Client Centered & Solution Focused Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy is style of brief intervention that helps clients focus on solutions to their problems and directs individuals towards living more helpful and satisfying lives. Therapeutic change occurs through a supportive, caring and trusting relationship building upon your unique strengths and resources. You are the expert about your life and with support, encouragement, and appropriate interventions, you will find solutions to a wide range of human difficulties.
Grief Recovery Method
Most of the information we have learned about dealing with loss is intellectual but loss is an emotional experience. The Grief Recovery method to loss is designed to help individual to move through and process the pain. It provides a safe environment in which to look at old beliefs about loss, to look at how the loss have affected your life and to explore new actions towards the pain attached to your loss. Working through the pain allows you to move forward. Time alone does not heal all wounds.