106-4475 Viewmont Ave, Victoria, BC V8Z 6L8 | 201-1070 Ridgeway Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3J 1S7

Therapy for
Trauma & PTSD

Therapy for Trauma & PTSD

A compassionate, expert approach to healing from the pain related to trauma and PTSD.

Man drinking out of a cup with the mountains behind him

Your past doesn't define you

If you’re struggling with a past experience, or traumatic event that is holding you back from fully living, you are not broken or ‘damaged’, just hurt.

Healing from trauma isn’t solely about symptom relief; it’s about understanding your experience and navigating the emotions, triggers and environments that are keeping you from moving forward.

With compassionate guidance, we can help you counter the loneliness you are feeling with understanding, the shame with acceptance, and the fear with hope.

Therapy for trauma can help.

Better Life Counselling & Therapy

Unraveling Trauma

Trauma isn’t a one-size-fits-all condition. It can span from a single event like a car accident or assault to a prolonged experience like a war or persistent abuse or childhood neglect.

At the core, trauma disrupts our sense of safety and leaves us feeling vulnerable.

What makes an event traumatic is not the event itself, but your emotional experience of it. The brain’s reaction to trauma can be thought of as a survival mechanism, protecting us from perceived threats. When this survival response doesn’t switch off, trauma symptoms continue, and PTSD may develop.

What happened to you is not your fault and you do not have to face the healing process alone.

PTSD & Trauma Therapy In BC

Symptoms of Trauma

The symptoms of trauma can manifest differently for each person. Here are some of the most common effects that trauma can have.

The effects of trauma can cause a person to live in a constant state of heightened alertness and often perceive danger even in safe situations, resulting in anxiety attacks and severe stress, impacting daily activities, relationships, and quality of life.

People often relive the traumatic event through flashbacks and nightmares, which can be triggered by sights, sounds, or thoughts reminiscent of the trauma.

To avoid triggering memories, people may isolate themselves from social activities or places that remind them of the traumatic event. This avoidance can limit their social interaction and personal growth.

They may feel detached from others and struggle to express their feelings. Some individuals may even experience emotional numbness or a disconnection from their bodies, which can make it hard to form deep and meaningful relationships.

Besides the emotional and psychological effects, trauma can also cause physical symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, muscle tension, and chronic pain. These symptoms can further compound the stress and anxiety that someone is already facing.

People may blame themselves for the traumatic event and experience feelings of guilt, shame, and unworthiness. This can erode their self-esteem and make it difficult for them to seek help or engage in therapeutic interventions.

Trauma and PTSD can affect cognitive functions, making it hard to concentrate or make decisions. This can impact their job performance and daily functioning.

Long grass in front of a lake

These symptoms are not a sign of weakness but are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances.

Therapy for Trauma can help.

Michelle Rahn, owner of Better Life Counselling & Therapy in Victoria and Coquitlam

Michelle Rahn

Founder & Director
Registered Clinical Counsellor

About Us

Why Choose Better Life Counselling & Therapy?

At Better Life Counselling & Therapy, our approach centres around the belief that you are already whole – it is our job to provide the support and guidance you need to bring forth the best version of yourself.

We help you connect with the right therapist for your needs in a safe and welcoming environment. Our experienced team provides the support, tools and evidenced-based treatments to build a life that feels better. We provide in-person therapy in Victoria and Coquitlam, and virtual therapy across British Columbia.

We want to help you build confidence, connect with yourself, and strengthen your relationships.

We provide therapy that is:

Two hands with a heart in the middle

Authentic

We believe healing requires a genuine connection between a therapist and client. We provide you with a safe and non-judgemental environment.

Hand icon with a person

Individualized

Our approach is tailored to you, providing the skills and strategies that will help you heal in the way you need most.
Hand icon with a light bulb

Evidence-Based

Even in the most stuck places – relief is possible. Our integrative approach combines the most effective therapies to create lasting change.

Hand icon with a gear

Practical

The skills and strategies you will gain from working with us can be used immediately after each session to help you feel better faster.

Better Life Counselling & Therapy

Therapists Offering Trauma Therapy

We can help you find the best therapist for you! Click below to get matched with a therapist.

PTSD & Trauma Therapy In BC

How Our Trauma Therapy Works

Woman with a toque on smiling, side view
Leaf icon

Assessment & Building Trust

The first step on your healing journey is building a trusting, supportive relationship. In our first appointment, we will get to know the nature and extent of the trauma you are dealing with so that we understand your individual experiences, symptoms, strengths, and goals for therapy.

Leaf icon

Skill Building & Coping Strategies

We help you develop essential skills and strategies to manage symptoms of trauma and PTSD. This can involve teaching relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and emotional regulation skills to help you cope with distressing symptoms and daily stressors.

Leaf icon

Trauma Processing & Integration

Using therapeutic techniques like cognitive processing therapy, EMDR, or narrative therapy to help you process your traumatic experience - not to relive it, but to help you change your relationship with traumatic memories.

FAQs

Questions About PTSD & Trauma Therapy

Feeling like there’s no hope or that you can’t be helped is a common feeling when you’re dealing with trauma or PTSD. Know that this feeling is just a part of the trauma, not the truth, and therapy can really make a difference. It gives you the tools and ways to handle and ease your symptoms, understand what you’re going through, and build a better relationship with yourself and others.

Everyone’s journey to healing is unique, and what helps one person might not help another.

Healing from trauma is not an overnight process. It takes time and commitment, but it doesn’t mean it will take forever. The duration of therapy will vary depending on your comfort level, the nature and extent of the trauma, and how you respond to therapy. Some people start to see improvements in a few weeks or months, while others may need a year or more. Your therapist will work with you to establish a timeline that suits your individual needs and progress.

Opening up about your experiences can be challenging, especially when it comes to trauma. It’s completely okay if you’re not ready to share everything right away. Therapy is a journey, and it’s all about taking small steps at your own pace. Your therapist will help you create a safe space where you feel comfortable sharing. There are also alternative therapeutic techniques, like art therapy or EMDR, which can help express and process your experiences without needing to put everything into words.

Addressing traumatic memories can be an important part of therapy, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have to ‘relive’ them in the same painful way. The goal is not to cause further distress but to help you process these memories in a safe and controlled environment. Therapy provides tools to manage these memories and reduce their emotional intensity over time. However, you’re always in control, and you can choose what you want to discuss and when.

Check out our team’s bios and which therapist has availability that works with your schedule. If you are unsure of who to see, or would like us to match you with a counsellor best suited to your needs, fill out our match with a counsellor form and we will help you find a match for your needs. All of our counsellors offer free 20-minute consultations by phone or video so that you can determine if they are a good fit for you.

Absolutely, it’s okay. Many people feel uncomfortable or even scared about sharing their problems, especially at first. Remember, it’s normal to feel this way. Therapists are trained to create a comfortable, non-judgmental space where you can express your feelings at your own pace. It’s also okay to let your therapist know that you’re feeling uncomfortable. They can adjust their approach and work with you to find a way that makes sharing easier for you.

While medication is not always necessary, it can be beneficial in managing certain symptoms of trauma or PTSD, such as anxiety or depression. It’s often used in conjunction with therapy for the most effective results. The decision to use medication is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with a healthcare provider.

Have a question that you don’t see here? Book a consultation and we will answer any other questions you have.

Better Life Counselling & Therapy

What You Can Expect

Depending on your unique circumstances, attending therapy for trauma can be a transformative journey. You may notice a decrease in trauma-related symptoms, increased resilience, and improved functioning in daily life, as well as being able to:

Live with more confidence

Have an easier time making decisions

Regulate your emotions

Deepen existing relationships

Form new connections

Develop healthy coping mechanisms

Get Started With Better Life Counselling & Therapy

We Make Getting Started Easy

Leaf icon

Book An Appointment

If you are a current client or are ready to get started, book your appointment here.
Leaf icon

Book A Free Consultation

We will answer your questions and match you with a therapist that will best fit your needs!

If you have questions about therapy, our services, or would like to get in touch for other reasons, please submit a message via our contact form. We will respond within the same day (Sundays excluded).

Better Life
Counselling & Therapy

Better Life
Counselling & Therapy

Trauma may be part of your life story but it does not define who you are now or in the future.