If you are anxious, stressed out, feeling controlled by others, feel depressed, trapped by negative self-talk, are grief-stricken, or stuck in unfulfilling relationships, therapy can help you explore your perspective of life, uncover your unique strengths, have more control of your emotions, create healthy boundaries and help you move closer towards the life you want.
Common issues I have experience in:
- Low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy
- Depression, anxiety, feelings of guilt and shame
- Experiences of loss and grief
- Emotional regulation and coping skills
- Life transition such as parenting, dealing with aging parents, retirement, divorce
- Past traumas – sexual abuse, psychological and verbal abuse, neglect, sexual assault,
- PTSD – traumatic events, first responders (EMS, police, Emergency RNs & physicians)
- Stressful work environment/burnout and work/life balance
Relational & Couples Counselling
We long for connection and relationships. Intimate relationships can bring fulfillment to our lives and other times they can be challenging and draining.
If you are experiencing increasing conflicts, find you are not communicating well, are having trouble respecting differences, have blended family challenges, have parenting challenges, are recovering from an affair, couples therapy can help provide support, communication tools and help for rebuilding trust and security in your relationship to bring you closer together.
Each partner has their unique perspective about the problem and the relationship, and I will ensure that both partners feel heard and understood. When working with couples, I often see them stuck in interaction patterns that seem difficult to change. I use principles from Emotionally-Focused Therapy and the Gottman Method to help identify ineffective communication patterns, and learn ways to improve connection, emotional and sexual intimacy, and satisfaction.
Common couples issues I have experience in:
- Communication breakdown; communication gridlock
- Improving emotional and physical intimacy
- Control and equality issues
- Rebuilding trust after an affair
- Sexual Issues: erectile difficulties, discrepancy in sexual desire (low, high or none …and many more.
Trauma & PTSD
Trauma, whether something done to you or something you were involved in, makes it difficult to manage your emotions and to engage in intimate relationships.
The impact of trauma affects how people behave, think and feel about themselves. Common symptoms in traumatized individuals can include:
- feelings of guilt and shame
- difficulty trusting and getting close to others
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after any type of physically or psychologically stressful event in which you perceive a threat to your life. Often this event or series of events can alter or shatter the way you see the world and yourself.
Situations and circumstances that can bring about a traumatic stress response include but are not limited to:
- Sexual abuse or assault
- Domestic Violence
- Transportation accidents
- Military combat
- Natural disasters
- Childhood physical, verbal, sexual and psychological abuse
- Frequent exposure to threatening situations such as those experienced by First Responders (EMS, police, firefighters, ER nurses & physicians).
- Second-hand trauma (also known as Vicarious Trauma) – learning about or witnessing threatening or abusive events from loved ones, that causes a change in your worldview.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidenced-based psychotherapy approach designed to treat psychological distress associated with traumatic experiences. EMDR is effective with PTSD, phobias, anxiety, depression, over-reactive anger, intrusive thoughts, and anything that causes us to say we are “stressed out”.
Often with traumatic experiences, the brain does not process events properly due to the overwhelming stress, and those experiences and memories can stay “stuck” and get stored in our minds and bodies.
EMDR helps to decrease the intensity of emotional suffering and assist individuals in reaching their full potential through processing negative experiences into neutral memories. In other words, it doesn’t erase the traumatic memory, but allows you to look back at the memory and say, “My experience sucked, it’s over, and I’m okay now”.
I have extensive post-graduate training in EMDR through the Niagara Stress and Trauma Clinic and provide a safe and comfortable setting for the reprocessing of traumatic memories.