Gryba Phillips Professional Counselling Associates (PCA) supports individuals who are seeking relief from stress as a result of being exposed to a single trauma or for those who may have experienced multiple traumatic events throughout their lives. PCA’s trauma focused counsellors are trained to address survivors of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, industrial and vehicular accidents and disability, traumatic grief and bereavement, stressful work related experiences, violent crimes, and residential schools. PCA counsellors provide a positive, compassionate, and non-judgmental atmosphere.
If you have experienced a trauma, your doctor may have told you that you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): when reactions to trauma get worse, last for longer amounts of time, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning. PTSD can affect anyone at any age, even children, and each year men and women develop PTSD.
PTSD can be treated. You can feel better!
Effective therapy for trauma usually involves several key areas. In addressing traumatic issues with your counsellor, you may first, focus on education about the effects of trauma. Before addressing traumatic events, your counsellor may also help you develop skills for relaxation and anxiety and stress management. Your counsellor will use one or several models of therapy, which may include “talk therapy” approaches that address traumatic memories so that healing can occur. Interventions are meant to help in changing how you deal with the stress from the event. Recovery is on-going and gradual. Your treatment course can be shortened or lengthened depending on your needs and the rate of progress.
PCA counsellors offer sessions that will help you explore and adopt new patterns of behaviour and ways of coping. Sessions are modified to meet the specific needs of men and women, children, teens, and, special populations including Residential School Survivors.
Alcoholism and drug use
What can you expect from alcoholism treatment and drug treatment?
Gryba Phillips Professional Counselling Associates provides treatment for alcoholism and drug use that are intended to match your particular concerns.
PCA counsellors offer sessions that will help you explore alcohol and drug use patterns and adopt new patterns of behaviour and ways of coping. Sessions are modified to meet the specific needs of men and women, teens, or special populations including LGBTQ2S. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is complex; PCA counsellors will assess your individual treatment needs and when required help make referrals to other services. There are many types of treatment programs for addictions including inpatient, outpatient and commonly known peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon. Many workplaces will also provide help through their Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) for short term alcohol and drug treatment. Check your place of employment for EFAP support.
PCA counsellors offer therapy tailored to each person’s needs, with a variety of treatment approaches that assist individuals and their families to reduce the harm caused by drugs and alcohol, and to provide assistance for staying off alcohol and drugs and living a drug free lifestyle. Drug and alcohol treatment can include a variety of evidenced based approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Relapse Prevention and other behavioural therapies that can help manage stress relief, aid with communication, enhance relationships and improve coping.
It is valuable to know that withdrawal from some drugs and alcohol can be managed medically -- with a physician’s support help can be provided to reduce unpleasant effects of withdrawal and to manage detox. Your doctor may recommend medications to control cravings and urges or, depending upon the type of substance use, and when applicable, to assist you with detox or withdrawal. Drug and alcohol use can occur with physical health problems. In that case, a physician’s support will help with the treatment of physical issues and medical care.
There are often other issues intertwined with drug and alcohol use such as sexual dysfunctions, depression, anxiety, attention problems, and difficulty with judgement, decision making, memory, planning and concentration. For many people who use alcohol or drugs, there is a history of trauma. Alcoholism and drug use also can affect other areas of a person’s life including school, work or finances, can involve legal issues, and can be associated with tension between couples and within family relationships, as well as child care and safety issues. Involvement with family also can be important for strengthening the benefits of treatment. Family therapy can be especially important for teens in their recovery. Young people have unique treatment needs. The key to better outcomes is to get help with all your needs whether it is medical, physical, emotional or mental health or family matters. The earlier that a person seeks treatment the more likely they are to have positive results.
If you suspect that you or one of your family members has anxiety it is important to seek help. People with anxiety worry a lot about everyday things or have fears that interfere with every day routines and activities of life that can cause problems with their social life, school, or work. “Talk therapy” can help people with anxiety but as there are many different types of anxiety, there is not a “one way fits all” treatment approach. Children, teens and adults can have physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or aches and pains that are associated with anxiety. Some people have “mixed” conditions such as an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia) and anxiety. A variety of approaches help reduce anxiety, including relaxation and mindfulness techniques, exposure therapy for anxiety, and cognitive behavioural therapy.
To learn more about anxiety see the Anxiety BC website.
Depressed mood can affect many people. There is no one cause of depression and no two people are affected in the same way. Depression can be mild, moderate or severe. Depression is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be one of the most common causes of disability among all diseases. Depression affects physical health as well as your emotional heath. Signs of depression can include feeling overwhelmed and having trouble focusing. Other signs might include changes in behaviour, such as loss of enjoyment in everyday life. Some people experience physical issues such as headaches. Depression can affect any age group: children, teenagers, adults and older adults. If you think that you are affected by depression you should seek help from a health care professional. Your doctor may recommend medical interventions. Medications can be used in combination with therapies that address the difficulties of people experiencing depression. For some people, getting help with sleep patterns, nutrition, exercise habits and relationships can help improve mood. There are many different treatment approaches for depression. Some examples include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness, problem solving therapy, and couples or family therapy if a member of your family is experiencing depression.
PCA counsellors are competent in the management of depression. We offer sessions that will help you develop new ways of coping.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, ask for help. PCA counsellors can provide supportive counselling to help explore troubling issues and provide emotional support. Safety planning will be vital. A safety plan can include ways of coping and who to contact in a crisis such as friends, family, or emergency persons.
If you need immediate assistance call a Crisis Responder by phoning 911 or
Go to an Emergency Department within your nearest hospital.
You can call the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) or text (CONNECT to 686868)
Call the Health Line 811
Understanding violence, anger and aggression
Anger is a normal feeling that all of us have experienced one time or another. The expression of anger is a concern for many individuals and for some, the expression of anger can be overwhelming and volcanic-like and lead to unnecessary exposure to harm or hassles. There are many healthy ways to deal with negative feelings without losing your temper or becoming destructive. At PCA we will assist with exploring alternatives and help you bounce back from day-to-day challenges.
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
CISM is used in the aid of the recovery process within an organization when there has been an incident in the workplace which has resulted in physical or psychological trauma experienced by the workers. A critical incident can be a sudden death or workplace injury. A critical incident could also refer to mass job layoffs or site closures or an incident of workplace violence or aggression. Reactions to a critical incident will vary upon the individual. CISM is designed to support the people who have been through a trauma and address any signs among the workers of distress immediately or shortly after the incident.
Stress can come from many directions-school or work demands, pressure bout getting things done, relationships, loneliness, arguments, divorce/separation, making decisions, low self-worth, worrying about your weight….. Not all stress is bad but when stress is out of balance or overwhelming, it can have negative effects. Stress can affect relationships, our nervous system and our ability to think clearly. PCA assists with problem solving, strategies for realistic goal setting and help establish healthy living habits.