Providing Transformative Therapy
At Heal for Real Therapy & Consulting, our mission is to provide transformative trauma therapy that fosters healing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth. We are dedicated to advocating for our clients’ rights, supporting their justice journeys, and amplifying their voices. Our team of dedicated mental health professionals is committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients. With years of experience and a deep understanding of the complexities of mental health, we strive to create a safe and supportive environment where individuals can explore their emotions, develop coping strategies, and achieve personal growth. We believe in the power of therapy to bring about positive change and are here to support you on your journey to healing and well-being.
At Heal For Real we are dedicated to providing comprehensive mental health services to meet your needs. Our team of experienced professionals offers a range of therapeutic approaches to help you navigate life's challenges and achieve emotional well-being. As registered social workers, our fees are tax-exempt and usually covered by extended health benefits.
Eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy approach that helps people process & heal from traumatic/distressing experiences. It was developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s and has since gained recognition as a highly effective treatment for PTSD & other trauma-related conditions.
EMDR therapy is based on the idea that traumatic experiences can become stuck in the memory processing part of the brain, leading to ongoing distress, emotional reactions and negative beliefs. The goal of EMDR is to facilitate adaptive processing of these memories so that they become less distressing and emotionally charged. In short, after EMDR treatment, you can remember bad things that have happened but you no longer relive them.
Safe & Sound Protocol
Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges after 4 decades of research, the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is a 5-day, 45-minutes per day music therapy intervention designed to reduce stress & hearing sensitivity. People with PTSD often exhibit sensitivity to sound and auditory overload from loud noises, leading to anxiety and/or an overwhelmed emotional state. This can cause the limbic system to stimulate the vagus nerve and the autonomic nervous system so that the person goes into “fight or flight” reaction response. The SSP exercises the auditory system with engineered music & retunes the nervous system. Clients report reduced stress, anxiety and auditory sensitivity along with improved ability to self-regulate.
Many people are afraid to try therapy because of social or cultural stigmas, because they’re afraid of how they’ll feel, because they believe that their trauma is too big to overcome, or that healing might dishonour past loss. But the truth is, therapy is about working through trauma so that you can stop reliving painful experiences and instead be able to remember what happened with reverence and respect. You will gain insight, find your voice, learn to communicate in new ways and take the reins of life. In other words, you'll learn to let your negative experiences shape your life without controlling it.
Relationship Therapy & Restorative Dialogue
Communication is at the heart of every relationship, be it a couple, a parent and child, a whole family, friends, colleagues or employer-employee, or neighbours. When trauma strikes or difficult times arise, many relationships come under stress and strain. Communication may change shape, become tense, or break down completely. Based on the principles of restorative justice, we work with individuals to prepare to come into dialogue with each other and then we facilitate healing dialogue. Whether the relationship renews or comes to an end, we help both/all parties feel more peaceful about the outcome.
Mental Health Consult
If you’re not sure how therapy works or which therapy service you need, you can book a 90-minute consultation to establish your needs and your goals, and to make a plan. We’ll ask questions & listen deeply & compassionately to your responses. The results may include a biological, psychological and social history (BPSH) write-up, results of clinical measures, social work diagnosis, and a recommended treatment plan and a vision for your health and healing that helps you feel empowered with next steps. We'll also discuss what resources or advocacy you’ll need and the changes you can make right away.
We consider individual + group to be the gold standard in treatment. In difficult times, everyone needs people who can relate to loss & trauma to help us know that we are not alone. Meeting with peers in a group that is facilitated by trained therapists creates a safe space for emotional processing & harnesses collective wisdom. Participants are encouraged to stretch out of their comfort zone, but never out of their safety zone.
We specialize in hosting in-person & online group therapy and workshops for:
Victims & survivors of crime
Family members of people who have offended
People exploring forgiveness
What happens after trauma? It can (literally and figuratively) change the landscape of a community. If you think of your workplace, neighbourhood, family, school or even your country as a tree, trauma has a ripple effect that can influence everything from the roots to the outermost branches, impacting every aspect of a group’s identity, communication, connection and health. Work with us to reverse a that negative ripple effect and make it positive. This service can help after a specific traumatic event has occurred, such as a death, an incident of violence, a natural disaster, or when the undercurrent of the culture has made people feel unsafe, alienated or isolated through inequity, power and privilege imbalance, and more.
Restorative justice is an alternative approach to conventional criminal justice, which often focuses on retribution and relegates victims and survivors to the outskirts of the process. Originating in First Nations in Canada and the USA and the Maori in New Zealand, RJ is an approach that aims to get people who have offended to take responsibility for their actions, understand the harm they have caused, build empathy, and seek to make amends. For victims, its goal is to give them an active role in the justice process, the chance to ask all of their questions and share the impact of the harm. This results in reduced feelings of anxiety & powerlessness. Our trained team members prepare both parties and their support people to come together in safe and facilitated dialogue. We take self-referrals as well as referrals from judges and lawyers.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is an event or series of events that crack and crumble the four pillars of our lives: people, places, routines and rituals, threatening our physical and psychological safety. When thoughts and memories of the traumatic event(s) don’t go away or get worse, they may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can seriously disrupt a person’s ability to regulate their emotions and maintain healthy relationships, keeping them in "survival mode".
In survival mode, the nervous system is in a constant or near-constant state of activation, ready to fight, flight, freeze or please to achieve a sense of psychological safety. When the nervous system doesn't have a chance to "rest and digest", serious health consequences can emerge. Trauma can also trap a whole family, organization, community or country in survival mode.
The good news is that with treatment and support, PTSD can go into remission and be kept there, so that people and communities can move from surviving to thriving. That's our mission.