Trauma-Informed Counselling

Trauma-Informed Counselling Services in Calgary

Trauma-Informed Counselling (TIC) is different than Trauma Counselling or Therapy. TIC is an approach and perspective that is meant to guide and support many therapeutic modalities and provide the foundation when treating a number of specific issues. Sana Psychological provides Trauma-Informed Counselling services for Addiction and Mental Health issues in Calgary and virtual services throughout Alberta. They do not specialize in trauma care.

Addiction and mental health treatment that is trauma-informed

At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott, Registered Psychologist, specializes in Addiction Psychology. Not everyone who has Addiction has experienced trauma, and not everyone who has experienced trauma has Addiction.

However, there is a complicated relationship between trauma and Addiction. Many individuals who develop Addiction have had adverse experiences in their young or adult life that seem to propel or compound ongoing challenges. Once Addiction issues have begun to manifest, these behaviours often expose people to risky situations that increase the risk of trauma, or of re-traumatization.

Paige provides compassionate, caring Addiction recovery support with the framework and understanding that you may have experienced trauma and that has impacted, and may continue to, impact you today.

What it means to provide trauma-informed counselling

 Paige Abbott, Registered Psychologist, believes that the traumatic events you have experienced are a part of who you are, not all of you. Trauma-informed counselling involves: 1) Realizing the prevalence of
trauma; 2) Recognizing how trauma affects all individuals; and 3)
Responding by putting this knowledge into practice. It also involves a recognition by the practitioner of their limitations in expertise. For this reason, Paige is very clear that she does not specialize in trauma therapy, which means treating the emotional, psychological, and mental effects of traumatic events directly. There are many practitioners out there who do and who practice specific modalities, like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy or Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). If you are experiencing ongoing symptoms that may be indicative of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it would be recommended that you seek out a specialized trauma therapist. 

Paige incorporates Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) into her Addiction and Mental Health Counselling, which is one of two therapies endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for those struggling with trauma. CBT involves an action-oriented approach that does not involve as much processing of past events, which some people find triggering. This approach will be incorporated amongst other therapeutic modalities to support you in your Addiction and Mental Health recovery journey from a Trauma-Informed perspective.

Trauma-informed counselling at Sana Psychological involves supporting you to build up coping tools, skills, and appreciate your resilience so that you are able to function in your life in the way you desire. Treatment at Sana Psychological will primarily focus on the Addiction and Mental Health issues you are struggling with while incorporating an understanding that traumatic reactions are normal reactions to abnormal situations. Some people find that by addressing their Addiction and Mental Health challenges and establishing a solid foundation of recovery, the impact of their past lessens and does not impair them in the present. This is not the case for everyone, however. If we are finding that the treatment approach used at Sana Psychological is not providing you the healing that you were hoping for, more specific and direct trauma care may be needed. We can help you determine an appropriate provider, as needed. Treatment at Sana Psychological follows an active, engaged, supportive process with recommendations being provided for things you can do out of sessions to support yourself.

How Do You Know if You or a Loved One Has Trauma and Would Benefit from Trauma Counselling?
Challenges with post-trauma symptoms can present themselves in a variety of different ways and stem from differing situations and events from our past or present. Below is an informal self-test to assist you in starting to gauge whether trauma counselling would be recommended.
Have you struggled with any of the following in the past 6 months?

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be a good time to start to explore trauma counselling. This will be more specialized, focused, and directive than the Trauma-Informed Counselling approach that Sana Psychological offers. These symptoms tend to appear only as mental health challenges and possible PTSD symptoms progress. While they may still be minimal and mild for you, it would be best to get proper support to prevent progression.

Treatment Approach

Addiction and Mental Health Services are provided using a Trauma-Informed approach. Therapy is approached from a hopeful, strengths-based stance.

At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott will work with you to identify goals, strengths, and tools that may be helpful to you in your journey of change. Addiction and Mental Health counselling is often longer-term issue and may require treatment of six months or longer. If this is not desired or possible, treatment will explore on building up coping tools and strategies to support you moving forward. The door is always open for you to return at any point in the future.

For all individuals, sessions are recommended every 1-3 weeks initially, depending on where you are at. There is always lots to learn about you at the beginning of the counselling process and, the more we know, the better able we can support you in helping yourself. After a few sessions at this frequency, it may be appropriate to expand the time frame to sessions every 2-6 weeks. This will be collaboratively decided between you and your psychologist, Paige Abbott. Sessions are offered in person and using Technology Assisted Counselling depending on need and preference.

The initial 1-2 sessions will involve gathering as much background information as possible about you, including: Strengths, available coping network and tools, and challenges. Information is gathered to know about all parts of you, not just your symptoms. Trauma-informed Counselling is about much more than just your symptoms and will involve exploration and development of relationships, self-care, grounding techniques, boundaries, communication, and more.

Paige Abbott has been trained in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and also incorporates elements of solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing into therapy, as needed. Follow-up appointments generally involve a check-in to see presenting issues and immediate things that have come up that you may want to process, follow-up on any suggestions provided in past appointments to get an idea of progress as well as roadblocks that are coming up, followed by more in-depth exploration of challenges, patterns, and coping. Sessions are active and engaged as Paige likes to ask lots of questions and provide reflections, challenges, and psychoeducation along the way. At any point if the therapeutic approach or goals need to be changed, please speak up and this will be processed. Sessions come from a non-judgmental, compassionate, empathetic place.

Logistics

Sessions are offered in person in Calgary, Alberta or by using Technology Assisted Counselling which can consist of phone or video sessions depending on need and preference. Cost is $200/session. Sessions are available to anyone who is in the province of Alberta at the time of appointment as this is Paige Abbott’s jurisdiction of licensure. Payment options include cash, debit, credit card, e-transfer, and direct billing with a number of different insurance carriers. All it takes to get started is an e-mail, phone call, or text to request an appointment.

Wherever you are at, Sana Psychological is happy to support you in your journey.