Depression, Fear, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Phobias and OCD are some of the most common and uncomfortable physical, mental and emotional states that people may experience at some point in their lives. Depression can occur in short episodes, from a few days to a few weeks, or, it can be long-term, lasting months or even years. Many people experience loss of energy and motivation, low self-confidence, and negative thoughts. Although there are many different types of anxiety, there are a few common signs and symptoms, such as fear of the future, tensions, and difficulties concentrating, that indicate you may be suffering from more than a passing wave of anxiety.
Our Registered Psychotherapists use a variety of tools and therapies that are effective to reduce symptoms and address underlying causes. Mindfulness, emotional, relational, and cognitive therapies can help you recover motivation, perspective, and the joy of life.
Trauma therapy supports the adults, children, and adolescent's ability to cope with everyday life, leave the destabilizing aftermath of adverse circumstances behind, and embrace their future. Often difficulties with relationships, disconnection, dissociation, avoidance, anxiety, fear, depression, anger, and hopelessness can linger for a lifetime without treatment. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a successful and acclaimed evidence-based trauma therapy. Treatment of adult Complex or Developmental Trauma (childhood trauma) often involves addressing dissociative symptoms and requires modifications to standard EMDR treatment.
Shauna Switzer's approach combines Relational Psychotherapy with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and aspects of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Interpersonal and Affective Neuroscience.
Successful treatment of personality disorders and complex issues such as eating disorders and dissociation requires working with an informed and skillful therapist. Shauna Switzer is a certified provider of effective treatment for personality disorders and related issues, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), characterized by a distorted self-image, impulsiveness, unstable and intense relationships, and extreme emotions. People with BPD find it challenging to regulate their emotions, which can result in self-harming behaviours. Eating Disorders are often diagnosed in teenagers and young adults, but many are first diagnosed in later adulthood. These are complex mental health conditions that often require the intervention of both medical and psychological experts. Dissociative Disorders involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. We provide a supportive and safe place to discuss these issues and work towards stability and recovery.
Women need support and care during different life stages and transitions: marriage, bearing children, fertility concerns, coping with menopause, aging, death of a partner, or recovery from abuse, trauma, disordered eating and divorce. Some of the most common and uncomfortable experiences for women occur during particular points in their lives, such as post-natal depression after giving birth and the confusing depression and anxiety that may occur during menopause. Through counselling and treatment, we are able to help you heal and thrive as you move forward in your life once again.
Men face unique issues throughout their lives, often struggling with childhood abuse, career problems and stressful work environments, fatherhood, marital distress, aging, illness, and hidden depression and anxiety. The male gender role often prohibits men from developing the emotional engagement and connectedness they deserve and desire. We can help you overcome and solve these problems and guide you through the counselling process.
Relationship, parenting, family counselling and play therapy, based on the principles of Theraplay®, can be beneficial to couples & families looking to strengthen their emotional connections. Step-families and blended families often struggle with loss and grief for their previous family structure, while adjusting to new bonds and relationships.
Many families experience divorce, coping with children managing learning disabilities, depression, ADHD/ADD, or social phobia. Parents can gain new parenting strategies and learn how to support their children‘s mental health during significant and difficult times. Counselling is a supportive and safe place to discuss these issues and find solutions.
Everyone needs to feel significant, valued, and important to their loved ones and friends. Yet, kids and teenagers often have experiences, such as school or cyber bullying, that undermine their confidence and shape a sense of low self-worth and may lead to self-harm. Other socially generated threats to their sense of self-worth can lead to depression, substance abuse, self-harm, and anxiety in children and adolescents. Counselling, psychotherapy, and family and play therapy build and support your child’s positive sense of self-worth and resilience, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase confidence and self-acceptance.
We offer support for children with ADD/ADHD. As part of treatment, we recommend the evidence-based Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) music therapy of Dr. Stephen Porges prior to counselling, which enables individuals to more effectively engage in therapies aimed at developing social skills and awareness.
The SSP helps individuals initiate and access a physiological state conducive to well-being, positive engagement with others, and growth in learning. The treatment was originally designed for those with autism, but is now used for a variety of mental health issues. The SSP often leads to dramatic changes in one’s ability to engage socially with more openness and feelings of safety in connection to others.
Counselling and psychotherapy supports your child’s positive sense of self-worth and resilience, reduces depression and anxiety, and increases self-acceptance.
Counselling can be beneficial to couples & partners who are looking to strengthen their emotional connections in all stages of their relationship. Emotionally Focussed Couple Therapy benefits many types of unions, including those who are married, cohabitating, same-sex, dating, engaged, and/or polyamorous.
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Counselling is not just for couples! Siblings often benefit from relationship counselling, resolving long standing misunderstandings, competition, jealousies, and rivalries. Psychotherapy can help sibling relationships as well as other types of relationships heal and flourish with new understanding, empathy, and closeness.
Sex is a positive dimension of life, an invaluable part of individual and couple comfort, intimacy, desire, pleasure, eroticism and satisfaction. Individual's and couple's sexuality develop, grows and evolves through life and relationships. Couple's not uncommonly experience difficulties and misunderstandings in their sexual relationship, and therapy that supports your growth as a sexual team can help you build a satisfying sexual style.
SUPPORTING YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY TO WISDOM
Older individuals often face negative societal biases. However, during the last few decades, aging came to be understood as a normal process with unique challenges, triumphs, and wisdom. Older people with an optimistic and resilient attitude towards growing older are satisfied with their lives. In fact, depression, anxiety and other emotional problems may be caused by internalized negative stereotypes. Counselling offers a safe place to build a new sense of who you are and revitalize your life.
This is a time for men and women to take stock of their life's work and make new choices about how to use their time. Men experience changes in their hormone levels and often become more open emotionally and interested in engaging in relationships. Men, as well as women, often deal with health issues, loss of sexual desire, and a loss of value once retired from their work. The willingness and ability to adapt and continue to learn and grow is essential. Psychotherapy is a place to talk.
Older women face challenges that men do not. They often experience a loss of value, vitality, power, and self-worth as a result of societal views of their worth. Women often struggle with inevitable changes in their appearance and how others perceive them. Women also tend to outlive the men in their lives and so are far more likely to suffer extended losses and grief. Counselling can help older women to take on new roles, re-envision their worth and appreciate important things in their lives.
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Identifying as transgender and/or questioning your gender identity comes with challenges of its own. Transgender individuals have a significantly higher risk of experiencing mental health issues than cisgender individuals. Much of this can stem from identity-based shame, oppression, harassment and bullying. These interactions and social stigma can lead to feelings of confusion, low self-esteem, substance abuse, self-harm, depression and suicidal thoughts. Creating a safe, inclusive and compassionate space is the first step to address these concerns.
A culturally competent and gender-affirming psychotherapist can help you explore and develop the identity that is most authentic to you.
Sharing your sexual orientation and going through the process of “coming out” is a difficult and emotionally vulnerable experience. Coming out often impacts relationships with friends, family and potential romantic/sexual partners. Many individuals have internalized homophobia, experience shame and discrimination that negatively affects their mental health.
A therapist can help you identify, navigate and process these experiences. This is beneficial when treating issues related to anxiety, self-harm, social isolation, social acceptance and feelings of rejection and support your well-being.
Becoming an ally of LGBTTQI+ loved ones may take a lot of introspection, love and dialogue. Friends and family often feel unequipped to understand their loved one's experiences. In fact, there are many misconceptions and harmful misinformation that can strain and damage the relationships of individuals in the LGBTTQI+ community with their family and friends. As a parent you may be eager and curious to gain knowledge on how to help. As a partner or family member, you may be confused and need to find a place of acceptance and understanding for yourself as well as your loved one(s). However, it can be overwhelming and painful for your child, family member or friend to explain their unique experiences and needs to you.
It is important to have a knowledgeable therapist who can bridge the gap in communication and help you work through feelings and sort out misinformation. We are here to help you build positive and supportive relationships.