I am not defined by PTSD. Ontario Shores was there for me when I needed them.
My first intake call made me nervous, curious, and prepared for disappointment.
I had previously tried cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), tapping, and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), but they had not helped my PTSD symptoms. Although EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) was extremely beneficial, my symptoms persisted. As a result, I wasn't going to get too excited about the Cognitive Processing Therapy offered by Ontario Shores.
During the pre-assessment phase, my counsellor, Fatima, spent several months with me. Because the COVID-19 pandemic was still in its early stages, all of our sessions were virtual and lasted about an hour per week. Fatima's explanation of the process was clear, and she eagerly and patiently answered all of my questions. Despite having a lot of assessment work on her plate, Fatima always made time to check in with me to see how my week was going. The procedure was neither hurried nor long and tedious. I looked forward to our weekly phone calls.
I quickly learned to rely on Fatima. So, when she enthusiastically expressed her enthusiasm for group therapy, I took a leap of faith and signed up for it, despite the fact I hated the idea of going through therapy in a group setting
I spent a few months virtually in group therapy for an hour and a half every week with a wonderful group of women just like me. During the sessions, Fatima and a therapist named Scott treated me with such care, kindness, understanding, love, respect, and skill that I felt safe and lifted.
It was a huge relief to learn that we didn't have to reveal any details about our traumas in group therapy. Instead, we focused on understanding what trauma is and how to work around it using the tools that were provided to us.
During the post-assessment phase with Fatima, I discovered that I had "severe" PTSD symptoms as well as high levels of depression and anxiety prior to therapy; however, after therapy, I had no PTSD symptoms, no depression symptoms, and only mild anxiety. In my opinion, it's a miracle. I appreciate Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), the Ontario Government for covering the costs, the women in my group, and Fatima and Scott.
Today, I continue to use the CPT tools to supplement the assistance I receive from other sources. And my life just keeps getting better!
PTSD no longer defines me. When you give to Ontario Shores, you help make sure that it will be there for people like me when they need it the most.