Do you have personal problems that are too private to discuss with anyone else? Well, you are not alone! Many people turn up in my Toronto counselling office for this very reason.
Maybe you use chemicals, drink, gamble, or are addicted to porn? Perhaps you binge, purge, or starve yourself? Or you could be caught up in other compulsive patterns, like checking or cleaning. You may harbour shameful fantasies.
In over 20 years of counselling, I have never met anyone with these kinds of problems that didn’t have something significant in their past at the root of it. You may not immediately remember or be able to identify it. Generally, it is months or even years before symptoms arise.
This is how I help people deal with symptoms arising from disturbing past events or trauma:
· First, I listen without judgment to your problems. It takes courage to be honest about those things you’re so ashamed of and I respect that.
· Next, I help you to begin to make sense of your disturbing emotional/physical experiences or behaviours. We will understand them as logical adaptations to historic events that you experienced.
· Then, I will help you with grounding techniques to get a handle on them. So you can begin to feel more in control of your life.
· We will start building internal resources for you to feel more secure and stable. This will involve learning techniques to calm your body and build confidence.
· We will also examine your lifestyle and socio/economic situation. Healing work can be demanding. So it’s important to get the basics in place, like financial stability, a safe place to live, emotional support, etc.
· We will review a variety of techniques (EMDR, guided imagery, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy) to determine the best way to resolve the issues causing your distress. Together we will agree upon the approach that would suit your personality.