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  • Psychotherapy For Post- Traumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    My name is Rupika Sharma and I am a Registered Psychotherapist, Founder & Director of The Trauma Healing Center. To my credits are formal trainings in EMDR from Niagara Stress & Trauma Centre, Certified Solution-Focused Therapist (CSFT) by CCPC Global, trained at the University of Toronto, Clinical Traumatologist from the Bear Institute, Toronto and Member of Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals (OAMHP) in good standing. My core mandates while working with my clients are to offer them a safe and non-judgmental space where they can receive compassion and empathetic witness to their life experiences. I am a firm believer that we all are experts of our own life and solutions lie within us. We just need someone to guide us through the right path. With this belief and hope in mind, I work compassionately and ethically with clients and offer non-judgmental, empathetic and confidential services. I speak English, Hindi and Punjabi.

    The word trauma can itself generate a lot of emotions irrespective if you have gone through one or witnessed. Trauma is an emotional response to an event that causes overwhelm to an individual who is rendered helpless due to the overwhelming power of the force. The force could be that of nature like disasters- floods, earthquakes, storms, hurricanes or of human being to that of atrocities like rape, murder, or accident. A traumatic event overwhelms the individual who loses a sense of control, connection and meaning. Traumatic event generally involves threats to life or bodily integrity, or a close personal encounter with violence and death. It generates extreme responses of helplessness and terror and generates the responses of catastrophe. According to the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, the common denominator of psychological trauma is a feeling of “intense fear, helplessness, loss of control and thereat of annihilation”.

    At The Trauma Healing Center ( ) , all our therapists are familiar with employing a trauma informed lens to understand the needs and requirements of bringing in evidence-based interventions to facilitate the process of healing and recovery.

    PTSD, or Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder that occur as a response in people who have been through or witnessed a traumatic event such as natural disasters, a terrorist act, war, a serious accident, sexual violence, abuse, and/or threatened with death.

    Diagnostic criteria of PTSD according to DSM-V can be categorised as follows:

    A. The event

    The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death, physical injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.

    B. Intrusion

    1. Intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event;
    2. Recurrent dreams/nightmares;
    3. Acting or feeling as if event were recurring
    4. Psychology distress when exposed to reminders of events.
    5. Physiological distress when exposed to reminders of events

    C. Persistent Avoidance of Trauma Reminders Event(s)

    1. Efforts to avoid thoughts or feelings associated with event;
    2. Efforts to avoid activities or situations, which arouse recollection;

    D. Negative Changes to Thoughts & Mood associated with a Traumatic Event(s)

    1. Inability to recall important aspects of the trauma
    2. Persistent and exaggerated negative expectations about one’s self, others, or the world;
    3. Persistent negative self-appraisals (i.e. guilt);
    4. Pervasive negative moods (i.e., depression, anxiety);
    5. Diminished interest or participation in significant activities;
    6. Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others;
    7. Restricted range of affect in the capacity to experience positive emotion

    E. Changes in Arousal & Reactivity associated with a Traumatic Event(s)

    1. Irritable or aggressive behavior;
    2. Reckless or self-destructive behavior;
    3. Hypervigilance;
    4. Exaggerated startle response;
    5. Difficulty concentrating;
    6. Difficulty falling or staying asleep;

    Other associated features and symptoms of PTSD include: sadness and depression, self-destructive behaviors, relationship problems, somatization, feelings of being overwhelmed, guilt, shame, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, memory impairment and forgetfulness, survival guilt and anxiety. Some dissociative symptoms include: depersonalization, hallucination- auditory or visual, derealization, amnesia, and structural dissociations.

    Please note PTSDs are often misdiagnosed as OCD, ADD/ADHD, Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders like borderline, antisocial, narcissistic.

    Who can diagnose PTSD?

    A registered psychologist and psychiatrist can diagnose PTSD when presented upon with symptoms resulting out of a traumatic event. Psychotherapists and counsellors are equipped with tools that help manage the symptoms and offer evidence-based treatment to ensure emotional safety, stabilization, processing and recovery plan.

    Treatment of Trauma and PTSD:

    Therapy and counselling along with or without prescribed medication have been used to treat symptoms of trauma and PTSD. Our therapists at The Trauma Healing Center employ evidence-based approaches to support the recovery process of clients.

    Some of the most suitable approaches for the treatment of trauma and PTSD are:

    -Cognitive behavioral therapy
    -EMDR (Eye movement desensitization & Reprocessing
    -Internal Family Systems (IFS or parts work)
    -EFT (Emotional freedom therapy)
    -Somatic approaches

    Our team at The Trauma Healing Center are formally trained in CBT and other modalities like EFT, DBT, EMDR, Mindfulness based approaches, IFS, ACT to facilitate the management of symptoms of depression and anxiety. Our therapists also use the trauma informed context if they understand that client’s trauma response as a result of a traumatic event(s).

    Please book your appointment to work with a therapist who can facilitate the process of healing and change.: