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Relational Somatic Therapy (RST)

Relational Somatic Therapy (RST)

Uses touch, imagery and movement

Somatic therapy, an approached based on science from neurobiology; uses touch, imagery and movement allowing traumatic body memories to find completion. RST can be thought of as the scientific study of the mind/body interface. It involves becoming consciously aware of body (soma) sensations. RST studies how our body sensations relate to our thoughts, actions and our perception or lens of how we see and relate to the world.

The Relational part of RST refers to how we relate to others utilizing attachment based theory. RST understanding that our learned attachment styles in childhood create a framework or lens of how we view/ relate to others in the world.

For more details on the SRT program visit: openingtograce.com

Chronic Pain Counselling & Management

Chronic Pain Counselling & Management

Focuses on pain management

Focused on pain management and common symptoms such as depression, anxiety and central sensitization. Pain is our body's alarm system letting us know when something is wrong and needing our attention. Our alarm system is located in the amygdala next to the brain stem. The brain stem is concerned with our survival so when we experience pain we respond in a very instinctual way. Pain triggers a release of adrenaline putting our nervous system into action mode leading to the fight/ flight and freeze response. Notice how when we experience a sharp pain we wince, our muscle tighten, we lean forward, our jaw tightens and our vision becomes narrow - these are all instinctual responses preparing our body for action. Being in a adrenaline, fight/ flight response is draining for our bodies, we are only meant to be in this state for about 15 minutes before it starts to drain the system.

Meditation and mindfulness is an important practice to reduce pain and relax the nervous system. If you are experiencing chronic pain it is important to seek counselling support. CBT, mindfulness and meditation have all shown meaningful changes in the brain in short periods of time.

Video: Understanding Central Sensitization

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)       &     Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Therapy using mindfulness & meditation

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, or DBT is a mindfulness based, coping skill  based practice developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT has famously helped many individuals struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, we now understand this mindfulness-skill based practice can help us all. DBT utilizes a workbook that provides easy step by step instructions for struggles like; nightmares, knowing when to end destructive relationships, asking for your needs to be met and more. See the toolbox for more information.

Cognitive (thinking) Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is a well researched method used for helping people change their feelings by changing their thoughts and behaviours. This is useful in all facets of our lives to help us deal with unwanted feelings.

CBT Triangle: The three components of the CBT triangle demonstrate the interconnection between thoughts, feelings/body sensations, and behaviours. If one side of the triangle changes, the remaining two sides invariably change.

CBT Triangle

List of common illnesses treated: chronic pain, central sensitization, fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety and depression, addictions. As well as trauma and sexual abuse.

Trauma-Informed Skills

Trauma-Informed Skills

Trauma-Informed Skills and Therapy Models

 

Holding presence is the most essential skill a counsellor can have (Haley, 2014, p. 2). To hold presence means that each person's life and story is unique, and you, the client, will be the expert. This client-centred approach will try various trauma-informed practices and skills to find the best fit for you.

Attachment therapy helps us understand the unique way we view and build relationships. We all want secure relationships. When our secure attachment system is triggered, we feel safe, and our breathing is slowed, our body relaxes, we feel seen and heard. Feeling secure comes naturally to individuals born in secure households. A great deal of healing attachment wounds is possible and even common in adulthood. 

However, in households where love was coupled with fear and violence, it is difficult to trust. This kind of fear of a caregiver often creates a disorganized attachment system. With a disorganized system, we constantly feel pulled toward love while also frozen with fear. We work with this system by separating out the fear, assessing it and letting go of what is no longer needed. 

A preoccupation with the other person highlights the anxious attachment system. We can be so consumed with getting love it can be hard to acknowledge the love we have. We often struggle with our self-worth and need constant reassurance. It is helpful to notice the ways we are loved and cared for when this system is triggered. It is also important to ask for our needs to be met; otherwise, resentment builds. 

It is not as common to have individuals with an avoidant attachment system come to counselling. The avoidant person does not realize that other people can meet their needs. They are very independent and value alone time. Usually, it is only through experiencing being loved and cared for that this individual realizes what they were missing. 

Dr. Richard Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems Therapy. In this work, we connect to our most authentic sense of self. Self-care helps us to connect to this best version of ourselves. We all have different parts of ourselves that develop over time to help us deal with stress and trauma. These various parts are there to help us cope with stress, but without awareness, they can repeat old unhelpful patterns of strategies. I have found that we tend to feel our best when we spend more time with our authentic selves.


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Embodiment Counselling

Please note that Tara is not currently accepting referrals.