The cumulative lived experiences of adversity many of us face, from early instability in the family home, daily microaggressions to outright racism, sexism to sexual violence, discrimination because of our religion or disability, and trauma due to circumstances we could not control and for which we continue to blame ourselves, can weigh us down and take a toll on our nervous systems, our psychological health, physical health, and sense of identity. Some of us have lost our life as we knew it, because of a sudden illness or injury. It feels like death, but we are still alive. Yet those closest to us do not understand because it’s an “invisible injury.”
While we cannot change our families, our pasts, the society we live in, or undo an injury or tragedy that never should have happened, we can heal by telling our stories, feeling validated, gaining perspective and processing difficult emotions. We can move forward by recognizing our resilience, drawing from our inner strength, rewriting our story, and gaining meaning and purpose from the adversity we have experienced or overcome. Sometimes it is OK to lighten your load by sharing the weight in a safe space where you feel understood and heard.
At Toronto Brain Health we listen and strive to understand your challenges as well as your strengths through the assessment process. The assessment process begins during your initial consultation, and we continue to get to know you over the course of treatment. Prior to your initial consultation you will be asked to fill out a few background and screening forms to help us understand your circumstances and what you would like help with before our first meeting. While many of us have our challenges, diagnoses can be helpful for informing treatment. A clearer psychological framework through which to understand your challenges lends itself well to use of evidence-based therapies with proven effectiveness for particular conditions, such as specific types of anxiety (e.g., social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorder), depression or trauma. We recognize that few of us fit into one box, therefore we rely on an eclectic approach, drawing from various evidence-based therapies, to work with your individuality and personal goals.
Evidence-based therapy approaches we draw on include:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Client-Centered Therapy
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
- Mindfulness based stress reduction methods
- Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Strategic Solution Focused Therapy
- Various biopsychosocial approaches to treat chronic pain, somatoform disorders and medically unexplained symptoms.
Some of the conditions and challenges we can help with
We provide assessment and psychotherapy for the following conditions and challenges. We can provide a comprehensive diagnostic psychological assessment with a written report if needed.
- Anxiety including social anxiety which may take the form of performance anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, health anxiety, and others.
- Problems with low mood or depression
- Obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders (OCD)
- Trauma or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Insomnia or difficulties sleeping
- Low self-esteem
- Assertiveness and healthy boundaries
- Stress or burnout related to work, school, recent retirement, or other life transitions.
- Chronic pain, tension migraines or headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, foot pain syndromes, medically unexplained pain, and symptoms.
- Somatoform disorders, including somatic symptom disorder, conversion or functional neurological disorder
- Coping with or adjusting to a chronic condition or injury
- Stress related to providing care to an individual with an acquired brain injury, dementia or chronic health condition.
- Depression, anxiety, trauma, somatoform disorders, chronic pain and persistent symptoms within the context of sustaining a concussion or acquired brain injury.