Trauma Therapy

What is trauma?

Trauma encompasses any negative and unexpected experience that leaves you feeling overwhelmed, confused, and powerless, resulting in lasting negative effects. It often underlies the symptoms we experience.

As counsellors, we approach trauma through an attachment and trauma-informed perspective. We recognize that trauma isn't limited to the "big T" events like assault or accidents but includes "little t" traumas such as a friend moving away, a high school teacher's hurtful words, a lack of attention from your mother, or classmates laughing during a presentation.

We specialize in evidence-based trauma therapies like EMDR, OEI, and LI (as detailed below). These therapies not only alleviate your symptoms but also address the root causes of your triggers. Our goal is to facilitate lasting change, eliminating the triggers rather than providing short-term relief. Many of our counsellors are trained in these therapeutic modalities. If you find yourself reacting quickly, feeling easily angered, or becoming upset "for no reason," these trauma therapies could be immensely beneficial for you. We're here to support your journey to healing.

Evidence-based Trauma Therapies

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

What is EMDR? It stands for Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

It is an evidenced-based trauma therapy that was developed by Shapiro in 1987 and was originally developed for PTSD. However, it has been proven to help with a variety of symptoms, such as anxiety, panic, phobias, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, and depression. EMDR does not require talking in detail about the trauma, but focuses on the emotions, thoughts, and behaviours that have changed due to the trauma. Our brains have the ability to heal itself, and EMDR resolves unprocessed traumatic memories. REM sleep (when you dream), processes things throughout the day, which is why you wake up feeling differently about something the next morning than you did the day before.

Trauma disrupts REM sleep, which stops the reprocessing of that event, which is why people still get triggered and upset when thinking about the event. EMDR almost “recreates” REM sleep, and helps your brain reprocess the memory. EMDR helps get the traumatic memory from a 10/10 on a scale of disturbance to a 0/10 – making the memory neutral, and as a result, can alleviate the negative symptoms originally caused by trauma. This does not negate the traumatic experience but provides freedom from the pain and negative impacts that trauma has on one’s life. Things that once were triggering become neutral, and symptoms completely dissipate. Lindsay has seen many people completely healed and cured of anxiety, have better relationships with others and themselves, and are able to start living, not just surviving.

Observed and Experiential Integration (OEI)

Do you ever feel like there are two parts of you that have opposing views? Maybe one part of you thinks one way about a situation, and the other part is telling you something completely different? OEI (which stands for Observed and Experiential Integration) can help integrate those different parts. The parts of our brain that store traumatic memories can be accessed through our eyes and get stored up as “slivers”. It was developed by Dr. Rick Bradshaw and Audrey Cook in the 1990s. OEI evolved from EMDR and helps access both hemispheres to reduce trauma. By accessing our emotions, thoughts, perceptions, and memories, OEI has been found to help integrate unprocessed traumas. Dr. Rick Bradshaw, by whom Lindsay had the great privilege of being taught, mentored, and supervised explains in more detail above.

Lifespan Integration (LI)

Do you ever notice that when you get angry, you sometimes act as if you are 9 years old again? There are so many reasons for this, but one reason is that there is part of you that is stuck at that age. Logically you know you are an adult, but the part of you that is reacting is stuck in a different age. That's because there was not a neural integration between the age of the trauma or negative event and now. Lifespan Integration is a type of trauma therapy developed in 2002 by Peggy Pace that connects the wires in your brain to fire properly. Maybe you find when you think back to your childhood, you struggle to remember it at all. Lifespan can help you form those networks that were lost and gain back those lost years. Together, we will create a time-line and help integrate those "stuck years" to the present. Watch this 10-minute video for more information!