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CAROLYN LUTCHER

I am a Registered Psychologist and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional specialising in treating adults with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. 

I have decades of experience working with soldiers and first responders (see specific section on this below) and while I do have a special interest in these groups, you don’t have to be a soldier or first responder in order for us to work together.  If you feel traumatized by an event in your life, I am here to help you heal.

 

You don’t have to experience trauma in order for us to work together either.  If you are dealing with anxiety, I can help you control your worries, learn to soothe yourself, and teach you practical coping strategies that you can use for the rest of your life. One of the rewards of treating anxiety is helping people experience peace and ease for the first time in years.

 

It’s often the case for those struggling with PTSD, anxiety, or depression, that their relationships are negatively impacted from the stress.  It may be between partners, or friends, or within families themselves.  Some parents may find that their children have also begun suffering as a result of changes in relating to them.  So, it may be that we want to include some strategies to that help foster a sense of peace and harmony in the house and develop closer, loving, nurturing, relationships with the kids, or improve communication and connection with partners and friends.

 

I’m told that my style as a therapist is direct, soft but firm, and includes the possibility of tough love from time-to-time.  I find this approach very successful in healing, getting unstuck, and maintaining progress in treating PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Soldiers & First Responders

I have a particular interest in working with people who are required to perform under significant physical and psychological demands.  This interest quickly led me to populations of soldiers and first responders.  In order to work with these groups, I have been specially trained in the treatment of PTSD, anxiety, and depression.  Additionally, I have first-hand experience that allows me a deeper understanding of the experiences of soldiers and police officers.

 

Living the military life for a long time probably made it quite inevitable that I would ultimately work with soldiers.  I understand the cultural nuances and special considerations that can sometimes make life pretty rough. From high op tempos and mission fatigue to postings and deployments, I am aware of how hard it can be to maintain our natural defenses and live our best lives.

 

In addition to working with the military, I was contracted-in with the Ontario Provincial Police as part of Project: Reduce Domestic Violence.  My role allowed me to experience, first-hand, the real world of policing.  My time also gave me the rare opportunity to observe and talk to officers while they were operating under stressful conditions.  I have seen the short-term and long-term effects of adrenaline spikes and crashes, along with the effects of shift work and chronic exposure to crisis.  Over time, the calls accumulate and have the potential to change a person.  

Education & Training 

I have always been curious why people do the things they do - or don't do. My curiosity led me to an undergraduate degree in behavioural neuroscience, also called the biology of psychology.  Many of my questions about the physical and psychological reactions that people have were answered during this time, but my education really just led me to even more questions.  For example, why isn't everyone traumatized by the same event?  Or, what makes people resilient to tragedy?

 

These questions, and others like it, led me to a graduate degree in psychology that I could use to put my curiosity and education to work at the same time.  I subsequently embarked on a specialization in service- and combat-related trauma and was later certified in clinical trauma.

 

In general, I am passionate about working with people who want to be their best selves despite their worst life experiences.  In doing that, I share my knowledge of the mind, brain, and body, to help you acquire the strength and control that you need to heal. 

 

If you ever find yourself wanting to know what your life look would look like without PTSD, anxiety, or depression, I would be glad to sit down with you and talk about it.  

Therapies

Therapies include EMDR (advanced), Prolonged Exposure, Exposure & Response Prevention Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Brainspotting, Mindfulness along with somatic awareness techniques.