Psychodynamic theory is an insight oriented therapy facilitating a deeper awareness of one's emotions and mental processes; it acknowledges the connection between early life experiences and present events. With the support of a compassionate, and non-judgemental therapeutic relationship clients are encouraged to shift old patterns and emotional responses, and explore relationship dynamics to enhance their understanding and potential to respond.
Dialectical Behavioural Theory (DBT) offers a framework for responding to intense feelings of emotional distress and urges to self harm. Through developing ones emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness and interpersonal skills; individuals enhance their capacity to navigate emotional challenges with greater skill and ability.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is useful for increasing awareness about thought patterns and beliefs. CBT explores how thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs impact feelings and behaviour.
Trauma Therapy Trauma is defined as anything that overwhelms the brain’s ability to cope. Trauma symptoms can appear as a loss of connection, feelings of shame, numbing, irritability and anger, hypervigilance, addictions, feeling overwhelmed, hopelessness and self destructive behaviours. Forms of trauma include: developmental, complex, acute, systemic and historical trauma. A Trauma Informed Approach acknowledges that overwhelming events, situations, and experiences can diminish an individuals mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual sense of self. Additionally, trauma responses such as fight, flight, and freeze can be re-experienced long after the original threat is removed.
Phase Model of Trauma Therapy is tailored to individual goals, strengths, and challenges. The phases of treatment include: enhancing feelings of safety and stability, skill development, and processing unresolved memories and emotions using Progressive Counting and Flash techniques. Evidence based approaches for memory reconsolidation help the brain to put traumatic memories in the past.
Art Therapy offers a gentle, soothing, and playful way to be with and explore difficult feelings, thoughts, and situations. Art making externalizes challenging feelings, stories, and events, while creating space to process complex emotions and reframe difficult life experiences. Making art within the safety of a therapeutic relationship fosters creativity and psychological processes to enhance mental health and emotional well being.
Sarah Helen Epp has earned an MA in Creative Arts Therapies specializing in Art Therapy from Concordia University and an MSW in Social Work from York University. She is a professional member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association and is further regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists and the College of Social Workers and Social Service workers.
My clinical training and lived experience has instilled in me a deep respect for the complexity of the human mind and strength of the human spirit. At times, developmental experiences, attachment relations, individual and structural traumas become imprinted upon our psyches, reflected in our nervous systems, and revealed through our habitual emotional and behavioural responses. I believe in the efficacy of therapy and the power of the therapeutic relationship to enhance resiliency, compassion, and care for ourselves and others.