Trauma | Lydia Charak Psychotherapy - Toronto, ON Canada
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Trauma therapy in Toronto

When it comes to trauma, I find my clients tend to fall into two camps. Those who come looking for help because they are fully aware of trauma they have experienced and recognize its impact on their mental and physical health. They come to therapy for support in their healing.

The second set are those who
don’t have any idea that trauma may be a factor in their present-day problems. Connecting the dots to childhood adverse events isn’t even on their radar. I gently guide these clients through a process where they find answers to their painful questions and develop compassion for themselves.

Trauma can be
Acute – resulting from a single overwhelming experience, Chronic – which is repeated and prolonged such as domestic abuse or bullying and Complex – which is exposure to multiple and varied traumatic events often of an invasive and interpersonal nature.

If you are
suffering from trauma of any sort and are finding it difficult to make you way through this world there is hope. Your behaviours and emotions have developed as responses to frightening and debilitating events and recognizing how you adapted is the first step to recovery.
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Signs and symptoms of trauma

You've experienced something that you are constantly reminded of and even though you wish those thoughts would go away – they don’t.

You
avoid the people and places that remind you of the frightening and traumatic event.

Trauma is
interfering with your relationships or making it impossible to develop closeness with others.

Memories of your trauma keep you up at night and disrupt your sleep with nightmares.

You’re
anxious most of the time, drink heavily or use recreational drugs to numb yourself.

Addictions are interfering with your life.

You feel
depressed and ashamed a lot of the time.

You
blame yourself for what happened to you.

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Click on the following links for more information on:
addictions, nightmares, anxiety, depression, shame, grief and legacy.
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How I work with trauma

When working with trauma we go slow. I ensure you have the skills to cope with difficult material before we go anywhere near it so you can confidently take care of yourself when we’re not together. We only progress at the speed you are comfortable with and you have the control on how much you share and when to stop.

We take time to talk. I witness your story,
validate your experiences and ask questions to help us both understand the significance of them in your life.

I gently work with you through
Compassionate Inquiry to delve into the beliefs you developed about yourself as a result of these experiences and how they manifest in your daily life. We imagine and explore possibilities to feel compassion for yourself and others which can support the healing process.
With your permission, I look for openings to work in the Expressive Arts which can offer you a supportive way of understanding and experiencing your trauma. Creating artwork while you tell your story can be a more comfortable and accessible way to go there.

Alternatively, you may prefer to intuitively tap into your emotions and physical sensations through art making and then explore what arrived.

If the trauma was sudden or recent, we’ll use the arts as a form of self-soothing to calm the nervous system and to process what happened to you, so you don’t suffer long-term.

The sensory qualities of the arts are key to helping individuals communicate traumatic memories and act as a bridge to their trauma narrative. This allows the mind and the body work together by integrating neurobiology with the emotional, spiritual and physical self.

By the way, I want to stress that no experience is needed to use the arts in this way so you can relax into the process and get the most out of sessions. And, If the arts aren’t your thing at all – no worries – I want to assure you our time together will be deep, rich and beneficial in treating your trauma symptoms.
Therapy can help you can move from suffering to surviving and thriving by building your capacity to manage your emotions and to self-regulate. You will learn to have compassion for yourself along with a stronger sense of resilience which sets the stage for recovery.

There is hope for trauma sufferers. Reach out to me by
scheduling a free consult. You don't have to do this alone.

Effects of trauma

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Addictions
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Nightmares