AREAS OF TREATMENT
Hope Counselling Clinic works with clients that struggle with numerous issues some of which are listed below. Among the areas listed below we are especially skilled at working with current or ongoing trauma, childhood trauma, dissociative disorders and personality disorders.
TRAUMA – CURRENT / ONGOING AND CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
Trauma is any event that occurs that makes us feel like a situation or incident is too much for us to cope with. Trauma can be related to a single incident or ongoing like repeated and enduring childhood neglect.
Some of the symptoms of trauma are, denial, shock, disbelief, confusion, loss of memory, anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, self-blame, anger, irritability, feeling sad or hopeless, feeling disconnected or numb, withdrawal from others.
Processing trauma involves grappling with and understanding what is happening to you psychologically, emotionally and physically, how to manage the emotions and memories that crop up and how to cope with daily life and heal from these deep wounds.
Personality disorders are pervasive conditions that develop over an individual’s life time, reach their peak and seemingly mellow as the person gets older. This is in no way indicative that people with personality disorders are easy to live with in their later years.
People with Personality disorders have deep wounds that are a result of having survived incredibly traumatic childhood experiences. They tend to have significant difficulty in all their relationships and have a hard time coping within their selves too.
Some people with a personality disorder may appear withdrawn, some dramatic and emotional, and others odd or eccentric. The one thing they have in common is that their symptoms are severe enough to affect many different areas of life. Due to the nature of these disorders, it can be difficult for people to recognise what is going on.
Often family members suffer when living with a person with a personality disorder. Counselling and psychotherapy can help them to develop insight into their condition, manage symptoms and relate more positively to others.
ANXIETY AND POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Everyone is familiar with anxiety. There are some situations that naturally trigger a sense of anxiety for us, say for example attending an interview or facing financial problems. Anxiety might manifest as physical symptoms like sharp chest pains, palpitations, sweating, heaviness and extreme restless in the body.
Some may even suffer from panic attacks or PTSD like symptoms. Some symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks and stress that’s constant ongoing and seemingly out of proportion to the event.
Untreated anxiety can get worse and cause more stress in a person’s life. However, anxiety is highly treatable with therapy, natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and medication. Find the combination that works for you.
Unfortunately low self-esteem is more common than one may think. There are a lot of issues that stem out of this being the root cause of people’s distress. You may struggle with standing up for yourself, being assertive, identifying and stating your needs, wants and feelings. You may believe your voice is not important and that you don’t matter. You may have learned that the best way to get through life is by getting by with as little attention on you as possible. Making choices or decision making becomes a serious struggle. In relationships you may struggle with insecurity and jealousy. You may believe you are not deserving or worthy of people loving you or good things happening to you. However, with counselling you can learn to love yourself and treat yourself with kindness and respect, thus improving your relation with yourself and people around you.
Typically a client sees a therapist once a week, sometimes twice.
In a 12 hour intensive, broken into three 4 hour sessions, a client can cover a big chunk of trauma related work in a short span of time and experience quicker relief.
This is helpful for those who are in town for just a short while, or for those who would like to speed up the process by covering a major chunk and then meet at longer intervals if need be.
Because it is an intensive plan it flows seamlessly and without interruptions
There might be other factors of urgency why a person may choose an intensive.
SEXUAL ABUSE AND RAPE
Today we are all too familiar with sexual abuse and rape. Sexual abuse is considered an act of violence against another and is any behaviour or act forced on to a woman, man or child without their consent.
Let’s break the stigma and shame around this issue. If this is you, if you have suffered any sort of sexual abuse or molestation please reach out and seek help. You are not alone and what happened was not your fault.
Depression is a mental health condition where an individual suffers from low moods, loss of interest in previously favoured activities or altered energy levels. Eating and sleeping cycles may get affected, or one may have a constant sense of hopelessness and despair. Experiencing crying spells or bouts of sadness without understanding what brought it on can add to the distress. Suicidal ideations are not uncommon in depression
Depression can be clinical or situational. Treatment usually involves either medication or support from a counsellor. In some cases, both together work best.
Eating disorders is a condition where people experience severe disturbances in their eating behaviours and related thoughts and emotions. People with eating disorders typically become pre-occupied with food and their body weight. Eating disorders can become life consuming and people suffering from this cannot “just get over it”. Their entire thought process around food is much more complicated for them than for regular people. Eating disorders are not just problems related to women, men also suffer from these challenges. if you are suffering from an eating disorder do consider treatment as they are treatable conditions.
Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are involuntary and cause problems with functioning in everyday life. Dissociative disorders are frequently associated with previous experiences of extreme trauma. It is a break in how your mind handles information and can affect your sense of identity and your perception of time
Feeling detached or outside one’s body, loss of memory, loss of time are just a few examples of dissociative symptoms.
If you notice that you have been dissociating, there are some grounding exercises on the RESOURCES page. You could try a few of these and of course do seek treatment and support.
GRIEF AND LOSS
Grief is usually triggered when there has been a loss. It could be the passing away of a loved one or it could be the loss of a relationship, a job, a way of life, a home or a community. One can grieve the loss of anything one is attached to. Grief is not only an emotional response,it has cognitive, behavioural, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical implications too. The more significant a loss the more deeply a person is affected and the more deeply they grieve.
Grief can leave you feeling sad, angry, bitter, shocked, regretful, overwhelmed, isolated and numb. Each individual grieves differently and in their own way. Some people grieve for weeks, some for months and others for years
Grief can be processed through therapy so one does not have to keep suffering.
Struggling with your sexuality can be a huge emotional challenge. It’s even more difficult if friends, family members or your community don’t understand or accept you. While sexuality and gender orientation are not in and of themselves risk factors for suicide, it is true that the LGBTQ community individuals sometimes face social factors, like discrimination, that put them at a higher risk for emotional distress and suicidal ideations.
These negative outcomes are not inevitable as a result of a sexual minority status but their occurrence may increase due to the discrimination, marginalization, and isolation that are often associated with being LGBTQ. If you are struggling and you need support feel free to reach out.
A phobia is an irrational fear of something that’s unlikely to cause harm. When someone has a phobia, they experience intense fear of a certain object or situation. Phobias are different from regular fears because they cause significant distress, possibly interfering with life at home, work, or school. People with phobias actively avoid the phobic object or situation, or endure it with intense fear or anxiety.
Phobias are curable with the right treatment. There is hope, you can regain your life and live phobia free.
Stella is incredibly good at what she does. Not only is she extremely competent, she is empathetic and takes the time to get to know you and where you are coming from, your unique situation and challenges.
There is absolutely no judgement (which I found to be the case with other therapists/counsellors I worked with). She creates an environment of safety which is essential for being able to really open up.
She is very astute and I never felt the need to hide any “bad” feelings from her. I could go at my own pace.
You can sense that she really cares about her clients and their healing, recovery and transformation. She uses a variety of techniques and modalities combined with her specialization in EMDR. I found this integrative approach very effective.
I took the Intensive Therapy with Stella. This is multiple hours of work on consecutive days over a few days. This process really helped because it was concentrated. There was a natural flow and we did not have to leave unfinished pieces until the next week etc. It was hard work, but really worth it. It has done me a world of good in a short amount of time.
I could write a lot about Stella, but I will say this, I was lucky to have found such an amazing human being as my therapist and counsellor. Thank you Stella for all you do and how you change lives!