trauma Counselling

trauma Counselling

Many people face incredibly difficult situations and experiences that can alter their perspectives and challenge their entire way of thinking. These experiences create a void in their life and leave them grasping for answers.

Often, when victims of trauma are left untreated, they fall into a debilitating mental health condition where normal emotions are aggravated and overwhelmed by distress and intrusions – often in the form of FLASHBACKS, NIGHTMARES, MEMORIES or SENSATIONS.

Over time, these incidents become intensely painful for the individual and lead to instability and dysfunction in one’s day to day life.

There are two ways in which people come into contact with trauma, a one-time powerful incident or from chronic exposure to repeated traumatic events

One-time powerful incident Chronic exposure to repeated traumatic events
Rape Combat experience
Assault Child abuse
Exposure to catastrophic events Neglect
Violence or death Domestic violence
Injuries or illness First responder situations

These incidents threaten our sense of safety, esteem, identity or life, which can lead to depression, anxiety, addiction, emotional numbness or other dissociative disorders.

At River’s Edge Counselling Centre, we have a full team of therapists that work with people impacted by many different types of trauma.  Trauma therapy sessions are available in a safe, comfortable and understanding, one-on-one atmosphere.

Trauma Counselling Can Help You:

  • Learn new strategies and coping techniques for relaxation and managing distress associated with the trauma

  • Cope effectively with daily stressors

  • Identify and manage triggers

  • Integrate memories to relieve traumatic stress

  • Gain a sense of peace and hope from the effects of trauma

  • Facilitate transformation of trauma into a story of survival

  • Increase internal strength and motivation

  • Facilitate stronger interpersonal relationships

If you’ve been affected by trauma and you’re still experiencing these
signs after a “reasonable” period of time, trauma counselling should
be considered:

  • Constant feeling of Shock, denial, or disbelief

  • You’re prone to anger, irritability or mood swings

  • You feel guilty, ashamed or you self-blame for something

  • You feel sad or hopeless after going through a traumatic incident

  • You’re confused or having difficulty concentrating

  • Anxiety and fear are impacting your life

  • You’re withdrawing from friends, family or loved ones

  • You feel disconnected or numb a lot of the time

  • You’re experiencing Insomnia or nightmares

  • You find yourself being startled easily

  • Your heartbeat races for no reason

  • You’re body has unexplained aches, pains and fatigue

Other Helpful Resources


To start counselling now:

resources for Trauma

meet our trauma counsellors

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Dr. Olive Okraku
I have experience working with child soldiers, children and adults who have experienced various life stressors, sexual abuse, and assault, neglect, abandonment, witnessed violence, kidnapped and were tortured during wars. Trauma is experienced and interpreted differently by each more
Therefore, what could be traumatic for one person, may not be traumatic for the other. My focus when working with individuals who experienced trauma is to validate and process the experiences by using CBT techniques (e.g. psychoeducation, exposure, relaxation) or EMDR to provide symptom relief and enable a better quality of life. I also focus on identifying an individual’s internal and external resilience and coping resources and assist them in rebuilding their lives instead of being overshadowed with trauma. Dr. Olive's Full Bio

Petrina Runke
When emotional and physical pain and suffering stems from trauma, it can feel as though one’s life has been turned upside down, and can create feelings of hopelessness... read more
Trauma has a profound, enduring impact on emotional and mental wellbeing. I have focused much of my counselling career on developing my understanding and skills in working with individuals that have experienced trauma. I primarily use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), which has been established as an effective and efficient form of treatment for trauma and post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), and reduces distressing symptoms and improves overall wellbeing. I also incorporate hypnosis techniques to assist individuals in achieving relaxation, personal insight, wellness and inner calm. Petrina’s Full Bio

Lori Tiemer
Experiencing traumatic events, whether in the past or recently, can affect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. That is why I believe in a holistic approach to trauma therapy... read more
It is important to learn stress management and emotional regulation techniques in order to move away from being stuck in a constant state of stress response (fight or flight). Processing and integrating traumatic events will occur gradually and within the safety of a collaborative therapeutic relationship. I have taken training related to prolonged exposure therapy as well as trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and have worked with adults diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder.
Lori's Full Bio

Charlene Remenda-Madra
The thinking comes last.
Charlene works with trauma from a bottom-up approach “from the toes to the head.” A body-centered or somatic approach is particularly well-suited to healing trauma as the symptoms are stored in the body... read more
Charlene has experience in the areas of early developmental and emotional trauma, motor vehicle accidents, shock trauma, sexual abuse and is currently enrolled in a specialized three-year body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma called Somatic Experiencing, or SE™, She completed a four-year post-graduate program in Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP) with a strong focus on early developmental trauma and attachment injuries. IBP is a comprehensive body-centered model of therapy that combines breathing, movement and presence to gain access to the wisdom of the body – something that is often interrupted, no longer accessible or just too scary to connect to after a traumatic event or series of traumatic injuries. Charlene is compassionate, emotionally present and takes a gentle approach to working with individuals. Charlene's Full Bio

Laura Byrtus
Often when people experience trauma, they proceed through life with a greater level of fear than others might. This fear can lead to many difficulties, including explosive anger, anxiety, addictions, and difficulty trusting others... read more
I have worked extensively with histories of trauma, including physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse (i.e., childhood sexual abuse, incest, and/or rape), war, and criminal activity. I have found that clients who are willing to explore these histories are able to gain a better understanding of their past’s impact on present functioning. My goal in working with trauma is to get to a point in which the client can “let go” of the past and move forward with a healthier, more fulfilling life.Laura's Full Bio

Andrea Thrall
Experiencing trauma, whether in childhood or through upsetting events later in life, can have a lasting impact on many aspects of our wellbeing. The process of healing after trauma is unique to each person, though I keep in mind a broad framework of phases... read more
First, I support individuals to strengthen their ability to effectively cope with difficult emotions, then we work together to process and integrate traumatic memories. Lastly, we strive to restore a sense of connection to community and to find meaning in personal activities. By working together in a safe space, we can use therapy as an opportunity to move beyond hurt and into a place of acceptance and healing. Andrea's Full Bio

Ramona Kotke Gapp
My experience with treating trauma includes a vast array of issues including childhood sexual abuse, rape, war, terrorism, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, and complicated grief. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which is the therapy of choice for posttraumatic stress disorder. My approach is compassionate and my focus is your more
Before processing any trauma experience in session I will ensure you have resources to ground yourself and self-soothe. I teach relaxation techniques, mindfulness and encourage meditation and yoga practice to promote wellness. At the completion of EMDR therapy, painful memories that used to create a dramatic body response when brought to mind, now feel neutral and you can now apply positive beliefs about yourself when bringing the memory to mind such as “I am okay now” or “That was awful and I am strong". Ramona's Full Bio

Danielle Moody
Unfortunately, trauma can happen to any one of us and sometimes, more than once which can lead to what is often called "complex trauma." This can lead to all kinds of unwanted thoughts, feelings, behaviours and body sensations that we might not realize is a result of the unfortunate experience(s) we have had. more
When I work with these kinds of issues in therapy, I draw from evidence-based therapies to help individuals recover and ultimately, reclaim their lives. I also believe that the body holds a tremendous amount of wisdom and can be an important resource and conduit of healing, if we are open to listening to it. Danielle’s Full Bio

Lisa McMorrow
Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.” The effect of trauma is not something we choose, yet it is something we are faced with and it can interfere with the quality of our daily more
After experiencing trauma, we may be more fearful or carry with us a deep sense of shame, regret or guilt. To us, what used to be ordinary and part of our regular routine may seem overwhelming, even unsafe and the familiar foundation we were able to depend on is now unfamiliar and unsteady. The good news is that healing from trauma is possible. In session I strive to offer a safe space to compassionately address trauma in an integrative and sensitive way. I also consider the unique qualities and needs of each individual and will introduce art-based strategies if needed. Lisa's Full Bio

Renée Dangerfield
Research has shown that when trauma is not resolved or healed specific experiences (related to the senses that were activated during the traumatic event) may get re-activated for a long more
When our brain continues to function in state of hyper-vigilance (fight, flight, freeze), we may not feel physically or emotionally safe and may struggle to have a feeling of well-being. Trauma-informed approaches to therapy should always include: choice and collaboration to support you to gain a sense of trust, safety, and empowerment.Renée's Full Bio

Katherine Henderson
Surviving traumatic experiences can leave a deep mark on us emotionally, psychologically, and physically. We may find ourselves overwhelmed, alone, and unable to move on. Whether these past experiences were a single incident event, or repeated and extended periods of abuse, the possibility of healing is within all of more
My approach to trauma therapy is gentle yet powerful. I believe in the necessity of using a holistic framework that integrates body, mind, and emotions. I strive to ensure my clients feel a sense of safety, by armouring them with effective coping resources, and powerful strategies to soothe emotional and physical distress. My trauma training includes evidence-based therapeutic interventions including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Somatically informed EMDR, as well as Hakomi Psychotherapy. Katherine's Full Bio

Kristeen Britton
Experiencing trauma, whether it's a single incident or a series of events, can have a lasting impact on our more
My approach to trauma therapy is forward-facing and emphasizes coping with difficult emotions and sensations, and then processing traumatic events and limiting beliefs, often through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In the end, we will work to reconnect you to your life and community so that you can move forward after your trauma. Kristeen's Full Bio

the right fit

At River’s Edge Counselling Centre, we work with each new client to ensure they are matched to the right therapist. See how we do it: