When the body and mind disconnect because of things that have happened to you.

It's not your fault and it's not okay. Let's find a way through together.

Trauma- and stressor-related behaviours are when someone is exposed to a traumatic or stressful event causing psychological distress following the exposure of this event or situation (APA, DSM-5). 

Trauma responses typically occur after the event and sometimes may be delayed due to self-preservation and defense mechanisms. Trauma is understood to cause distress and disability, which stops or prevents someone from doing things they would normally do or have an intense fear-based response. 

Trauma can cause a variety of responses and what may seem traumatic to one individual may not inherently cause trauma responses in another. 

Trauma is when a person identifies and directly, witness or overhear in their experiences where a perceived threat and imminent risk of harm, serious injury or death, sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional violence, repeated exposure to intense events over time, accidents, experiencing harm or threats from close family, partners, or friends. These are just a few things that many people may experience. 

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The Trauma Experience:

People may feel or notice some of the following symptoms related to which causes distress:

  • Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive memories 
  • Recurrent dreams, or nightmares
  • Children may have repetitive play that resemble aspects of the event
  • Dissociative states and reactions (not being fully present and loss of control or awareness)
  • Intense distress or anxiety-related symptoms
  • Avoidance behaviours of thoughts, feelings, places, people, and objects etc.
  • Mood shifts 
  • Physical reactions: shaking, hypervigiliance, irritability, startle responses, troubles focusing, memory struggles, overall restlessness etc.
  • Detachment from feelings 
  • Sleep disruptions and eating habits changed
  • Intense fear 

*These are some of the most common symptoms that one may be able to identify. However, every person, body, and event is different and they may be unique to that person and their trauma.

How We Will Help You Through Your Trauma

Regain control of your body and mind through creating safety and release the responses safely.

At Mindful Steps Therapy we are trauma-informed and have specific training to support you and PTSD-related symptoms you are experiencing. We intentionally approach therapy through a slower process as the body has leard to make things happen quickly.

As quick as something can happen to make an impact, learning and undoing that takes time. We will help you to learn how to create a safe space for yourself, and help you navigate through. We will help you to reduce the intensity of the distress, build boundaries where needed, learn to communicate your needs and apply tools that will support you right now and in the long-term. 

Relational trauma and relationship-based with close intimate partners, family, friends or loved ones can be especially hard to recover from. These cause attachment ruptures and wounds impacting the way we trust others. Since, human beings are especially relational based, craving connection, love and support, therapy can help you to learn how to heal this rupture and learn to trust again.

Every person is different, and how they respond to the trauma is different. For some therapy may be needed on an intensive basis in the beginning and slowly reduced as the sense of safety is increased. Depending on the severity of the symptoms persons may need to have 2 sessions a week, then weekly, then reduced to bi-weekly. We evaluate on a case-by-case to ensure your treatment plan works for you. 

If you are considering trauma therapy please know that therapy for trauma healing may take a minimum of 2 years for deep healing. 

We will move through 3 Phases*:

1. Safety: Increasing your sense of safety when you may be experiencing unsafe feelings and sensations in an unprovoked setting. Learning and finding ways that make you feel safe and comfortable. Sometimes this looks like internally calming yourself down, or externally bringing in comfort objects that make you feel safe and comfortable. 

2. Processing: Exploring the trauma through a safety lens and providing inner healing and regulation to the body and mind. This requires established resources to help you calm down during triggered moments and feeling safe when your body and mind tell you that you aren't. 

3. Integrating: Finding the meaning through the trauma and integrating the past and the present. This is a perspective shift and a sense of forgiveness, knowing acceptance, and learned ways to move forward. 

*Herman 3-Phase Trauma-Informed Theory through ISTP training. 

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Approaches Specific for Trauma Therapy

Reclaim your body and grow beyond!

The approaches that your therapist uses are Somatic Therapy (ISTP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Structural & Contextual Family Systems Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Through integrating these methods we understand that the mind and body get disconnected in order for your survival. Ultimately, these are natural survival responses that are occurring during times when there is no imminent threat or danger and we need to recalibrate the body and mind to be in sync. 

These therapies are evidenced-based, meaning there has been significant scientific research that shows that these modalities are truly supportive and helpful for recovery and healing. At the base of our work together is forming a safe space and a trusting relationship so you can allow whatever to come up happen without being judged, shamed, blamed or feel like a burden. You matter and want to help you to heal through it. 

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