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  • Trauma Therapy in Winnipeg for PTSD and C-PTSD Healing

    PTSD and trauma counselling in Winnipeg may be what can help you get your health and empowerment back. You're curious how, and we're so glad you are. Because let's face it, living with trauma and PTSD is painful.

    Truth is, we all experience events in life that leave a negative impact on us. This could include experiences such as a breakup with a lover or a friend, losing a loved-one to death, a physical injury, sexual trauma, or simple but lasting impacts of relationship and attachment wounds. However, sometimes the impact of our difficult life experiences lead to more than a residual impact. They can lead to symptoms of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as well as complex post traumatic stress disorder, or C-PTSD.

    PTSD and Trauma Therapy in Winnipeg

    Have you experienced events that have left you with symptoms of trauma and PTSD? Are you suffering from lingering anxiety and fear? Or bouts of uncontrollable anger and frustration? Do you feel like you can't control your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours? If so, PTSD and trauma counselling in Winnipeg may be right for you.

    Our Winnipeg Trauma Counselling and Treatment Options

    There are a variety of treatment options that can be used for PTSD and trauma counselling in Winnipeg. We here at Empower Counselling Services offer the following:

    • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: EMDR uses bilateral sensory input such as eye movements, tapping, holding a device that buzzes alternately between left and right hand, and/or bilateral auditory stimulation to stimulate the brain to process difficult memories, thoughts, and emotions
    • Talk therapy: Talk therapy refers to a type of psychotherapy that draws from the strengths of many therapy approaches to build an eclectic approach, drawing from the following and more approaches:
      • Cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance commitment therapy, person centred therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, humanistic therapy, emotion focused therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, attachment focused therapy, compassion focused therapy, etc.

    Reach out to us any time to explore what type of PTSD and trauma therapy in Winnipeg might be the right fit for you.

    Types of Trauma We Treat in Winnipeg

    PTSD Trauma Counselling in Winnipeg

    When a person experiences symptoms of PTSD, they may get confused about the experience since symptoms are often a mix between disturbing thoughts, confusing emotions, and/or uncomfortable body sensations. Symptoms may also include flashbacks and intrusive memories about the trauma. This often leads to a significant amount of suffering, which can lead you to feel easily exhausted, easily startled, feeling numb much or most of the time, feeling agitated or even angry, and feeling like you are disconnecting from others and even from yourself. The disconnecting form Self and others is often one of those confusing parts of experiencing symptoms of trauma and PTSD. However, this is also what leads to one of the biggest impacts of the trauma.

    Trauma and PTSD can lead to significant suffering, including psychological and emotional as well as physical illness. Sufferers often try to fill the void with various forms of well intended but often quite unhelpful strategies to adapt, but without healing the trauma, these adaptations often fall short of delivering the freedom and healing you might so yearn for. This is because attempting to mend the pain through unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as addictions and other behaviours that are incongruent with who you are during times of health and wellness) often simply mask the original problem at best, and over time add additional suffering now caused by the unhealthy coping mechanism.

    If you are looking for a PTSD and trauma therapy in Winnipeg, please reach out to us. We would love to explore how we can help.

    C-PTSD Trauma Therapy in Winnipeg

    There are many similarities between PTSD and C-PTSD. However, complex PTSD is different form PTSD in that you've experienced trauma over a prolonged period of time. For example: A person may experience a specific event that leads to symptoms of PTSD, such as a car accident. This trauma can lead to significant personal suffering. However, it is less likely to develop into complex trauma than a longer lasting and frequently occurring experience such as prolonged traumas caused by close relationships. If an experience is repeated over a long period of time, you may develop a low self worth. The tricky part is that you might not even know where this suffering comes from.

    PTSD typically refers to a trauma experience that was specific, sometimes only occurring one or a couple of times. Both PTSD and C-PTSD are very painful to live with. However, C-PTSD is often even more confusing because the causes for the trauma are often rooted in prolonged negative conditioning. This conditioning can lead you to believe the trauma was somehow your fault, even though you may have only been a small child or may have otherwise not had the power (either literally or due to conditioning) to stop what was being done to you. This leads you to, over time, drip by drip, internalize the messages your nervous system adopts as it builds implicit memorymemory that's learned through life experience vs intentional learning. While this adaptation is meant to be protective for you, for the Self, it often leads to even more suffering until you begin to heal from the C-PTSD through counselling and learn to heal the parts of you that were traumatized.

    C-PTSD is very common for people who have endured emotional neglect, abuse of any type (physical, emotional, verbal), sexual abuse by a loved one, or many other forms of relational trauma. Relational trauma is often so complex because of the way our bodies get conditioned to respond in certain ways, the goal being a reduction in risk of ever experiencing such traumas in the future. For example: If you get nauseous before an event that you know will be triggering to you, your body may be trying to get you to not go to the event by making you quite nauseous. If the objective behind the nausea is to stop you from suffering by keeping you from going to the event, then it is meant to be protective to you even though it seems quite counter intuitive and is indeed currently not overly helpful. However, as you learn to work with your body, understand the body's language, and you begin to listen, then you can learn to respond with empathy, compassion, love, and strategy. Strategy allows you to set the direction for your journey of healing, growth, and Self empowerment.

    We would love to explore with you how our C-PTSD and trauma therapy in Winnipeg can help you once again enjoy the health and empowerment you so deserve. You don't have to suffer alone anymore. Reach out today.

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    Who Are the Clients Who Come To Us for PTSD & Trauma Therapy in Winnipeg?

    Many of our clients are outwardly what society often sees as go-getters, or we sometimes call perfectionistic. They are outwardly quite successful in one or more areas of their life. However, this perfectionism is often a way to narrow in on one singular focus as a way of avoiding the pain. People are often not even aware of their perfectionistic tendencies until they start doing some trauma work.

    Do you suffer from perfectionism? Do the people in your life sometimes admire your singular focus and/or admire your success even while you feel like you are slowly dying under the weight? Could the perfectionism be a sign of trauma and PTSD? If so, PTSD and trauma counselling in Winnipeg may be what you have been looking for.

    To be clear, not everyone who struggles with perfectionistic tendencies does so as a result of trauma, PTSD, or C-PTSD, but perfectionism can be a sign that there is more going on than a simple desire to get things right. Perfectionism that comes out of a desire to resolve pain often looks exceptionally singularly focused on one or a couple of areas of life.

    If perfectionism is holding you back from living the life and freedom you've been trying to build, PTSD and trauma therapy in Winnipeg may help you start achieving your goals in a new way.

    Trauma Therapy in Winnipeg Can Help You Stop Dismissing Your Trauma Symptoms

    Recent research has pointed to the fact that PTSD can also result from less dramatic life events, such as hurtful experiences during childhood. In some cases, these can cause as many—or even more—symptoms of trauma than the types of experiences we often associate as being major traumas. This is likely due to the fact that people tend to dismiss the smaller but prolonged traumatic experiences as being "a normal part of life," which often results in not addressing the impact of the trauma for months, years, and in some cases decades afterwards.

    Have you ever had an experience, or experiences, that felt deeply hurtful at the time of the event, and part of you knows that life was never the same afterwards, but because it was so normal where you lived or went to school, you dismissed the impact it had on you? This is very common—people dismiss traumatic memories for many reasons. Here are some examples of how people might dismiss the trauma:

    • My friends were bullied too, so it shouldn't hurt so much. It was normal in my community
    • My parents often yelled at me, but they yelled at my siblings too, and they seem alright—I don't think they were traumatized
    • There are many people who don't have enough to eat most days. My problems seem small by comparison
    • Yes I was touched sexually against my will, but I wasn't raped so I should be able to move past it
    • Yes I was in a car accident, but no-one was seriously hurt, so I shouldn't be traumatized by it
    • Feel free to fill in other example(s): ___________________________

    If you've been dismissing your struggles, today is a good day to start your healing journey. Trauma therapy in Winnipeg could be the treatment that helps you unlock potential you haven't even been able to imagine until now.

    What is Trauma and How Can Trauma Therapy in Winnipeg Help

    The human body stores difficult and/or traumatic memories. These negative memories are then often experienced through negative body sensations such as tightness in the neck or back, an upset stomach, a sensation of having a lump in the throat, etc. In other words, trauma is body-memory that is stored from an event that overwhelmed the nervous system.

    What is more, these sensations are the body's way of communicating that something is not right. Where we typically find it helpful to use words to describe our experience, the body speaks through sensation such as pain and pleasure. For example:

    • The body reminds you of the need for fuel (food, water) through hunger and thirst cues
    • The body lets you know that something is not right through sensations such as pain and discomfort. If your foot is broken, you want to pay attention to the language and meaning of that sensation

    It's also important to mention that, in the same way that we can learn to interpret sensations such as hunger and pain, we can also learn to interpret the body's language regarding psychological and emotional pain.

    In many cases, a person can move through these sensations in a way that allows the body to restore it's processing capacity for the traumatic event. This is because people often have the needed resources to make the necessary adaptations required for trauma recovery. However, in some cases, the nervous system gets overwhelmed and/or flooded. When a person is experiencing this type of overwhelm, the nervous system reverts to prioritization, which often looks like flight/flight/freeze/fawn. This response is directed by the brain's prioritization for survival.

    Examples of fight/flight/freeze/fawn in the animal world might include:

    • A dear runs away from danger
    • A possum freezes in the face of danger. Unlike popular belief, the possum does not play dead. Rather, it literally freezes, which sometimes has the effect of predators believing this animal is sick and not eatable. As we can see, the possum's evolutionary freeze-response can literally save the possum's life
    • A lion fights
    • A dog might fawn a human to get a treat and/or to avoid punishment

    Each of these responses are ultimately meant to increase the animal's chances for survival. In humans, the brain's objective with these responses is the same as any other animal.

    Trauma, then, is the human body's way of trying to protect us from harm, even though the body's genuine attempts to protect us are not always as helpful as they are meant to be—an inefficiency which is often due to our inability to interpret and fully comprehend the body's language. For example: The child's inability to expressthrough verbal languagetheir suffering may lead to prolonged suffering simply because no one can know immediately what pains the child. An effective strategy to respond to the child's pain can only be developed once the pain-point has been identified. Similarly, even after we learn to speak and express our suffering through word, our inability to understand the body's expression of psychological pain, which the body expresses through physical sensation, can lead to significant prolonged emotional and psychological suffering. Once we listen, we can begin to understand, and once we begin to understand, we can respond with empathy, compassion..., yesboth of which are super important—but also with strategy. Now we can choose how we want to respond. Now we can become truly empowered again. Now we can respond with purpose and strategy.

    Strategy is where therapy can sometimes come in. PTSD and trauma counselling in Winnipeg can help you learn to understand what your body is trying to communicate to you so that you can respond in new and more empowered ways. Trauma therapy in Winnipeg can be an excellent solution to help the body integrate negative life experiences so these experiences no longer have a negative impact on your life.

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    What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD?

    Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD is a mental health condition that may occur as a result of experiencing or witnessing traumatic events such as named above, or events like terrorist attacks, natural disasters, motor-vehicle or other accidents, acts of or anxiety about war, sexual violence or unwanted sexual advancements of any type, or any other assault. PTSD can also result from relational traumas such as childhood neglect, bullying, and painful intimate partner experiences.

    It is believed that symptoms of trauma and PTSD develop when our bodies go through experiences that overwhelm the natural abilities to process the experience, and then later the overwhelm continues to hamper the body's natural abilities to heal the damage. In other words, the body's natural processing and healing abilities are flooded and overwhelmed, leading to symptoms of trauma and PTSD.

    What Happens After the Traumatic Event?

    Once trauma has been experienced, there is a disruption in how the brain processes information. In a healthy brain that has not experienced the trauma, the person's brain processes information about what happened and makes appropriate connections. Those reactions to the event that are no longer useful, any emotions or physical sensations, are released.

    However, when an individual experiences a traumatic event, this processing system is disrupted and the negative memories and emotions, as well as physical sensations and beliefs, are stored in the body. These stored traumatic interpretations mingle with current events to then colour them negatively also. In short, the body believes the trauma happened quite recently and cannot, in this area of your life, distinguish between the past and the present. PTSD and trauma counselling in Winnipeg may help you more fully distinguish past from present.

    Symptoms of Trauma and PTSD

    The following are common ways people experience symptoms of trauma and PTSD:

    • People who have symptoms of PTSD often experience disturbing feelings and thoughts related to the traumatic experience(s). These symptoms can last for a long time, in some cases months, years, or even decades after the initial event
    • Many people with symptoms of PTSD relive the event through various forms of flashbacks and/or nightmares
    • It is also very common for people with symptoms of PTSD to feel intense emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, and a detachment from loved-ones such as friends, family, and the broader community
    • Individuals who have PTSD often avoid people and situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Ordinary sounds or incidents such as banging doors, certain smells, specific words or topics, or even accidental touch in a crowd may cause a strong and uncontrollable reaction

    If you or a loved one suffers from symptoms of trauma and PTSD and would like to explore trauma counselling in Winnipeg, please reach out to us. We have personally seen amazing transformation and healing through PTSD and trauma therapy in Winnipeg, and we believe you can have this type of positive experience with therapy, leading to significant healing and overall improvement in satisfaction for life. It's possible Reach out today.

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    Blogs About Trauma and PTSD Therapy in Winnipeg

    Below we are listing some of our blogs about our trauma counselling in Winnipeg. Click the images to learn more.

    What Is Trauma Therapy?

    Causes of Trauma & PTSD

    Male Sexual Abuse Survivors: You Are Not Alone

    EMDR Treatment for Sexual Abuse

    Signs of Trauma: Am I Dealing With More Than I Thought?

    Meditation Can Help With Trauma

    Check Out Some Of Our Other Blogs

    Tips to Loving Yourself Again

    Am I Codependent?

    How to Build Emotional Capacity and Why You Should Care

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