I have changed for the better because of her work. I have put old [anxieties] to rest and am moving forward in my life with confidence and a sense of peace because of the work I did with her. — Anonymous Client
Julie specializes in a number of areas of counselling. Please click on the heading for more information.
Being able to focus is a necessary aspect of life: to listen to someone in order to respond and have healthy relationships; to drive without getting into an accident; to achieve tasks at school or work. If we have been through many or very upsetting events in our life, our body is on high alert and can be easily distracted and overwhelmed. This hyper-vigilance comes in handy if we are in a life or death situation but a meeting with our boss is generally not life or death and thus our inability to focus is a detriment. With EMDR, we can reset your system so that it no longer feels threatened and thus is able to focus appropriately on day-to-day tasks.
Addictions can have a very strong hold of us and can make us feel like we can not survive unless….If we just…then everything will be okay. The temporary escape from our lives is just that…temporary. Life is full of stress and when we learn to handle stress in healthy ways, the chains of our addictions can be lifted. Seeing a therapist can help us identify the feelings we are running from; using EMDR we can remove the source of those feelings, and help us figure out how to cope with our emotions in healthier ways.
Abuse comes in many forms: physical, sexual, emotional, mental, verbal, social… If can affect men and women of any age, in any area of the city. It can happen at home, at work, or in the community. Sometimes we realize it is happening and other times we do not but we can definitely feel the effects. When we do realize we are in an abusive situation, it can be very scary, humiliating, and embarrassing. How did I get here? What most of us don’t realize is that the relationships in our adult life often mirror our childhood relationships. If we didn’t have healthy relationships with our parents or good role models, we end up in the same place. So what do I do now? In therapy, safety is our first priority and then we work on the past to make sure we don’t repeat it again. Then we use EMDR to help shift the focus of how your system belives it should be in relationships. Finally, we focus on how to identify healthy and unhealthy characteristics of relationships and how to navigate our way through them in a healthy way.
Anger is a powerful emotion that warns us that something is not right in our lives. It is like your check engine light coming on in your car. Yet sometimes our anger can be so powerful, it can be hard to control. Whatever the cause of our anger, if we don’t manage it in healthy ways, it can develop into serious issues like abuse, addictions, divorce, or even health problems. In therapy, we find out what events/people/places are setting you off so we can process them using EMDR and then help you learn to navigate through life and cope with your emotions in healthy ways instead.
Fear is one of the most basic emotions yet sometimes it can feel like we have no control and fear is running our life. Is your worry preventing you from going out with your friends? Is your stress disabling your relationships? Do you feel like you are going to lose it? Anxiety can affect how we think, feel, and act. Using EMDR, we can target the events triggering your anxiety response, manage our negative thoughts, learn to recognize our stressors, relax our bodies, and feel better about ourselves, our lives, and our future.
We are biologically wired to connect with others in order to survive. When we are born our parents are supposed to be in tune with us so that when we express a need they respond and meet that need, whether it be food or love. Sometimes parents are still dealing with their own wounds and they are unable to pay attention to us and don’t respond, respond sometimes and not others, or respond in hurtful ways. If we grow up with parents who respond appropriately, then being connected to others feels safe and we usually don’t have many issues in our relationships. If they responded sometimes and not others, we may feel insecure and anxious which causes problems in our relationships. If they responded violently, then we don’t feel secure and problems pervade our relationships. Poor attachment is the source of many problems, with EMDR, our childhood attachment wounds are healed and that has a positive ripple effect on our behaviour in the present.
Depression is a serious and painful emotion that is experienced by many people from every walk of life. It can make you feel like you want to give up because you may think you have nothing left to give. Depression can be triggered after the loss of a loved one, a serious illness, a break-up, a job loss, or just constant stress that literally weights us down. Our thoughts and emotions associated with stress can affect our bodies in harmful ways. With EMDR, we can process those events in life that are adversely affecting you so we can reactivate your life, cope with your negative thoughts, and equip you with the tools to manage your life again.
Finding the right match for your career is just as important as finding the right partner to share your life. Our careers affect how we feel about ourselves just as much as the people in our lives. We all want to have a career that makes us feel like we have meaningful purpose in our lives. Sometimes we take a job because we just need the money. But sometimes we get to a point in our lives where it just doesn’t fit anymore. But now what? To find the right career for us we have to make sure we know the answers to the following questions: Who am I? What am I good at? What do I like to do? Simple questions but difficult to answer. Talking to a therapist may help you find those answers.
Body Image is a major part of our society today. It bombards us as we drive to work, check out at the grocery store, and watch television (just to name a few). Women and men are affected by societal expectations to look a certain way. The thoughts about ourselves that result from these messages can be quite negative and the resulting behaviours can be quite harmful. Negative body image and disordered eating are serious and require immediate attention. Using EMDR, we will reframe the way you think and feel about yourself, manage negative thoughts, cope with feelings, set healthy boundaries, and find meaningful connections in our lives that will lead to a healthier image of ourselves.
Grief and Loss bring about changes in our lives and change can be stressful. We all handle our stress in different ways and at different rates. Some of us handle our stress in healthy ways and some of us do not. Sometimes change is like one last drop in a glass before it overflows and all of our life seems unbearable. How are you handling your loss? Are you coping in a healthy way? If not, maybe it is time to connect with someone who can share in your experience and help you see your way through the grieving process by learning to cope and reconnect. Using EMDR, we can empty the glass and stop it from overflowing. The benefits may be similar to the feeling you have when the sun shines after a rainstorm. Relief.
When we can’t sleep, it is usually a sign that our system is trying to navigate through a very upsetting situation in our lives and is getting stuck like a skipping record player or CD. If we don’t sleep, our body does not have the time to repair and if it doesn’t repair then it starts to malfunction. Using EMDR, we allow your system to finish processing whatever it is tripping over so that you sleep, repair, and function again normally.
Negative thinking arises out of fear in order to protect us from danger. Yet sometimes when we go through an upsetting event, our brain doesn’t have time to file the information properly so it triggers us to protect when it isn’t necessary. If we combine a method of protecting ourselves with an action, we feel safer so we will repeat that process whether or not it makes rational sense. Using EMDR, we find the event that has been misfiled and we process it so our system understands that it is not in danger and thus does not need to protect. Once that danger is alleviated, we can use relaxation and coping skills in a reasonable way if we encounter a similar situation in the future.
Having difficulty with performing can affect our lives in many ways: at work with deadlines or presentations/auditions, at school with exams, in our intimate relationships, in sports during a game or event, and so on. At some point during our lives, we had difficulty with performing and our brain then sees it as a problem and thus responds emotionally. When our emotional brain is in control, our thinking brain takes the back seat because if our body senses danger there is no time to think. Other systems that are not needed if we are danger are our digestion, immune, and reproductive systems. Thus some people have indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea when performing. All of these reactions don’t help when we are in front of our boss, colleagues, classmates, or intimate partner and they definitely don’t help us reach our goals. Using EMDR, we reprocess the event that is causing our brain to respond inappropriately so that we can handle stressful situations normally and achieve our goals.
Post Traumatic Stress can occur after big or small traumas in a variety of ways and in a variety of intensities – depending on the ongoing or severity of the trauma. When we go through a traumatic situation, our body takes a picture of the image, thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and environment cues and then stores the information. As we go through life, if we encounter any similar sounds, sensations in our body, etc, our brain will think we are in that same trauma again and our body will react to protect us. Yet sometimes our body reacts when it doesn’t need to like if a loved one taps us on the shoulder thinking it was our attacker or when we hear a door slam thinking it is a gun shot. Using EMDR, we reprocess the trauma to help the brain identify that the trauma is over and we are safe and able to protect ourselves so that those cues are outdated like old software. Then we can go about life without perceiving threats when they are not present.