areas of specialization » trauma and abuse

Trauma and abuse are more common than all of us would like to think …


‘Trauma is not what happens to you, it is what happens inside you’  Gabor Maté

Currently we know that trauma and abuse are much more common than previously thought. People experience trauma during or after abuse of all kinds – sexual, physical, emotional, mental, and psychological.

A background of trauma and abuse can seriously affect how well people are able to function in their daily lives.

Many psychological, emotional and even physical disorders stem from some type of trauma and/or abuse. For  example, extreme life-threatening experiences (war, famine, environmental disasters, homelessness) are easily linked to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Verbal, emotional or psychological abuse can be equally harmful. People who have been a victim of violence or bullying, or witness to these behaviors often suffer from CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder).

Panic attacks are often caused by trauma and abuse of some kind, as are a wide range of anxiety and substance use disorders.

In my Toronto practice, clients suffering from trauma and abuse often come to therapy because they have learned to cope with what have become unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. These can include disordered eating, poor anger management, dissociation or disconnection from emotions, codependence, addiction and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

In some instances, clients can be unaware of the trauma and abuse underlying their situation. For example, in order to survive, they may have forgotten or repressed memories of sexual abuse (including rape, sexual assault, and incest).

In other instances, clients may be able to recall some elements of the trauma and abuse, such as emotional neglect, but lack the skills and know-how to move beyond.

In still other instances, clients may have no idea that they have been traumatized – they might just see themselves as failures.

Healing is rarely a straightforward process

Dealing with the impact of trauma and abuse, like much of psychotherapy, is rarely a straightforward process. In my practice, I use a variety of approaches based on each client’s current needs and level of awareness.

If you are dealing with trauma and abuse, and would like some professional support, just fill out the contact form on the right-hand menu and I’ll get back to you asap.