Counseling for Trauma

PTSD/Trauma Therapy in Ottawa

Trauma is a term used to describe the experience of a unique emotional response that often results from living through a distressing or disturbing event that exceeds our ability to cope.

When we go through a traumatic event, our bodies may become stuck in the distressing sensory experiences of the trauma, including images, sounds, smells, and feelings.

Living through a traumatic event undermines your sense of safety, sense of worth, and ability to manage your feelings. It can leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people.

Big “T” traumas can occur after a serious accident, being a victim of personal violence, living through a natural disaster or war, or sudden unexpected loss.

Small “t” traumas can result from painful events experienced early in life, such as abuse, emotional neglect, and disrupted attachment, which can all have a big impact on one's life.

Emotional & and psychological symptoms of trauma can include:

  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Excessive anxiety, fear, panic/anxiety attacks
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Frequent crying
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
  • Nightmares and/or flashbacks
  • Hyperarousal or hypervigilance
  • Overuse of alcohol, drugs, or other substances

Trauma can be treated successfully using various therapeutic approaches.

EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative therapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems.

EMDR Therapy was developed in the United States in the late 1980s. It was first used to treat combat veterans with PTSD, but has quickly come to be useful in addressing symptoms associated with trauma and stress such as flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety and phobias, worrying, over-reactive anger, and depression.

Here is an introduction to EMDR therapy provided by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).

EMDR therapy can help with a wide range of challenges:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
  • Chronic Illness and medical issues
  • Depression and bipolar disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Grief & loss
  • Pain
  • Performance anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • PTSD and other trauma and stress-related issues 
  • Sexual assault
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Violence and abuse

Healing trauma can help you be at peace with the past, comfortable with your present, and confident about your future.