I do things differently.
I treat PEOPLE. Not disorders.
It’s easy to forget that in our complicated medical system. At SoulScapes, my solutions are designed to solve problems, while keeping you at the center of everything I do. My clients often come to me after years of counselling attempts have failed, making me the “green mile” of counselling clinics!
When you partner with me, it’s a whole new world of possibilities…
Throw out everything you think you know about working with counsellors and therapists… With Soulscapes Counselling & Art Therapy, it’s a whole new ballgame. I’m taking a stand against mediocre results, endless sessions, and strategies that don’t work. It’s time for a smarter, more wholistic approach to success and wellness, and I’m here to deliver it. I understand that rapidly changing technology, demanding lifestyles, and community values can make everyday life challenging. I believe that research-based, natural approaches, and a strong therapeutic alliance can build a new way of living and position you as a leader on your path to wholeness.
My counselling and support approach is drug-free, grounded in scientific research, trauma-informed, and based on changing the way your brain functions. This matters to you because the brain is the core of all behaviour choices and changes. Lasting results come only from internal transformation that not only changes WHAT you think, but literally HOW you think. I treat the spectrum of struggles, and will get you the results you’re looking for… fast… and permanently.
Anxiety & Trauma
- Acute Panic
- Generalized Anxiety
- Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Sexual Abuse Recovery
- Low Self Esteem
- Stress Management
- Life Transitions
Addiction & Recovery
- Drug & Alcohol Recovery
- Problem Gambling Recovery
- Affected Others
Marriage & Family
- Couples & Family Counselling
- Stay or Go
- Separation & Divorce
- Supervised Access
- Conflict Resolution
- Relational Therapy
- Compassion Fatigue
- Grief Recovery
- Residential School Abuse
- Multicultural Issues
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:
- tightening in the throat
- rapid heartbeat
- rapid breathing
- tightness in the chest
- need to void
- temporary paralysis
Everyone has some type of experience with anxiety. The anxiety mechanism is part of our survival system and is a necessary aspect of life. It brings with it feelings of worry, apprehension, doom, and overwhelm. It can bring up thoughts like, “I’m going to die!” or “I have to go.” It can feel like you are going to lose control or like you are going crazy.
Anxiety, at the simplest level, is your body’s alarm system working to keep you either alive or happy. It will tell you when there is an immediate threat, or that you are making decisions that are not in your best interest. Therefore, it is something to be embraced and respected, not shunned.
The problem is that it is partially a learned behaviour that can be activated at improper times leaving individuals feeling like a slave to their brains and bodies. The sensations are indeed unpleasant because they are designed to motivate. When prolonged, these feelings of distress can have a negative impact on the function of the brain and psyche. For some, mis-timed anxiety can be debilitating.
There is hope if you suffer with chronic anxiety.
Anxiety has a fairly simply mechanism that functions like the on/off switch for a light. With practise, you can learn to flip it off any time it goes on without good reason.
The approach is 2-fold:
- learn how to tolerate and manage the acute symptoms of anxiety
- build natural resources that increase confidence and permit a thriving sense of self
Unless you address BOTH of these issues, life will be about anxiety management when it should be about enjoying the best life possible.
Anxiety has numerous causes and triggers, but the mechanism is essentially the same whether you suffer chronic anxiety or acute phobia. Appropriate treatment can reduce symptoms in as little as a single treatment. Some take a little longer to recover.
If you are suffering with fear and anxiety, help is a phone call away. The practitioners at Soulscapes Counselling are living proof that recovery is possible.
Symptoms of Addiction:
- change in appearance
- lack of hygiene
- changes in appetite
- anxiety symptoms
- loss of interest
- financial distress
- secretive behaviour
- changes in personality
- volatile moods
Much like anxiety, the mechanism behind addiction is survival. The brain and body have decided that whatever one’s drug of choice, that “thing” is somehow necessary for survival. When a person is in pain, the brain searches the memory banks of experience looking for something that has helped in the past. The goal is to stop the unpleasant feeling causing the pain, and it functions like “flight” or “dissociation.” It is, in effect, a form of escape.
This makes treating addiction difficult as the drive mechanism behind is very strong, and the brain’s #1 job is survival. Threatening to take away an object of an addictive drive can be experienced by some as a literal threat to their life.
All people are addicted to something, both positive and negative. If we treat it as a disease, we deny our responsibility for developing control. If we treat it like a behaviour problem, we deny the physiological role.
Like the treatment for anxiety, the treatment for addiction is 2-fold:
- learn to work with and tolerate the uncomfortable sensations of life
- build competence that leads to better options and an increase sense of self worth.
It is important to treat addiction as early as possible as the longer it is permitted to function, the more deeply entrenched it becomes in the body, making treatment more resistant and unpleasant. Very often, unresolved trauma is both a causative and sustaining factor in addiction. The practitioners at Soulscapes Counselling are acutely acquainted with the distress of addiction and how it impacts entire families. We have designed programs specifically for the treatment of addiction. Help is a call away.
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS
Symptoms of PTSD:
- intrusive thoughts
- distress triggers
- avoidance behaviours
- intolerance for sensations
- irritability or outbursts
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty sleeping
- overwhelming shame
- risky behaviour
- suicidal ideation
Post Traumatic Stress is hell for the sufferer, and destroys families. It traps the survivor in a pattern of terror, addiction, destruction and shame. The effects of this then transfer to loved ones as they witness the chaos. Often, the survivor becomes the scapegoat for everything that is wrong with a family, which only perpetuates the shame that comes with it.
PTSD is most often associated with some kind of catastrophic event. This impact is more obvious. What people don’t seem to realize is that small events in childhood that most would pass off as minor can have huge traumatic impact for a person predisposed to develop the disorder.
A “trauma” is any event that an individual views as beyond their ability to overcome. Even if they are able to survive the event, the psyche can freeze up as if the person had died, creating an internal conflict. In this sense, the traumatic event never completed but has continued into the present moment unless or until the survivor develops new competence sufficient to overcome. To confuse it more, onset of symptoms can be delayed by years, making it difficult to determine the source or cause of the distress. And symptoms may come and go at different times.
It is important to remember that the brain and body are always seeking to restore and recover. Sometimes the symptoms of this process seem like anything but helpful! The trouble with PTSD as these defensive mechanisms become confused with the personality and the survivor is no longer presenting themselves to the world as an authentic person, but as a defended, unpleasant, chaotic stranger. Ironically, the defences are designed to “repel.” If you have experienced an individual with PTSD, you may understand this statement.
Standard treatment includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Drugs, and EMDR. At Soulscapes, we apply a proprietary method for working with individuals and families affected by Post Traumatic Stress.
Rather than multiple disorders, we see the symptoms of PTSD on the same spectrum as Anxiety and Addiction, for which the treatment is similar:
- learn to recognize, tolerate, and manage the physiological sensations of the stress
- learn the skills necessary to build confidence and a healthy sense of self worth.
What’s with this “self worth” component that keeps reappearing? The problem with trauma is NOT the event. It’s the impact to the sense of self going forward. If you came away from an event feeling inferior, you will approach future events with the same sense of inferiority. This forces you into the defences behind the strange, destructive behaviours of PTSD. With more options and a stronger sense of self, the drive that sustains PTSD symptoms is undermined.
Treating PTSD requires specific knowledge and skills to prevent retraumatization, and/or secondary trauma in the therapist. Be sure your practitioner is trauma-informed and able to use the full spectrum of treatment. Our proprietary program was written by survivors of trauma. Survival is not enough. Come and learn how to thrive.