Humanity Psychological Services

Healing is ALWAYS possible


Julie will eat until she feels sick when she is feeling overwhelmed or depressed.

Alex has been struggling to get out of bed in the morning and has been feeling unmotivated and ‘down’ ever since he was let go from his job 4 months ago.

Laura and Dan find it hard to sleep at night due to worrying about where their teenage daughter is and what she’s doing.

Jon has been written up twice now for being late and poor work performance; only he knows the reason is because he was hungover from the night before.

Does any of this sound familiar or like something you could relate to?

If you feel any of these statements describe you, please know that you are not alone!

Natalie Imbach is a registered psychologist who specializes in working with adolescents and families. She has the experience necessary to help you chart a path to healing and recovery, whatever it is you’re dealing with. Her practice, Humanity Psychological Services, will provide compassionate, non-judgemental, client centered, and evidence-based interventions and tools as Natalie accompanies you on your journey towards greater awareness, clarity, empowerment of choice, and ultimately healing.


What Counselling Should Be Like

Natalie aims to offer her clients a safe space and relationship in which they can be themselves, seek and speak their truth, and identify and minimize the barriers that prevent them from living authentically. She prioritizes the client voice, believing people inherently possess their own answers and therefore the capacity to heal. She believes we need a safe space and relationship to explore barriers to healing and experiment with inner and learned resources. Natalie views therapy as a collaborative process aiming to embody an equal humanness while integrating the experience, knowledge, and training that allows her to practice as a psychologist.

She genuinely sees people as inherently good and capable; thus she views the human struggle through a curious lens as the most valuable and imperative source of healing and growth. Natalie would be honoured to walk alongside you as you forge your way towards increased freedom from the past and fear of the future to witness your experience of the connection and belonging, we, humanity long and deserve.

Areas Of Expertise

Substance Use Concerns

With years of experience and knowledge regarding the complexity of substance use, the recovery process, and its extensive impact on individuals and families, Natalie is able to help.
As someone who believes in the innate goodness in others, Natalie will provide a safe place for your loved one to begin their journey to freedom. She will explore the perceived benefits and/or needs being met by substance use while simultaneously exploring any losses, regrets, guilt, and or shame associated with substance use. The ideal goal is to support an individual in developing an increased awareness and willingness to develop and engage in a recovery action plan. In cases in which Natalie believes an individual and/or their family require more intense treatment, Natalie will provide recommendations and referrals to such services.

If you are unsure whether you or your loved one is dealing with problematic substance use, some of the following can be indicators of a substance use disorder and/or a diminished mental health and well being:

  • Frequent observable use of substances, intoxication, or appearing high (constricted or dilated pupils)
  • Consequences directly resulting from substance use such as loss of school or employment, increased conflict in relationships due to substance use, overdoses, hospitalizations, substance related mental health diagnoses, substance related criminal charges.
  • Despite observable consequences and losses directly resulting from substance use, an overt unwillingness or awareness regarding a need for change.
  • Observable paraphernalia: bongs, pipes, alcohol bottles, scales, burnt knives or spoons, presence of unknown/known pills, powders, etc.
  • Change in personality
  • Volatile moods – extreme mood swings, erratic behavior, violence
  • Withdrawal from loved ones or usual hobbies and activities
  • Increased dishonesty – do not know what to believe anymore
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns, visible change in weight
  • Signs of self harm or suicidal ideation
  • Diminished academic performance
  • Diminished motivation
  • Diminished mental health – depression, anxiety, suicidality, self harm
  • Promiscuity
  • Change in social group

Due to the painful and often traumatic nature of living with someone experiencing substance abuse, counseling for family members is also encouraged. This may include couples counselling which will offer you the opportunity to reconnect with your partner and empower you and your partner to function effectively as a unified team throughout your child’s recovery process.

Both your loved one and your family deserve the opportunity to heal and recover from the devastation of substance abuse. With her years of proven expertise and compassion, Natalie would like to help you reach that goal.

Grief

Grief is a normal response to loss, but there are times where it can become longstanding or generate secondary issues. Fortunately, there is help.

Counseling can play a key role for you or your grieving loved one to successfully move through those issues and experience a renewed state of well being.

Grief counseling is strongly encouraged in any of the following scenarios: "You feel grief is interfering with your ability to enjoy daily life", "You interpersonal relationships are being affected", "You find yourself feeling stuck in your state of grief and are struggling or are unable to move forward in your daily life".

Grief can also manifest itself in a myriad of other ways as well.

Emotional indicators may include:

  • sadness
  • loneliness
  • anger
  • feelings of intense longing
  • numbness or detachment

Physical symptoms include:

  • extreme fatigue
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • a mixed up sleep cycle

Although often associated with extreme losses such as the death of a loved one, any change or transition in a valued relationship with a person, one’s health or identity, behavior, job etc. will result in variable symptoms of loss and grief. Loss and grief are an inherent and a therefore normal part of lived human experience. Grief is painful; Natalie will honor and respect your experience of grief. Natalie understands grief as a process that is experienced uniquely by every individual, family, and culture. In some cases, grief can become complicated and intensified by cumulative loss, a limited support system, history of trauma, substance use, mental health, relational strain, and/or any additional life stressors.

Grief is an ongoing lifelong process. How it is experienced across the lifespan differs across circumstances, people, families, and cultures. Grief is not experienced or accomplished in a right or wrong way. It is a unique experience to all people as they move through it. Critical to moving through grief is a sense of connection and belonging, as disconnection is central in grief and loss. Natalie will strive to be present with you in your grief, so you can safely feel its depth while knowing you are not alone in it. To hurt deeply means one has loved deeply. Few of us would determine we would have been better off not having loved at all. Choosing to work with Natalie is choosing to have your loss and grief experience honoured, validated, expressed, and companioned. This alone can bring light where there has only been darkness.

Trauma

Trauma is often misunderstood and therefore minimized. Too often the impact and symptoms of trauma are seen through a lens that sees the person as the problem rather than seeing their symptoms (behavior, emotions) as an indicator that pain is the problem. This pain results in symptoms that numb, avoid, escape, and/or perhaps express pain that has found no alternative way of emerging. Some symptomatic behavior is intended to be corrective or to normalize. Ultimately, the human system is attempting to heal, overcome, and integrate experiences that have overwhelmed it entirely. If the degree to which the human system has been overwhelmed activated the survival system, then integration is no longer available, as survival becomes the sole focus resulting in disconnection from the conscious human system.

Trauma can be a singular event, it can be rooted in attachment during one’s early development, it is chronic distress, it is all forms of abuse. It changes the brain and the nervous system creating neuropathways the survival system is familiar with. The human nervous system is continuously assessing for cues of danger and threat. The traumatically impacted nervous system is highly sensitized to cues of threat, as it has linked any of the sensory, body sensation, emotional, or cognitive experiences that occurred during trauma, as continual indicators of threat. Thus, a person who has experienced trauma will often be unconsciously triggered by sensory information and inner experiences they are unaware activate their survival system. In the case of trauma, human beings are often unknowingly guided by their unconscious survival system, rather than their conscious system.

For this reason, engaging in patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that is consciously destructive can be extremely confusing when rooted in unconscious driving forces. Human beings are naturally inclined to create conscious stories as a framework within which to make sense of themselves. In the case of trauma, although these stories are intended to create a greater sense of control, they often deepen the disconnection with self, others, and the surrounding world rather than mend it. This further perpetuates the cycle of trauma.

Fortunately, Natalie is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), both of which are proven to effectively integrate and heal trauma. Natalie will discuss the treatment options and collaborate with you to determine the best approach. Although the process to healing from trauma may be long and painful at times, Natalie and her associates are committed to providing you with a treatment approach that will facilitate healing, and create the needed space to develop and implement tools and skills that will no longer be inaccessible due to unresolved trauma. Healing is ALWAYS possible.

EMDR and ART can be utilized to treat trauma, depression, anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, elements of grief, deep dilemmas, fragmented parts of self, relational distress and performance improvement.

Please see the links for further information regarding EMDR and ART:

Want to know more?

If you feel that you or a loved one could benefit from the services that Natalie Imbach provides, please contact her for an appointment by email at natalie@humanitypsych.com
or call (587) 997-2373.

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