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Inherited Trauma, Complex PTSD and Emotional Trauma Recovery of your Nervous System

Somatic Experiencing ®, Concious Healing, Polyvagal Theory and Compassionate Inquiry.
Leading body-mind based oriented approaches to the healing of autonomic nervous system, PTSD and trauma symptoms.
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Whatever your situation is, our goal is to co-regulate your nervous system so you can feel safe in your body, heal the wounds of your emotional trauma, develop emotional resilience for future life challenges, help you find clarity, safety and gain back vital body.

Services Offered

Mindful, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practice

Trauma healing takes compassion, kindness, and a non-judgment environment. You are embarking on a road to learn to release and heal the pain that has held you oppressed for years. 

All Services
Adults with Childhood Trauma

Do you carry emotional wounds from your childhood even you care about your parents? Do you live a life by other people’s expectations, or you run your life from a base of fear, guilt, scarcity, or suppressed anger?

Inherited Trauma

Do you know you can unconsciously relive your mother’s anxiety or guilt? Repeat your father’s disappointments and bursts of anger? And do you know you can transfer the same to your children or partner? Legacy burdens and ancestors trauma is carried in our DNA  and it can be transformed.

Complex PTSD and PTSD

Healing and recovery from toxic shame, toxic inner critic, self-hatred, hypervigilance, depression, life dramatization and shock trauma such is car accident, gun violence or hospital stay.

Narcissist Abuse Survivors

Recovery and healing for anyone who has dealt with narcissistic abuse such as the adult children of narcissists ( parents, siblings, caregivers ) or are dealing with a narcissistic abuser ( partner, coworkers, boss).

Emotional Trauma Recovery

How does it work?

It is a four-stage approach that integrates Somatic Experiencing ®, Conscious Healing and Polyvagal Theory modalities among other trauma informed tools as IFS, Somatic Touch and Compassion Inquiry. This integrative body-based and mind-based practice is a leading-edge approach to trauma recovery on all levels: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. It will help you develop self-awareness and change the process of painful neurological patterns witch is rooted in your past trauma. It will empower you with emotional resilience for next life challenges.

Stage 1

Witnessing Stage: will teach you mindfulness skills that will help you notice and become aware of sensations and emotions in your body. You will learn to listen, describe, and be mindful of how your pain body is responding to your thoughts and feelings. Trauma happens to our body, to our nervous system first and we want to become connected with our body again and our felt sense.

You will learn to recognize your innate needs and let go of unhelpful thoughts and emotions from healing, calm acceptance.

Stage 2

Regulation Stage: here, we will do most of restoring and re-balancing of your nervous system. You will learn to practice self observation, notice your triggers, sensations and ego stories, apply self-regulation skills in situations that you might be avoiding and observe your nervous system responses.

Each time you utilize your new self-awareness and regulation tools in what used to be uncomfortable situations, you will make an essential increase in self-confidence levels and restore safety for your autonomic nervous system. 

Stage 3

Interpersonal & Empathic Stage: you will learn to develop better interpersonal understanding and communication skills in the face of triggering situations with people and learn how to not react to others’ reactivity.

Empathic Stage: you will expand your capacity to be kind to yourself and compassionate with others in your daily actions. You will unlock a greater sense of self-worth and a deep sense of care and connectedness with your inner being.

Stage 4

Post Traumatic Growth & Mentorship: Post Traumatic Growth stage is widespread for trauma survivors, and it is a phase where we will discover and explore your new life possibilities & milestones. I will keenly mentorship your progress and growth and kindly shepherd you back to full self-care when needed.

We will get you free of the pain, get you out of isolation and excited about your life!

Simple Process

How Does it Work?

You already made the most crucial step. 

One of the automatic defenses to trauma is an isolation.

This is where trauma takes it’s hold on us when it is not shared and when it’s held alone for years or decades.

Safety and connection in relationships with others are how we heal. It takes courage to bring your trauma into the light and reach out for help. So, truly congratulations.

It might look like a simple little step, but this is a moment of transition for you.

Step 1:

Send me an email or call me

I will respond within 6-12 hours. My office is located in midtown Toronto and is easily accessible by subway, and there are many parking options if you are driving. Also, if you live outside of Toronto, safe and secure virtual online support is available to anyone in N. America.

Step 2:

We talk and create a plan

Once you come to my office, you can leave all the roles you carry in the outside world.

Knowing your truth and OWNING your past story without any shame, fear, and guilt is first goal.

BALANCED life, POSITIVE mindset, inner PEACE and pain free body is second goal.

FREE inner expression, owning your present and owning your future is third goal.

Questions clients ask

Frequent Questions

I have provided answers to frequently asked questions below. You are free to send me any of your questions at any time.

What is Polyvagal Theory Practice and Why Regulation of the Nervous System is Crucial?

Everyday living is a complex experience of autonomic nervous system. Polyvagal Theory developed by dr. Stephen Porges  explains how and why trauma clients move through a continuous cycle of mobilization, disconnection and teach how they can move back to regulation, safety and engagement.

Trauma, which might be thought of as “what happens to a person where there is either too much too soon, too much for too long, or not enough for too long”, creates an autonomic demand that shapes the system away from connection toward protection. The autonomic nervous system responds moment to moment to what are often competing needs to survive and to be social. In a state of protection, survival is the only goal. The system is closed to connection and change. In a state of connection, health, growth, and restoration are possible. Polyvagal Theory therapists are working exactly on co-regulation of your nervous system so client can restore sense of safety and stability in the client body and mind.

The greatest thing then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally as opposed to our enemy.

William James

When family dynamics are based in experiences of autonomic misattunement, there is little chance for experiences of repair. When the adults in a family carry their own patterns of dysregulation, habitually triggered into states of protection and unable to return to regu- lation and offer the safety of connection, the child’s autonomic nervous system responds by creating its own patterns of pro- tection. “Without the experience of an organizing other, the nervous system is stunned” (Fisher, 2014). Without interven- tion, a legacy of dysregulated autonomic organization is passed from one generation to the next.

Trauma survivors often suffer from unpredictable, rapid, intense, and prolonged states of dysregulation. This auto- nomic imbalance and lack of flexibility leads to health prob- lems. Physical problems include impaired immune function, digestive problems, respiratory problems, diabetes, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and chronic fatigue, etc.

In addition to physiology, psychol- ogy is impacted. Social isolation and loneliness, a vigilance for angry faces, distraction from tasks, inability to discern meaningful cues from trivial ones, and increased depression and anxiety are some of the consequences of an out-of-balance autonomic nervous system.

The hopeful news for people living with PTSD and trauma is that since the autonomic nervous system learns from experience, ongoing experiences can reshape the system. Habitual response patterns can be interrupted and new patterns can be created. Autonomic flexibility is a hard-won outcome of therapy as clients discover their autonomic vulnerabilities and together look toward resourcing autonomic resilience.

In Polyvagal Theory informed practice we are regulating dorsal vagal and sympathetic nervous system and activating ventral vagal part of your nervous system.

Think about dorsal vagal state as state where you feel numb, without energy,  state of freeze. Sympathetic state is a state of flight or fight. State where we feel anger, rage, or we are always people pleasing and accommodating others without seeing our needs and our boundaries. And ventral vagal state is a state of safety, connection, clarity and purpose.

The ability to return to regulation is the essence of resilience and this is what you will learn in a sessions. When you establish and resource pathways to ventral vagal regulation, you recover your innate abilities for resilience. The ventral vagus connects with the heart’s pacemaker—the sinoatrial node—that regulates the rhythms of the heart. This pathway has been named the vagal brake because it describes the actions of the ventral vagus to slow down or speed up the heart, supporting a flexible response to the challenges of every- day living. A well-functioning vagal brake brings the ability to rapidly engage and disengage, energize and calm, and experience ease in making these transitions. With a flexible vagal brake, you can reflect and respond rather than react.

Resources: Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices Copyright © 2020 by Deb Dana, Dr. Stephen Porges Polyvagal Theory, Grippo, Lamb, Carter, & Porges

 

 

What is Dr. Gabor Mate The Compassionate Inquiry method?

What Is Compassionate Inquiry?

Compassionate Inquiry is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Maté that reveals what lies beneath the appearance we present to the world.

Using Compassionate Inquiry, both the individual and therapist unveil the level of consciousness, mental climate, hidden assumptions, implicit memories and body states that form the real message that words both express and conceal.

Through Compassionate Inquiry, the client can recognize the unconscious dynamics that run their lives and how to liberate themselves from them.

“The purpose of Compassionate Inquiry is to drill down to the core stories people tell themselves – to get them to see what story they are telling themselves unconsciously; what those beliefs are, where they came from; and guide them to the possibility of letting go of those stories, or letting go of the hold those stories have on them …

That’s what Compassionate Inquiry is.”

~ Dr. Gabor Maté

 

 

Book a session today

 

Our Intention

To practice the Compassionate Inquiry approach, developed by Dr. Gabor Maté, so that individuals can connect to the truth within themselves in the present moment, become free from self-generated suffering, and gain insight, clarity and choice in their behaviour.

 

Our Vision

To bring compassion, respect, acceptance, insight, healing, freedom and connection to humanity through an international community of skillful Compassionate Inquiry practitioners.

 

About Dr. Gabor Maté

 

Dr. Gabor Maté is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. His book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction.

For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. His books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction; When the Body Says No; The Cost of Hidden Stress; Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder; and (with Gordon Neufeld) Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. To learn more, join his enews list at www.drgabormate.com.

What is Conscious Healing and Mindful Trauma Recovery?

Conscious Healing and Mindfulness recovery means teaching your self to bring more awareness in your daily life and healing your trauma in a conscious, self-compassion, and self-kind way and building emotional resilience for any future challenges. It has been in practice for thousand of years in many cultures and finally we are brining more of this movement to Western Medicine as well.

For example, mindfulness or Conscious Healing is slowly getting in touch with what is happening in the body, with what physical sensation is felt, how do they relate to specific action or triggers – all is an exercise of exploration and curiosity. And we will repeat this exercise many times so you can resculpt and train your brain not go to the autopilot of fear, panic, and pain when triggers and flashbacks occur. This way, you will learn to also heal your body from many symptoms you might have: insomnia, back pain, migraines, asthma, IBS, hormonal disbalance, to name a few.

Everything we do gets framed as an exercise in curiosity and exploration, and that is bringing more awareness. This way, you will learn to heal your trauma and trauma symptoms for good and be prepared to start living without fear: no quick fixes, no medications. You were holding trauma for years in your body, and you will release it in a slow, steady, and nurturing mindful way out.

How do I know if I experienced trauma?

First, do not minimize, dismiss, or disregard your pain, fear, shame, anxiety, or anything that feels not right with you. 

If you are saying to yourself:” I had a privileged life. My parents loved me. We went on vacations. I was involved in all social events growing up. Who am I to complain about anything compare to what someone else goes through? Who am I to say I have trauma?”. If you are saying this, you are storing more of your pain, fear or anxiety into your body and when you are comparing your self with people who went through war, or abuse or something more horrific then you, you are making yourself just “messed up”, ” cursed”, “screwed up” and more of your real painful emotions is building up in your body and you start to feel even more isolated, alone and fearful.

Did you ask yourself ever how come some people who are rich and famous, and with so many friends still commit suicide? And this is an epidemic in N. America now. Why? Because people learn to wear masks in the world, and people learn to dismiss their pain for a very long time. And this is how we stored trauma, which makes people even more alone. 

Also, know parents can love their children, and they can, at the same time, be entirely emotionally absent and not in tune with a child. If you didn’t feel safe enough to open up, to express your feelings when you were hurting or in pain, inside or outside the home when painful events happened, then you restored, and have experienced trauma.

Guess what? If you were not allowed to express your happy feelings and you were “too much,” what do you think happened with that innate energy? It got depressed deep down in you, and it got transformed into resentment, confusion, anger, and pain. And yes, that is trauma. And yes, de-pressed feelings are nothing but you experiencing depression one day. 

If you were dismissed or told: ” Get over it!” “Suck it up,” ” Common it is not the end of the world.”, ” What are you complaining about, some kids are starving, count your blessings,” ” Keep it quiet”, ” She is our drama queen! “, you learned to stored down your pain and fear because expressing pain and fear wasn’t accepted, wasn’t comforted, and safe space wasn’t held for you. Also, it was minimized, dismissed, or discard by your parents or siblings, and probably you are doing it with your pain now as a grown adult. Why? Because you learned from the people you were looking up to, and how can a child know what is right and what is wrong? 

This emotional neglect is storing in your body as trauma. And your body is usually telling you this through being overweight, underweight, having IBS, asthma, anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, migraines, insomnia symptoms to name a few. Your mind is telling you through feelings of inner shame, inner toxic critic, anxiety, depression, fear, numbness, addictions ( food, alcohol, substance, shopping, sex, work ), isolation, lethargy, over controlling, procrastination, not enoughness for example. 

Your parents did care about you, and yes, they did love you, but they did not know better how emotionally respond to you as many were raised the same way, and many of them have Transgenerational trauma carried down from their parents and passed down to you. And yes, even you live in a privileged country, with food on the table and a beautiful lifestyle, you can experience trauma.

So, please. Do not minimize or disregard your trauma ever, and don’t compare your pain or your trauma with anyone. Your life is your life, and your healing is your healing, and your path is your path. 

I am afraid to share my feelings, and shame is deep inside me. I am terrified of giving ``wrong response`` or have the ``wrong answer.``

That is ok. It is completely ok. Space between you and me will never be a performance test. It is your time, and you will be safe with me. No judging, no taking scores. This is not about right or wrong. You will take small steps, one by one, at your own time and your own pace.

Is your virtual online support safe?

Privacy & security are extremely important for online therapy. It is paramount to me that you feel safe during your session. I have carefully reviewed and selected the technologies I use in my practice, drawing on the best encryption and highest privacy standards available today.

What is Dr. Peter Levine The Somatic Experiencing® method?

The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE™ approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. SCHEDULE A SESSION

THE SOMATIC EXPERIENCING® APPROACH

Offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states.

THE SCIENCE

Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict.

HOW IT WORKS

The Somatic Experiencing® approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.

In Somatic Experiencing®, the traumatic event isn’t what caused the trauma, it is the overwhelmed response to the perceived life threat that is causing an unbalanced nervous system. Our aim is to help you access the body memory of the event, not the story. So we don’t discuss what happens if you don’t want to.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN A SESSION

The SE trauma resolution method does not require the traumatized person to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve—in a slow and supported way—the body’s instinctual fight, flight and freeze responses. This resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life. The SE Practitioner offers an environment of impartial and compassionate support to facilitate the release of trauma throughout your body.

 

Somatic experiencing practice Toronto
Somatic experiencing practice Toronto

WHAT KIND OF TRAUMAS CAN SE® TREAT?

As an SE practitioners, I can successfully work with developmental traumas (such as childhood neglect and abuse and ongoing medical and/or physical issues) and with shock traumas (such as motor vehicle accidents, assaults, operations, and falls)

SOMATIC EXPERIENCING® (SE) psychobiological trauma resolution works with all ages of individuals who have experienced shock or developmental trauma.

HOW LONG DOES SE® TAKE?

The length of time and number of sessions will depend on several factors, including the severity and duration of the trauma(s) and the degree to which the trauma has affected the individual’s nervous system. A conversation with me in the initial session may be helpful in providing this kind of information.

BENEFITS OF SOMATIC EXPERIENCING® SESSIONS

One of the main benefits of Somatic Experiencing is its use in the relief of physical and emotional symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTSD), such as anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, flashbacks, sleep disturbances, eating problems, numbness, and chronic pain. Although empirical support is limited, a few studies have demonstrated the efficacy of this approach in treating PTSD symptoms among survivors of natural disasters. Somatic Experiencing has also been applied with success to the treatment of various forms of addiction.

Clients who receive this form of treatment often report less tension, irritability, and anger, as well as a greater sense of ease and balance. Since improvements are said to be possible in just one session, this treatment can be particularly useful in situations where a brief form of treatment is needed, such as in emergency situations. Somatic Experiencing is also considered a safe method of treatment since the individual is not re-traumatized during the process. Although traumatic memories are triggered, they are approached indirectly and gradually so arousal remains at a manageable level.

An additional advantage of Somatic Experiencing is the way it can help individuals develop their capacity to self-regulate. Many people find it possible to learn, through somatic experiencing, how to shift quickly and easily out of negative emotional states and how to calm themselves when faced with stressful situations. Anyone wishing to increase their sense of resilience and empowerment may find this mode of treatment to be beneficial.

Oppressed individuals and groups I work with

I work with Complex PTSD, narcissistic abuse survivors, and emotional trauma survivors, including childhood neglect, emotional, verbal, and physical abuse and assault.

Also, I work with anyone who has been exposed to gun violence or war conflicts. 

I work with anyone who is OPPRESSED in life by the family of origin, partner, society, culture, or working environment.

I work with anyone who felt or feels EXCLUDED in life either by family, society, culture or working environment.

I work with anyone who is or was OPPRESSED because of their race, religion or ethnicity. 

3 Critical Insights you MUST know either we work together or not

Before you leave my website , three critical insights I want you to have and learn from me today.

Psychoeducation is a key, and I want to help you disrupt these painful patterns and begin to understand how a traumatized mind often makes traumatized choices. So, take this in:

  1. Violation of human rights. It is against the law to hurt and harm someone. Including emotional, verbal abuse, and neglect. It is against the law, and someone did violate your human rights.
  2. If the mind of the person who hurt you hadn’t existed, you wouldn’t be hurt and harm in this way. It is NOT about you.
  3. Traumatized minds make traumatized choices and traumatized patterns. You can not beat yourself up for repeated bad choices.

If you are trapped in a cycle of self-blame, shame, beating yourself up for what you perceive to be wrong thoughts, wrong decisions, and wrong relationships, please remember what I wrote above. 

Call or text me when you are ready to heal and recover, and in the meantime, please give your self compassion and understanding. 

How long are your sessions?

All sessions are 60 minutes long. I do not believe work can be done in 45-50 minutes. Sometimes you need 5-10 minutes to settle in and bring awareness to your body and emotions.

Can you provide me with other resources I might need?

Absolutely. I can refer you to a selected network of proven acupuncturists, naturopaths, support groups, doctors, meditation teachers, osteopaths, hypnosis practitioners, and massage therapists in Toronto. Healing is holistic, and you will be supported in many ways without losing time and money in searching for the right place.

How long it will take to feel better? I am tired of everything.

Methods I am trained at do take less time than regular therapy. Also, keep in mind any session doesn’t have to be a long term commitment, but you need to participate. You need to be willing to change and take responsibility for your life and your investment in your mental wellness. You do not want to rely on your therapist your whole adult life who would only validate your old story, but you want to start living fully embraced and skilled for any life challenges.

You want to transform, heal, and live with content, and this is yours and my focus in a session. Also, stopping a sessions doesn’t mean you can’t go back. Life happens, and things change, and just because you felt better for months doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily need help again in the future.

You might know deep down that you can’t do it alone as well. Also, imagine what would it be like to give your self an opportunity to heal and invest in your self so you can have connection, love, fulfillment, and purpose? Imagine being proud of yourself. So, let’s get you there!

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