Watch the video below to hear Gina on CBC News talking about Bullying, Child Abuse and Trauma.
Middays with Jody Vance: Jody speaks with psychotherapist Gina Vanderham about sexual abuse victims and how she helps them cope with the trauma they experience long after the abuse occurs here.
Do any of the following situations describe you?
You have recently experienced a trauma that has sent you reeling in shock and pain.
Some examples of traumatic events include:
The sudden death of a loved one.
Your partner has had an affair.
Divorce or relationship break-up.
A violent experience.
Witnessing a violent or traumatic event.
A major accident.
A natural disaster.
Being bullied by a boss or co-worker.
Past trauma is causing you problems in the present—perhaps you are experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Some examples of traumatic events from the past that may create difficulties in the present:
Growing up in a physically or emotionally abusive home.
Experiencing sexual abuse as a child.
Death or illness of a parent in your childhood.
Experiencing or witnessing a violent or traumatic event.
If you have experienced – any of the above, they could cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Trauma counselling can help.
Depending on your experience, even a few counselling sessions could help you feel much better.
Generally speaking, trauma results when you experience excessive stress that overwhelms your emotional or physical ability to cope. You may—or may not—realize the problems you are experiencing are the result of trauma.
I Overcame Symptoms of PTSD After Being Highly Skeptical That I Would
Before I met Gina I was struggling with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from a tumultuous childhood and a severe car accident. I was in denial about ongoing family issues and how these problems had a profound negative affect on my life, both past and present. I was depressed, confused about what role I played in these problems, and wanted to find out how to heal deep-seated pain. My past trauma not only caused me emotional and psychological pain, but also manifested in physical ailments including ulcers, severe migraines, and constant nausea. These issues affected my self worth, self--esteem, and personal and professional life.
I have been in therapy throughout my life and did not have much faith in the process, nor did I feel comfortable relying on a stranger to help me with my problems. I knew talking with a professional counsellor would help me, but also recognized that I needed cognitive therapy. I had been to therapists in the past, but just talking about my problems was not enough.
With Gina, it was different in a constructive, positive, and results-oriented way. Upon my first counselling visit I felt very comfortable with her. She is sincerely kind and caring, but also extremely professional and knowledgeable. Gina was able to identify core issues and methods for overcoming them.
Gina introduced me to the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) approach. I was a bit apprehensive about EMDR, but thought it was worth a try. It is quite unbelievable how dramatic and instantaneous the results were. I felt better right away. EMDR helps people to process and overcome stress and trauma. My overall health started improving and I began to reclaim my life. Gina also provides practical methods for improving one’s life by suggesting helpful literature, providing workbook exercises, and sharing her wealth of information on therapeutic techniques, support groups, and seminars and workshops.
When you find someone you can trust 100%, it makes the healing process become reality.
Gina is an expert therapist, a healer, a wealth of information, and trust worthy. She has helped me a great deal. I am much happier now. Psychotherapy has been an investment in me. Gina is definitely the best and most rewarding investment I have ever made! Thanks Gina!
January 20, 2014
Take a look at the lists below and see if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of trauma.
Symptoms of Trauma
Following a traumatic event, people experience a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. You may recognize some of the following symptoms.
These are NORMAL reactions to ABNORMAL events. The symptoms may last for days, months and even years after the trauma has ended.
Emotional Symptoms of Trauma
Shock, denial, or disbelief.
Excessive anger, irritability, or mood swings.
Guilt, shame or self-blame.
Feeling sad or hopeless.
Depression or feeling alone.
Disinterested in life.
Confusion or difficulty concentrating.
Anxiety attacks or excessive worries.
Withdrawing from others.
Feeling disconnected or numb.
Lack of confidence.
Excessive fear and mistrust.
Physical Symptoms of Trauma
Insomnia or nightmares.
Being startled easily.
Headaches or muscle tension.
Change in appetite – eating more or less than usual.
Behavioral Symptoms of Trauma
Addictive & compulsive behaviors.
Self destructive behaviors.
Difficulty standing up for yourself.
Socially isolating yourself.
Difficulty with intimacy.
A high need to control your environment.
Being highly disorganized.
Difficulty in knowing what you want and need.
Complex History of Trauma and Abuse is Healed
With Gina’s compassionate, non-judgmental, and positive guidance, I have experienced tremendous healing and growth in resolving childhood trauma and abuse, adult traumas, an abusive marriage, and alcoholism. Gina provided a safe context for me to do my personal work, through which I have learned to trust, acquire insight, and grow in self-esteem and confidence. I am now able to make and implement good decisions and choices, and live in sobriety. Plus I have entered into a healthy and happy intimate relationship.
Although I was initially skeptical about EMDR, I relied on Gina’s professional judgment as to its potential benefits for me. I am grateful for this tool, since EMDR is helping me recover from a tendency to dissociate. It is also helping me to reconnect with myself physically, along with diminishing the distress I feel from the past and providing profound insights to help me move forward. I am now able to make and implement good decisions and choices.
January 20, 2014
Talk Therapy is Often Not Enough to
Resolve Trauma Symptoms
Because trauma is literally lodged in the neurology of the body, talk therapy is often ineffective when it is the only method of counselling provided. Often what is needed in addition to talk therapy is a therapy process that addresses the trauma on a physiological level in order to resolve the physical, and emotional and cognitive components of trauma.
I have been a therapist since 1994, successfully treating individuals and couples with addictions, trauma, anxiety and depression.
I will help you feel safe, respected and understood in our relationship and will work to develop a sense of trust and warmth in our healing relationship.
Being hesitant about entering therapy is understandable.
It’s normal to feel some trepidation about entering counselling, if you have been struggling with symptoms of trauma. As someone who has worked with thousands of clients, I understand your apprehension and am committed to working with you at whatever pace is comfortable for you so that you can have a more fulfilling life.
I will help you resolve the negative emotions that remain from the experiences you endured. I want you to know that freedom from these challenging emotions and feelings is possible. You can overcome the burden and reclaim your life and future.
As a therapist, I get great satisfaction from helping people like you find real relief from the symptoms of PTSD and trauma. Many of my clients have found excellent recovery from trauma with my techniques.
Are You Ready to Be Free of the Debilitating Effects of Trauma?
Benefits of counselling to resolve trauma symptoms include:
More meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
Feeling calmer, more relaxed and peaceful.
More happiness and joy.
Greater ease in overcoming alcohol, drug and other addictions.
Increased sense of self-worth.
Greater self-acceptance and self-confidence.
Increased self-respect and self-love.
I Now Value My Worth, Regardless of My Achievements
I approached Gina for counselling and guidance regarding my self-esteem in the work place. I equated achieving/exceeding my sales targets with my worth as a human being. If I was not consistent in my achievements, I was not worthy of happiness or self-confidence. How exhausting that was! We used the EMDR-Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing technique.
With caring, strength, professionalism and a smile, Gina worked with me to uncover and deal with issues I've been living with from childhood -- sexual abuse from my brother, emotional neglect from my mother, and my differing religious views from that of my family. Together in therapy we identified parallels between what happened to me as a child and the way I was feeling at work. I'm on a happier path now. I know “I'm enough” regardless of whether or not every sales target gets met. Thank you, Gina!
January 20, 2014
If you suspect that PTSD or the after effects of trauma are making your life difficult, please get in touch with me. We can discuss your difficulties and I can let you know how I can help through therapy. Call me at 604.733.7428 or email me at email@example.com.