There are endless reasons why trauma may be affecting your life today. Trauma is referred to as psychological distress following a terrible event. This event has left you scarred because, in that moment, your life felt threatened and the options for finding safety felt limited. Despite the time passed, your nervous system continues to feel threatened and you experience PTSD symptoms (e.g. nightmares, hypersensitivity, reduced capacity to tolerate stress, or withdrawal from social activities). Traumatic events happen, and you deserve the chance to recover. At Kasi Shan Therapy, my goal is to help you sort through these memories so that they do not overwhelm your present day.
Whether it is due to years of abuse and neglect, a major loss, a serious accident, or a single shocking incident, childhood trauma can continue to impact you years later as an adult. It’s easy to dismiss addressing these memories because they happened so long ago. However, research continues to emphasize the lasting physiological and psychological impacts of childhood trauma on an adult (e.g. shame, guilt, low self-esteem, poor boundaries, easily triggered). My job is to support you in shifting away from that childhood space of insecurity and threat, to recognising the power you have today as an adult.
Sexual/ Physical Abuse
Physical and sexual abuse refers to a singular moment, or multiple moments, wherein you experienced someone placing unwanted sexual touch or physical force upon you. These experiences cause havoc to your system. It can create feelings of unease or dislike towards your body. You may become hypersensitive to possible threats in your world because your sense of control and safety were taken away from you. Your comfort in forming relationships may shift, resulting in either poor boundaries or highly rigid avoidance of relationships all together. At Kasi Shan Therapy, I offer support in treating the impact of abuse, both recent and historical, so that you can live your life with confidence.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
After surviving a car accident, you now experience difficulty being inside a car. You have anxiety about driving, and intrusive and repetitive thoughts about the collision. It can be hard to attend appointments with insurance/rehabilitation specialists because it keeps reminding you of the collision. As with many survivors, you may become triggered by loud sounds or struggle falling sleep due to nightmares.
Motor vehicle accidents create a sense of threat for our system. In the moment of collision, either you or your loved one was at risk of harm. Counselling can help address these struggles. At Kasi Shan Therapy, I use a specific counselling approach called EMDR to help individuals experience relief from the psychological impact of vehicle accidents.
What can I expect from trauma therapy?
- We work at a pace that is safe and efficient. During therapy, my job is to continue to assess your level of distress. We work at fluctuating pace, continuing to challenge you and slow down so that your system does not feel overwhelmed.
- We review your history of childhood and adult experiences. In this manner, we become familiar with how your trauma and other influences (e.g. social environment, race, education) have shaped you.
- We create a target inventory discussing briefly the various traumatic experiences that you would like to address in counselling.
- We create a treatment plan that meets your needs and comfort.
- We focus first on safety and stabilization before starting trauma work. This means supporting you with resources and healthy coping strategies so that you feel strong enough to process traumatic memories.
- We start targeting memories using interventions from EMDR, DBT, CBT or Internal Family Systems therapy based on your specific treatment needs.
- You will know when healing is done when you’ve noticed a shift in your capacity to manage daily life (e.g. improvement in mood and relationships), and these earlier memories no longer create distress.
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”Fred Rogers