Trauma is typically described as a distressing event that affects you emotionally, psychologically and/or physically. Everyone will likely deal with some trauma in their lifetime. Some people, however, may not be able to recover from it, and the trauma will continue to impact their lives long after the event has taken place.
When a past trauma continues to affect your health and well-being negatively, you must speak to counsellors professionally trained in identifying and treating trauma in Edmonton. The caring, compassionate team at Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. is here to help you for as long as you need it.
There are two types of trauma, namely:
For many, childhood trauma can result in a cycle of unsuccessful adult relationships, work challenges, depression, stress, gambling, overeating, poor physical health, addictions, and other disorders. While some childhood trauma victims turn to alcohol and drugs as teenagers, others manage to overcome it until their own child reaches the age at which they were traumatized.
While some people are subjected to trauma regularly (doctors, EMTs, etc.), most adults can also be traumatized due to an accident or an injury. For others, the danger of trauma is a constant concern due to troubled family relationships, drug problems, or a toxic work atmosphere. Whether the trauma is one-time and sudden, like a car accident, or chronic, such as depression, it can leave a significant impact on your life nevertheless.
Upon recollection of an incident, symptoms of trauma appear on a spectrum, ranging from mild responses like a rapid heart rate or irritation to severe traumatic reactions involving fainting spells and violent nightmares. Our counsellors use trauma therapy strategies to help you calibrate the trauma and reduce or even eliminate the traumatic effect the incident has imprinted on your mind and body.
The counsellors at Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. strive to help you deal with and understand the cause and start to heal your mind and body. We'll teach you healthy and effective coping methods and how to manage and even completely overcome your symptoms. Our office maintains a safe, confidential environment for everyone and encourages open and honest communication. Your counsellor will be unbiased and gently guide the discussion without ever being disrespectful to you or your situation.
Have you lost your significant other? Been involved in a major car accident? Have you ever served in the armed forces? If yes, then these can be some of the many sources of trauma for adults. Other traumatic events and situations include unresolved childhood trauma, losing a child of your own, sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, criminal acts, natural disasters, and the loss of relationships, both platonic and romantic. A situation could also be traumatic if it were deeply disappointing or humiliating for you. And remember, the same situation may not be as traumatic for someone else, as it was for you. Please don't be embarrassed or hesitant to seek help if you're struggling.
People seek counselling at different points following a trauma. Some might speak to a counsellor right after the fact, while others wait and only look for help after experiencing more distressing symptoms.
The symptoms of trauma may start within one month of a traumatic event; however, sometimes, symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and relationships, and it is important to identify them. Here is a list of common symptoms of trauma:
Anger or irritability
Aggressive or reckless behaviour
Shock or disbelief
Withdrawing from others
Body aches and pains
There are many other symptoms, and they can also affect people who have witnessed a traumatic event or have a close friend or family member who experienced it. The situation may not have happened to you, but you can still suffer physically and mentally, so please talk to a counsellor. We encourage any victim or witness of trauma to rest, avoid alcohol and drugs, eat well, and reduce their stressors.
Many people believe trauma and PTSD to be the same, but both are quite different. Trauma is an unexpected event or series of events that can have devastating effects physically or psychologically. People respond to trauma in different ways. For some, the issues settle; however, the consequences can be so severe that it interferes with an individual's ability to live an everyday life for a smaller percentage. PTSD is a result of trauma. Those who experience trauma more than once can sometimes experience behavioural, social, and emotional issues afterward, which can be called PTSD.
In most cases, traumatic events stay in our awareness for some time, but with family and friends, some people manage to process the event and return to normal daily functioning. But many suffer from post-traumatic symptoms for a short period of time, even after they are leading a normal life. Some may also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to exposure to a traumatic incident.
The therapy approach at Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. will depend on your situation and the type of trauma suffered. Even if you think you've healed from whatever happened, trauma symptoms may resurface on the anniversary of the event or if something reminds you of it. This makes counselling even more important, as we can give you tools to cope for the future and be there for you if something comes up and you need to talk. We can also speak to your loved ones to ensure they understand to help you best.
Trauma is difficult to overcome at any age, but there is help available. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 780-433-2269.
As a parent or caregiver, you want to protect your child from anything that causes serious and long-term harm. Sadly, you can't protect your child from everything and childhood trauma can happen. Thankfully, there is help available. You can always turn to Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. for child counselling in Edmonton. Our patient and caring counsellors will work with your child to get to the root of the problem and help him, or her get on the path towards recovery.
We provide a safe, confidential space where your child can speak freely without fear of ridicule or judgement. As child psychologists in Edmonton, we specialize in working with children to offer suitable therapy in a calm and supportive environment. Psychotherapy with experienced therapists can help your child open up and talk about things they may not feel comfortable revealing to you. It's important that your child can develop trusting relationships with other adults and have someone outside of the family unit that they can confide in when a traumatic situation occurs.
A child psychologist is equipped with the knowledge and training to handle the unique therapy requirements. When it comes to counselling for children, understanding the world from their perspective is vital. A regular counsellor might not be able to do so, whereas a child therapist can. It is also important to note that the mode of counselling that is effective for a child from a certain age group might not be useful for a younger or older child. For example, your four-year-old child might require a very different form of counselling than a teenager. When you entrust a child psychologist, you can be assured that your child receives therapy suitable for his or her age group.
At Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd., we offer child therapy in Edmonton along with online counselling with a nuanced view of how your child’s brain works. If you are looking for a reliable child therapist in Edmonton, rely on us for guiding your child through the difficult phase they might be going through.
We can help you, as parents, learn how to become active listeners when their child presents emotional material. With us, you can also learn how to help your child overcome trauma by utilizing EMDR therapy to help your child reprocess the traumatic event to resolution. Working with the family when the traumatic event(s) occurred within the family unit is important, and you can count on us for it. This, in turn, will result in a stronger long-term relationship between you and your child.
For some children, expressive arts therapy helps them reprocess traumatic events by drawing or painting their experience and then telling the story of their art to our therapists. This is another form of therapy that we will utilize depending on your child’s needs.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a scientifically approved procedure to heal people who have been through a traumatic event. This technique is used to treat anxiety, guilt, sadness, anger, illogical thoughts, resentment, phobias, and other post-traumatic responses, such as recurring thoughts and nightmares. It can also be used to boost emotional strength, including self-esteem and confidence.
Children have impressionable brains. Consequently, exposure to any kind of overwhelming event might leave a negative imprint. Violent, frightening, and life-threatening incidents can all lead to trauma. Children also seek solace after witnessing or experiencing physical or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, terrorist events, loss of a parent through death or divorce, hospitalization, natural disasters, or any other incident that causes them extreme distress.
It might be challenging for you to determine if your child is suffering from a trauma of some kind. However, you can always look for behavioural clues if you suspect your child is dealing with distress. Some of the common symptoms of trauma in children include:
Withdraw or dissociate A child going through trauma withdraws himself from social interactions and/or his interests. Such a child remains aloof most of the time, shying away from his boundaries and needs proper counselling to get over such behaviour.
Uncontrolled temper If your child is outraged on small things, it is quite natural that your child suffers from trauma. It is necessary to look into his activities in order to identify his mental condition.
Sadness A continuous sadness in a child’s behaviour is a symptom of chronic trauma your child has been facing. It is quite unnatural for a child to remain so for a longer time. Such sadness may even lead to other mental illnesses during his growing stages.
Nervousness and concern for safety for self and others Children are usually born carefree and tend to laugh and enjoy during their growing age. A child who is usually nervous shows a symptom of trauma that may have caused some reason. Such a child may also tend to worry or have a safety concern, not just for his own self but also for others. This is in a way unnatural and needs to be quickly attended to.
Nausea and trouble sleeping Constant sleeplessness is unnatural when children require a minimum of 12 to 16 hours of sleep, depending upon their growth stage. Such children are usually traumatized for some reason and hence find difficulty in sleeping. They may usually feel nauseated and need medical treatment for a healthy mind.
Flashbacks and/or feeling as if they are in the trauma all over again Children's minds are quite vulnerable to harsh incidents, and a traumatized child would keep remembering the incident making him fall into the traps of trauma over and over again. It isn't easy for such children to get over it, and they need proper medical treatment to restore their mental health.
Retelling their story again and again A traumatized child may seek redressal for the grieving mind. Wanting relief from the trauma, a child will fall into the habit of repeating the stories over and over again.
Cling for emotional support A child suffering from trauma demands emotional support and would try gaining attention towards him to help him ease from the uneasy mental state.
Bedwetting Bedwetting is a common symptom of traumatized children. Such a child demands healthy counselling to feel the mental peace within.
Troublesome behaviour that's out of character for your child is generally a sign that something is wrong, but you still may not know what the anger or sadness stems from. Edmonton's child counselling services can bring the source of the trauma to light, allowing us to help them understand their emotions, express their thoughts, and learn useful coping skills.
Children often turn to the people they are closest to after a traumatic incident. As you listen to their story, you want to empathize with their emotional experience. This creates safety allowing your child to tell and perhaps retell their story of a traumatic event. You can also create a haven for your child as you:
Establish daily routines for meals, school, play and sleep
Answer his or her questions
Express that you are in control and will protect him or her
Work through behavioural issues with him or her
Offer a safe place by keeping him or her close to you
Learn to become an active listener
In addition to any necessary professional help in the form of child therapy, these actions allow the child to feel comfortable and safe in different situations and environments. If you feel you need child psychologists' services in Edmonton, call our office at 780-433-2269 to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.