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In nearly two decades of working with allied agencies like corrections officers, firefighters, police constables and paramedic colleagues, I also witnessed the incredible dedication of emergency department nurses, clerks, and environmental services staff.
Simultaneously, I recognized that although we take very good care of each other, we do not tend to take very good care of ourselves.
I also began to see that when I was taking care of patients and their families, tending to the ill and physically injured, that there was very little time to care for their mental wellbeing. I recognized that the death of a loved one, involvement in an accident or other unpleasant experiences, was enough to derail anyone’s mental health and overwhelm their typical coping strategies.
Exposure to adverse events leaves its mark — this is called psychological trauma. Not everyone will be affected in the same way, but our personal history and the kinds and frequencies of trauma we have been exposed to can create either resiliency, or susceptibility, to mental health symptoms.
Mental health symptoms can include uncomfortable and unpleasant, mental, emotional and physical experiences.
They can be from an acute event (a single critical occurrence), chronic or cumulative (from numerous or ongoing events), or vicarious (witnessing or hearing of another’s traumatic experience).
The result of this exposure may lead to pain (physical and mental), difficulty sleeping, concentrating and interacting with others. Anger, withdrawal, isolation, dissociation and anxiety are all symptoms/reactions that may be experienced and cause an upheaval in your life.
Most of us are very good at taking care of others. Many of us are even very good care at taking care of ourselves when it comes to good nutrition, exercise, social engagement, and more — but something may still feel “off”.
This is where psychotherapy can help.
In psychotherapy, you will find a place to share your life experiences, concerns, and worries, in a non-judgemental setting. A counselling relationship is not like having coffee with a trusted friend. Counselling is a unique relationship, in a professional environment, at a time that is set aside just for you — all in a completely confidential setting. In my opinion, a counsellor is a companion/teacher on your journey to accomplish your personal goals, and overcome the symptoms that are keeping you from living the life you want.
Psychotherapy is collaborative, process.
Many times, you will feel relief at being able to talk about what is happening for you, and receiving the right kind of support. Sometimes it can also be painful as things that have been ignored come to the surface. Psychotherapy is not a quick fix, it takes time to heal no matter what the issue is — but in my personal experience, it is well worth it! As we work together and process your experiences, I encourage an open dialogue and for you to keep me informed about your progress, and what therapy is like for you.
My primary approach is body-centered, as traumatic memories are not only stored in the mind, but also in the body.
Somatic experiencing ® is the modality I use and more information can be found here. Secondly, I use cognitive behavioural and mindfulness-based cognitive techniques. More information on cognitive techniques can be found here, and on mindfulness here.
Finally, I may incorporate other therapeutic techniques as issues arise, and I will always discuss and obtain consent prior to introducing you to something new.
To schedule an appointment or speak with me first to discuss whether psychotherapy is right for you, please contact me here.