Virtuous Circle Counselling


Trauma Therapy Calgary

Trauma Therapy in Calgary Following a Traumatic Event

Following a trauma, it’s hard to know what your best options are; trauma therapy Calgary may be a good option if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of what you’re experiencing. There’s a whole spectrum of emotions that come with trauma, from physical pain all the way to debilitating anxiety and despair. Seeking therapy with a trauma-informed therapist may be the best solution to help you cope with the aftermath of a traumatic event.

A traumatic event is any event which is perceived by an individual as a threat to their sanity, the integrity of their body and their life. It disrupts their normal way of living both during the event and in the future. Many people who have been traumatized do not develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from it, while some do. The severity of the trauma can determine whether PTSD develops or not.

In fact, few traumatized individuals get long-term psychological help or are referred to clinical services when they experience trauma. Childhood trauma in particular is associated with poor quality of response following trauma and increased susceptibility to PTSD in adulthood.

When you’re traumatized, there are several types of symptoms that may manifest including:

  • nightmares;
  • flashbacks;
  • chronic pain;
  • hypervigilance (being on alert for danger); and
  • erratic sleep patterns.

These symptoms result from trauma affecting your mind and body. Learn more about the ways trauma can impact the brain below.

How Trauma Can Affect the Brain

The experiences of trauma can lead to physical changes inside the brain. Trauma hurts us by changing not just our thoughts but the structure and function of our brains. Trauma is a life-altering experience that has long-lasting effects on every aspect of a person’s life, both mentally and physically.

We use our minds every day to remember and process information as well as to do complex tasks. It’s how we go about our lives and how we are able to function. People who have experienced trauma may feel as if their mind is split in two. One half that can be present in the “here and now,” and one half that is stuck in the past where the trauma happened, placing memories back into the present – so that the present time feels disrupted and dangerous.

One way that trauma affects the brain is hyperarousal. This is what you experience when you are in danger and “fight, flight, or freeze.” Your body goes into an alert state and creates chemicals that heighten your senses to help your survival in dangerous situations.

Our trauma survival skills help us to manage our intense responses in the immediate moment of threat. So if you’ve been assaulted, your body will have a fight or flight reaction. Stress hormone levels rise and blood pressure and breathing increase to prepare for the act of defending yourself against the danger. Without this protection mechanism we would freeze – which is something that no animal (including humans) can afford to do when facing a predator.

PTSD is a common physical reaction to experiencing the fight or flight response.Through studying PTSD, scientists have found out that our own inner stress response system does not always act as a protective mechanism. In fact it can cause us to respond to situations even when we are safe.

These physical changes in our brains are what cause so many problems when trauma impacts our day-to-day lives. Not only do the physical changes cause difficulty because of disruption in areas of the brain that would normally be working together, but also because of confusion in the way that we respond physically, emotionally, and behaviorally. There are trauma – focused therapy options in Calgary that can help mend the unwanted responses caused by trauma.

What is Trauma-Focused Therapy

A traumatic experience is overwhelming. It causes us to lose control, be helpless, be powerless, and feel as though we are unable to prevent or stop a terrible event from happening. If the condition persists for a long period of time, it becomes challenging to deal with trauma and its effects can be difficult for one to manage.

It’s pertinent to know that trauma-focused therapy in Calgary can’t be regarded as a specific treatment type. There are different therapy types. Sometimes, a therapist may decide to use a type alone or combine different types purposely for effective treatment of psychological trauma. As a therapist, it’s always essential to know the best treatment therapy type that can potentially handle a patient’s traumatic condition.

There are different kinds of therapies that can provide long lasting effects and can help turn around any life-altering problems. When dealing with trauma and a combination of symptoms, it is important to choose appropriate therapy early on so the best treatment can be provided for each individual patient. Three therapies that have been proven effective in treating trauma are listed below:

When it comes to treating trauma, the main aim of the therapist is to create a mental space wherein the affected individual can acknowledge his/her traumatic condition, accept its existence, and eventually cope up with it.

The theory of trauma-focused therapy is rooted in the idea that individuals who have been affected by a traumatic experience will experience certain symptoms that affect their normal daily functioning. The traumatic symptomatology may vary from individual to individual and also depending on the nature of the trauma which they experienced.

The Goals and Benefits of Trauma Therapy in Calgary

Most individuals who have experienced trauma continue to suffer  from flashbacks, nightmares and other residual effects of the traumatic event. Seeking therapy is a natural response to these difficulties. The goal of therapy is not only to help an individual overcome trauma but also to successfully handle the reality of the traumatic event that occurred in the past.

Many people ask “why is trauma therapy so hard?” Trauma victims often have mixed emotions of being in the present and reliving their experiences from the past. You could be undergoing painful flashbacks or get into serious depression and anxiety, all because you will be constantly reminded of your traumas and triggers. This is why goals need to be understood prior to any treatment, some important reasons to attend trauma therapy in Calgary can be found below:


  • elimination of symptoms of trauma;
  • successful handling of the reality of the traumatic event;
  • aiding in everyday functioning;
  • changing focus from the past to the present;
  • regaining “personal power”;
  • assisting with addiction problems caused by the traumatic stress; and
  • developing the skills to prevent relapse or deterioration.


At the end of therapy, one of the primary goals is to help you get rid of your trauma and feel calm after recalling the events that happened.


Trauma therapy can be helpful for many reasons. One goal for trauma treatment is to aid the client in developing new coping strategies, and to learn how to respond differently to situations where present maladaptive responses evolved. The theory about this kind of help is that by training the client to act in ways that feel safer, some of the anxiety that is felt in relation to old triggers may diminish with repeated exposures.

A crisis or trauma is a highly emotional experience that can have a significant impact on your physical, mental and social well-being. The type of therapy and services provided by specialists at trauma centers will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs – but regardless, these programs are going to provide you with the tools and resources necessary to get your life back on track after a trauma. Trauma therapies may include medications, group therapy and experimental treatment options.

Trauma therapy is a specific modality of psychotherapy that aims to help people overcome the lasting effects of trauma, such as acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and more. In short, trauma therapy is a form of talk therapy that exposes you to events which otherwise may cause stress and anxiety. This allows you to confront these events in a safe environment and support the process of recovery.

Book Your Appointment Online

We are currently accepting new clients however being a good fit is everything in a therapeutic alliance. When you’re ready, please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation to see if we match your needs and goals.

We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.