Addictions - Including Substances, Child Stress and Trauma Counsellors

Addictions - Including Substances, Child Stress and Trauma

While some people can use prescription or recreational drugs with no negative effects, many others become addicted and face dramatic health and lifestyle problems as a result. Substance addictions negatively affect relationships, home, school or work, leaving the person feeling ashamed, helpless and isolated.

Physical symptoms of substance abuse and addiction are varied depending on the drug of choice, but the symptoms of the addiction itself are similar. People who are addicted to substances may neglect their responsibilities, take potentially dangerous risks and get into trouble with the law. As their drug use spirals out of control, they will lose interest in activities that used to be enjoyable and continue to take drugs despite knowing the harm it causes.

Substance addicts tend to build up a tolerance to their drug of choice, and get angry when they can't get more of it. Withdrawal symptoms are highly probable when an addict goes without it for too long. Depression, nausea, insomnia, sweating, restlessness, anxiety and shaking are all common withdrawal symptoms.

Psychotherapy can help you to overcome substance addiction by focusing on correcting maladaptive behaviors. Substance abuse is usually a coping mechanism against emotionally overwhelming past events or memories. Substances are often used to provide instant gratification instead of facing certain issues.

Therapists are equipped to help clients deal with addiction recovery through empowerment and helping them set simple short term targets. The first target is sobriety, followed by empowering the client with adaptive skills and finding new coping strategies that deal with the issues that caused the addiction. Substance addiction can be ended, allowing the person to live a healthy, productive life.

If you need a counsellor or psychologist to help you address the effects of substance addiction, you can search the directory below to find a professional with the approach best suited to your situation.

Children today are exposed to much more trauma than we were twenty or thirty years ago, and that's why child trauma counselling is such an important tool to help them cope. Once off events, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, life-threatening illnesses, natural disasters, or war can leave a child scarred for life.

Long-term exposure to poverty, verbal abuse or milder types of abuse are traumatic too, in fact that can be as devastating to a child as a single catastrophic event.

As with adults, every child has a different way of dealing with similar circumstances or events. Not every person who experiences the same event will become traumatized, but exposure to trauma can result in a variety of symptoms including nightmares, bedwetting, anxiety, depression, disdain for authority, poor grades, moodswings, substance abuse, and self-harm.

Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a range of other therapies can be helpful in treating children who have been exposed to short term trauma. Therapists will usually work with the child on a one-on-one basis to help the child restructure negative thought patterns and self esteem (in the case of abuse, etc.) before calling in the family for family counselling. Family counselling is a great way for the family to find common ground, build problem-solving skills and to help the parents to re-establish themselves as the authority figures in the home.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist with specialized traing in trauma counselling for children you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Note: You may narrow your search by selecting more than one filter below.

Gina Vanderham

MFT, RMFT
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Gina Vanderham, MA, MFT, ICADC, CEAP, SAP Gina is a Licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist with 20 years experience and post graduate training. Her Downtown Vancouver office is conveniently located close to... Read more

David Arnell

M.Sc., RMFT
My areas of interest are:Family ConflictDepressionAnxietyFamily issues with addictionRomance repair/Marriage managementDivorce avoidance or mitigationChild/ Youth supportThe recognition of aboriginal wisdomI believe in... Read more