Abuse and Trauma


Safety and security is one of the primary needs for every human being to function and flourish in life.  As a child, we make assumptions about ourselves, others and the world based on our experiences and the environment we grew up in.

When we have experienced a painful or negative situation for a prolonged period these assumptions and perceptions are often distorted. Here are some examples:

  • A survivor of abuse may overestimate the degree of danger or adversity in the world and underestimate their own power and self-worth.
  • A person who grows up with an absent parent may not believe that they are worthy of love.
  • A person that grows up with an angry parent may mistake direct communication or boundary setting for conflict or attack.
  • With an anxious or fear based parent, a person may become controlling or over responsible.
  • A sexual abuse survivor may mistake sex for a relationship.


We are often unaware of how our early experiences have affected our lives. We may grow into adulthood and look “reasonably normal” from the outside, but we have developed underlying issues, or ways of feeling and being, that cause unhappiness, depression and ongoing problems. We are stuck on auto-pilot, repeating patterns over and over and wishing it was different next time.

Through counselling we can understand ourselves more clearly, heal and make healthier choices about how to be with ourselves and others.