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Grow Your Vision

Moving Beyond Trauma
For some, coming to therapy is about starting, or continuing, to move through past trauma that keeps you stuck, despite the fact that you logically know the traumatic event(s) are now over.  Part of trauma healing involves understanding more about what trauma is, what it can look like in your inner and outer life, and what we can do to help it dissipate and heal.

If you are a survivor of trauma, below are some resources to help you better understand your trauma, and how we can help you heal.
Books for Trauma Survivors and Therapists Working with Trauma
A Survival Guide For Those With PTSD
Surviving the Valley Book
A Comprehensive Guide For Therapists: 
Understanding and Effectively Treating PTSD
Treating PTSD Book

Surviving the Valley: Trauma and Beyond


For more than a decade I searched for an easy-to-read book that I could give to my clients - to use between our sessions - to help them to understand and cope with their PTSD symptoms.  I wanted to find a book that would take into account the fact that trauma survivors who are dealing with severe PTSD symptoms needed straight-forward and non-triggering information that would:


  • Increase their understanding of PTSD 

  • Show them the stages of trauma healing

  • Reduce fear, anxiety, and panic

  • Give reassurance and normalize symptoms

  • Provide simple but effective coping strategies.

When I couldn't find what I was looking for, I started to create handouts for my clients.  Over time, the handouts became this book, a resource that has helped so many handle and heal their trauma.

This book is available through Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Caversham Books, and other fine book sellers world-wide.

Treating PTSD:  A Compassion-Focused CBT Approach 


I wrote this book to provide therapists with the evidence-based information needed to understand trauma’s effects on the mind and body - as well as the phases of healing. 


This book offers practical tools and interventions therapists can use with clients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to both reduce ongoing feelings of distress and increase their sense of safety. Readers are introduced to the metaphor of ‘the valley of the shadow of death’ to explain the experience of PTSD.  They’re also shown how to identify the specific work needed to accompany clients on a nuanced and effective healing journey.


Two new compassion-focused CBT interventions for trauma processing are also introduced in this book.

Available through Routledge Press at:

Links To Shirley's Trauma Articles
Psychological Traumatic Stress Disorders:
How Do These Show Up In Everyday Life?
trauma article

Psychological or emotional trauma can occur when one experiences an event (or several events) in which death, serious injury, or sexual assault, are threatened— or actually occur. A person can also be traumatized by hearing of these events happening to a loved one. First responders and soldiers can experience psychological trauma as a result of repeated exposures to these types of events Traumatic-Stress Disorders manifest as either Acute Stress Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depending on several factors, including how long symptoms last. With medical support and psychotherapy, survivors of trauma can learn ways to manage, reduce, or eliminate their symptoms and reclaim their lives.

Trauma Bonding:
What It Is and How To Heal It
trauma article
Trauma bonding refers to a strong emotional bond that develops between a survivor of prolonged abuse and the perpetrator of the abuse. This bond can be responsible for keeping a trauma survivor in a toxic, and sometimes potentially fatal, relationship with their abuser.  Counselling with a therapist who specializes in trauma can help the survivor better understand how trauma affects the mind and body and heal.
The Cycle of Abuse:
What It Is and How To Shift It
trauma article
The cycle of abuse refers to the predictable phases of behaviour that occur in abusive relationships: tension-building, acting out, reconciliation/honeymoon, and calmness. The good news is that with awareness and appropriate interventions, the cycle of abuse can be broken.
Reality or Myth:
A New Look at the Five Stages of Grief
The 'Five Stages of Grief' (i.e., Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) are a well-known model of grief that was first proposed almost 50 years ago.  Despite its continued popularity, grief research has demonstrated that each person handles grief in their own distinct way. and the “stages of grief” do not reflect how the majority of people grieve.
Secondary Trauma:
What It Is and How To Cope
Secondary trauma is experienced indirectly through hearing details or witnessing the aftermath of a trauma experienced by another person.  Those who work in helping professions (e.g., social workers, professional counsellors, first responders, and police officers) and the loved ones of trauma survivors are at a greater risk of experiencing secondary trauma or secondary trauma stress.
What Are Trauma Triggers and
How Do We Process Them?
A trauma trigger is a psychological cue that activates involuntary memories of past traumatic experiences. Experiencing trauma triggers can be distressing and debilitating at times. While addressing the trauma itself is the best way to reduce or eliminate trauma triggers, there are coping mechanisms to help support yourself through an episode.
How These Can Become Linked
trauma article

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are faced with potentially traumatic stressors and events for prolonged periods of time. There are several factors that may increase the likelihood of PTSD for individuals during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including severe or intense trauma, perceived threat to one’s life, and lack of support, among others. It’s easy to confuse the symptoms of PTSD with other common mental health issues, like anxiety and depression. If you’re experiencing intrusive and upsetting thoughts and feelings that are impacting your quality of life or your ability to maintain employment and relationships, you should speak with a licensed mental health professional. PTSD, anxiety, and depression are all highly treatable and a professional can make a diagnosis and put together an appropriate treatment plan for you.

 Trauma Therapy:
Nine Different But Important Types
Trauma therapists obtain specialized training in approaches that can help “reset” one’s mind and body after experiencing trauma. Unlike other therapeutic modalities, trauma therapy delves deeper into a client’s memory of a painful experience in order to “release” it. Common examples used in practice include cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and prolonged exposure therapies.
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