Debra L. Rapske
M.A., Registered Psychologist, individual, couples, and family therapist
Debra holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Trinity Western University. She is a Registered Psychologist, a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists #4222, and the Psychologists Association of Alberta # 9215.
Debra’s primary work is in the treatment of trauma and stressor related disorders. Debra enjoys helping people to move forward and beyond past traumatic events that often resurface in present interactions. This can happen in both direct (flashbacks, hypervigilance, sleep problems, panic attacks) and indirect ways (developing anxiety or depression and/or repeating similar negative patterns in relationships).
What is trauma?
Trauma is often a result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds a person’s ability to cope. The effects of trauma can be life altering, negatively affecting one’s personal and professional relationships, and one’s ability to work and enjoy life. Unresolved trauma can leave you feeling powerless, confused, helpless and overwhelmed. It can result in low self-esteem and withdrawal.
Symptoms can include emotions such as fear, shock, anxiety, depression, shame and guilt which can be manifested in somatic or bodily sensations such as physical and emotional pain. These symptoms, together with recurrent and intrusive thoughts can result in self-blame, denial, disbelief, mood swings, exaggerated startling responses, irritability and/or angry outbursts, self-destructive or reckless behavior. People can also experience problems with memory and concentration, sleep disturbance and nightmares. One may also feel disconnected from others and emotionally numb, resulting in avoidance of people, places, activities, or objects.
What causes trauma? Trauma can result from either direct or indirect exposure to accidents, medical procedures, domestic violence, verbal abuse, child abuse, actual or threatened sexual violence or death.
- Complex trauma and dissociative disorders
- Abuse & Neglect
- Grief & Loss
- Building Self-esteem
- Communication issues including boundary setting and assertiveness
- Performance Anxiety
- Spiritual Issues
- Relationship concerns
- Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy*
- Observed & Experiential Integration Therapy (OEI)*
- Ericksonian Approaches to Clinical Hypnosis & Strategic Psychotherapy
- Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and Individuals
Model of Counselling
I believe that all persons have a purpose and have potential for healing, growth, and change. Effective psychotherapy happens in the context of a secure relationship and is a critical aspect of the therapeutic process. It requires courage, trust and a strong commitment. With that in mind, I believe in taking an empathic, compassionate, and nonjudgmental approach to create a safe and caring environment.
To aid my work, I use the felt-connection between the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. I integrate perspectives from emotionally focused therapy, attachment theory, polyvagal theory, trauma theory, ego state theory, emerging research in interpersonal neurobiology, and process-oriented body therapies. Each of these perspectives highlight the important implications for the human capacity to heal. It is my desire to help support and guide my clients towards more integration and wholeness allowing them to experience effective, positive, and lasting changes in their lives.