Guides created by the University Health Network:
LGBTQ resources: Primary Care, Health, Groups, Support, Community, Counselling Services
Trauma Therapy Groups
Healing Through the Arts Group for women who have experienced violence or abuse. Group is 12-weeks in length, and runs from January – March, April – June, and September – December. Contact: Emily Hostland, Program Worker
416.487.7151 x 267 | EHostland@ywcatoronto.org
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Resources:
Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC) at Women’s College Hospital
The Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC) is a comprehensive service that assists women, men, and trans people who are victims / survivors of sexual assault and domestic / intimate partner violence.
Women’s College Hospital
76 Grenville St.
Ground floor (in the AACU), Room 1305
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
Monday to Friday
7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
A nurse is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients can be seen on-site at WCH between 7:30 a.m. on Monday to 11 p.m. on Friday. After 11 p.m. on Friday until 7:30 a.m. on Monday, patients should go to one of the emergency departments listed under the “Mobile Locations” tab and request the SA/DVCC service.
The hospital is fully accessible. There are wheelchair-accessible washrooms available throughout the hospital.
*Note that these books are heteronormative in their languaging and research; though concepts applicable to all relationships
Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson
Book description from drsuejohnson.com: “This book offers a revolutionary new way to see and shape love relationships. The stories, new ideas and exercises offered in Hold Me Tight are based on the new science of love and the wisdom of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), an effective new model developed by Dr. Johnson.
EFT is a short-term, structured approach to marital and couples therapy. Empirical research has supported the effectiveness of EFT, showing that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and about 90% show significant improvements (the best results of any couple therapy) and evidence shows that these positive effects last over time. Currently EFT is being used with diverse couples from various cultures around the world in private practice, university training centres and hospital clinics.”
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman
Book Description from Amazon: “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work has revolutionized the way we understand, repair, and strengthen marriages. John Gottman’s unprecedented study of couples over a period of years has allowed him to observe the habits that can make—and break—a marriage. Here is the culmination of that work: the seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Straightforward yet profound, these principles teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy. Gottman offers strategies and resources to help couples collaborate more effectively to resolve any problem, whether dealing with issues related to sex, money, religion, work, family, or anything else. Packed with new exercises and the latest research out of the esteemed Gottman Institute, this revised edition of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.”
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
Book Description from Amazon: “We rely on science to tell us everything from what to eat to when and how long to exercise, but what about relationships? Is there a scientific explanation for why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle? According to psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
In Attached, Levine and Heller reveal how an understanding of adult attachment-the most advanced relationship science in existence today-can help us find and sustain love. Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, the field of attachment posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways:
- Anxious people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back
- Avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
- Secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.In this book Levine and Heller guide readers in determining what attachment style they and their mate (or potential mate) follow, offering a road map for building stronger, more fulfilling connections with the people they love.”
The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Relationships by John M. Gottman and Joan DeClaire
Book Description by Amazon: “From the country’s foremost relationship expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. John M. Gottman comes a powerful, simple five-step program, based on twenty years of innovative research, for greatly improving all of the relationships in your life—with spouses and lovers, children, siblings, and even your colleagues at work. In The Relationship Cure, Dr. Gottman:
* Reveals the key elements of healthy relationships, emphasizing the importance of what he calls “emotional connection”
* Introduces the powerful new concept of the emotional “bid,” the fundamental unit of emotional connection
* Provides remarkably empowering tools for improving the way you bid for emotional connection and how you respond to others’ bids”.
Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Dr. Sue Johnson
Book Description from Amazon: “Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. LOVE SENSE presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our “love sense”–our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival. LOVE SENSE covers the three stages of a relationship and how to best weather them; the intelligence of emotions and the logic of love; the physical and psychological benefits of secure love; and much more. Based on groundbreaking research, LOVE SENSE will change the way we think about love”.
Book Description from Amazon: “When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, Herman’s volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism. The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Meticulously documented and frequently using the victims’ own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking.”
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
Book Description from Amazon: “Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.”
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine
Book Description from Amazon: “Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed. Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.”
Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy by Pat Ogden, Kekuni Minton and Clare Pain
Book Description from Amazon: “The body, for a host of reasons, has been left out of the “talking cure”. Psychotherapists who have been trained in models of psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, or cognitive therapeutic approaches are skilled at listening to the language and affect of the client. They track the clients’ associations, fantasies, and signs of psychic conflict, distress, and defenses. Yet while the majority of therapists are trained to notice the appearance and even the movements of the client’s body, thoughtful engagement with the client’s embodied experience has remained peripheral to traditional therapeutic interventions. Trauma and the Body is a detailed review of research in neuroscience, trauma, dissociation, and attachment theory that points to the need for an integrative mind-body approach to trauma. The premise of this book is that, by adding body-oriented interventions to their repertoire, traditionally trained therapists can increase the depth and efficacy of their clinical work. Sensorimotor psychotherapy is an approach that builds on traditional psychotherapeutic understanding but includes the body as central in the therapeutic field of awareness, using observational skills, theories, and interventions not usually practiced in psychodynamic psychotherapy. By synthesizing bottom-up and top down interventions, the authors combine the best of both worlds to help chronically traumatized clients find resolution and meaning in their lives and develop a new, somatically integrated sense of self. Topics addressed include: Cognitive, emotional, and sensorimotor dimensions of information processing • modulating arousal • dyadic regulation and the body • the orienting response • defensive subsystems • adaptation and action systems • treatment principles • skills for working with the body in present time • developing somatic resources for stabilization • processing”.
Book Description from Amazon: “Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence is compelling: the roots of these difficulties may not reside in our immediate life experience or in chemical imbalances in our brains—but in the lives of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. The latest scientific research, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations. It Didn’t Start with You builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score. Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory and feelings can live on. These emotional legacies are often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language, and they play a far greater role in our emotional and physical health than has ever before been understood”.
Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship by Laurence Heller and Aline LaPierre
Book Description from Amazon: “Written for those working to heal developmental trauma and seeking new tools for self-awareness and growth, this book focuses on conflicts surrounding the capacity for connection. Explaining that an impaired capacity for connection to self and to others and the ensuing diminished aliveness are the hidden dimensions that underlie most psychological and many physiological problems, clinicians Laurence Heller and Aline LaPierre introduce the NeuroAffective Relational Model® (NARM), a unified approach to developmental, attachment, and shock trauma that, while not ignoring a person’s past, emphasizes working in the present moment. NARM is a somatically based psychotherapy that helps bring into awareness the parts of self that are disorganized and dysfunctional without making the regressed, dysfunctional elements the primary theme of the therapy. It emphasizes a person’s strengths, capacities, resources, and resiliency and is a powerful tool for working with both nervous system regulation and distortions of identity such as low self-esteem, shame, and chronic self-judgment”.
Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines
Book Description from Amazon: “The first encouraging, sex-positive guide for all women survivors of sexual assault – heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, coupled, and single – who want to reclaim their sex lives. While most books on the topic broach sexuality only to reassure women that it is all right to say “no” to unwanted sex, Healing Sex encourages women to learn how to say “yes” – to their own desires and on their own terms. This mind-body approach to healing from sexual trauma was created by Staci Haines, who has been educating in the area of sexual abuse, sex education, and somatic healing for over 15 years. Her techniques are ideal for anyone looking for a new way to heal from trauma, beyond traditional talk therapy”.
Book Description from Amazon: “Come to terms with your past while moving powerfully into the future. The Courage to Heal is an inspiring, comprehensive guide that offers hope and a map of the healing journey to every woman who was sexually abused as a child—and to those who care about her. Although the effects of child sexual abuse are long-term and severe, healing is possible. Weaving together personal experience with professional knowledge, the authors provide clear explanations, practical suggestions, and support throughout the healing process. Readers will feel recognized and encouraged by hundreds of moving first-person stories drawn from interviews and the authors’ extensive work with survivors, both nationally and internationally. This completely revised and updated 20th anniversary edition continues to provide the compassionate wisdom the book has been famous for, as well as many new features:
- Contemporary research on trauma and the brain
- An overview of powerful new healing tools such as imagery, meditation, and body-centred practices
- Additional stories that reflect an even greater diversity of survivor experiences
- The reassuring accounts of survivors who have been healing for more than twenty years
- The most comprehensive, up-to-date resource guide in the field
- Insights from the authors’ decades of experience
Cherished by survivors, and recommended by therapists and institutions everywhere, The Courage to Heal has often been called the bible of healing from child sexual abuse. This new edition will continue to serve as the healing beacon it has always been”.
The Emotionally Absent Mother: How to Recognize and Heal the Invisible Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect by Jasmin Lee Cori
Book Description from Amazon: “The groundbreaking guide to self-healing and getting the love you missed. Was your mother preoccupied, distant, or even demeaning? Have you struggled with relationships—or with your own self-worth? Often, the grown children of emotionally absent mothers can’t quite put a finger on what’s missing from their lives. The children of abusive mothers, by contrast, may recognize the abuse—but overlook its lasting, harmful effects. Psychotherapist Jasmin Lee Cori has helped thousands of men and women heal the hidden wounds left by every kind of under-mothering. In this second edition of her pioneering book, with compassion for mother and child alike, she explains:
- Possible reasons your mother was distracted or hurtful—and what she was unable to give
- The lasting impact of childhood emotional neglect and abuse
- How to find the child inside you and fill the “mother gap” through reflections and exercises
- How to secure a happier future for yourself (and perhaps for your children)”
The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
Book Description from Amazon: “Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.
The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world–for us all”.
Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
This incredible resource has THOUSANDS of pages of information related to sex, sexuality, reproductive justice, gender, and relationships. It is the best place on the internet for sexual health information.
Scarleteen provides “content and interaction that seeks to provide developmentally and culturally-sensitive sexuality education and information that reflects the diversity of people and sexuality; that aims to serve all sexes, genders, economic and social classes, sexual orientations and relationship models, types of embodiment and more, including information on contraception, safer sex and sexual health, reproductive choice, masturbation, anatomy, sexual orientation and other aspects of sexual identity, gender identity and equity, pleasure and human sexual response, body image, sexual and romantic relationship formation, communication and negotiation, sexual and other interpersonal abuse, self-esteem and care and compassion in sexual enactment that is not intentionally exclusive to any one group, save privileging those in their teens and twenties”.
It covers everything sex related from, sexuality and the sex industry, to toys, workshops, birth control and much more. With the aid of guest contributors giving us us many perspectives as possible, we strive to be relevant to a wide variety of genders, body types, and sexualities.
Kinkly was founded by two Canadian women who had plenty of sex-related questions – but found the online space short on answers, especially when it came to things like kink, sex toys, and content that explored sex and sexuality from all angles. So, they built that resource by creating the largest dictionary of sex terms on the web, along with an archive of content on all aspects of sexuality presented from a pleasure-based perspective.
Kinkly’s content is written by sex educators, coaches, therapists and writers with a background in sexual health – as well as people like you. We aim to provide a mix of information that is based on facts or, when appropriate, personal experience and insight. We understand that when it comes to sex, everyone’s tastes differ; our aim is to provide the full palate of flavours in a way that is respectful, insightful and fun.
Parenting from the Inside Out by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell
Book Description from Amazon: “In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.
Born out of a series of parents’ workshops that combined Siegel’s cutting-edge research on how communication impacts brain development with Hartzell’s decades of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.”
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Dr. Daniel J Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson
Book Description from Amazon: “In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.
Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.”
No-Drama Discipline by Dr. Daniel J Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson
Book Description from Amazon: “Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.
Defining the true meaning of the “d” word (to instruct, not to shout or reprimand), the authors explain how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and turn a meltdown into an opportunity for growth. By doing so, the cycle of negative behaviour (and punishment) is essentially brought to a halt, as problem solving becomes a win/win situation. Inside this sanity-saving guide you’ll discover:
• strategies that help parents identify their own discipline philosophy—and master the best methods to communicate the lessons they are trying to impart
• facts on child brain development—and what kind of discipline is most appropriate and constructive at all ages and stages
• the way to calmly and lovingly connect with a child—no matter how extreme the behaviour—while still setting clear and consistent limits
• tips for navigating your child through a tantrum to achieve insight, empathy, and repair
• twenty discipline mistakes even the best parents make—and how to stay focused on the principles of whole-brain parenting and discipline techniques
Complete with candid stories and playful illustrations that bring the authors’ suggestions to life, No-Drama Discipline shows you how to work with your child’s developing mind, peacefully resolve conflicts, and inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family”.
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman
Book Description from Amazon: “Every parent knows the importance of equipping children with the intellectual skills they need to succeed in school and life. But children also need to master their emotions. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child is a guide to teaching children to understand and regulate their emotional world. And as acclaimed psychologist and researcher John Gottman shows, once they master this important life skill, emotionally intelligent children will enjoy increased self-confidence, greater physical health, better performance in school, and healthier social relationships. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child will equip parents with a five-step “emotion coaching” process that teaches how to:
-Be aware of a child’s emotions
-Recognize emotional expression as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching
-Listen empathetically and validate a child’s feelings
-Label emotions in words a child can understand
-Help a child come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem or deal with an upsetting issue or situation
Written for parents of children of all ages, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child will enrich the bonds between parent and child and contribute immeasurably to the development of a generation of emotionally healthy adults”.
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury
Book Description from Amazon: “Janet Lansbury is unique among parenting experts. As a RIE teacher and student of pioneering child specialist Magda Gerber, her advice is not based solely on formal studies and the research of others, but also on her twenty years of hands-on experience guiding hundreds of parents and their toddlers. “No Bad Kids” is a collection of Janet’s most popular and widely read articles pertaining to common toddler behaviours and how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children. It covers such common topics as punishment, cooperation, boundaries, testing, tantrums, hitting, and more. “No Bad Kids” provides a practical, indispensable tool for parents who are anticipating or experiencing those critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love. Armed with knowledge and a clearer sense of the world through our children’s eyes, this period of uncertainty can afford a myriad of opportunities to forge unbreakable bonds of trust and respect”.
Elevating Child Care: a Guide to Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury
Book Description from Amazon: “Janet’s influential voice encourages parents and child care professionals to perceive babies as unique, capable human beings with natural abilities to learn without being taught; to develop motor and cognitive skills; communicate; face age appropriate struggles; initiate and direct independent play for extended periods; and much more. Once we are able to view our children in this light, even the most common daily parenting experiences become stimulating opportunities to learn, discover, and to connect with our child. “Elevating Child Care” is a collection of 30 popular and widely read articles from Janet’s website that focus on some of the most common infant/toddler issues: eating, sleeping, diaper changes, communication, separation, focus and attention span, creativity, boundaries, and more. Eschewing the quick-fix ‘tips and tricks’ of popular parenting culture, Janet’s insightful philosophy lays the foundation for a closer, more fulfilling parent/child relationship, and children who grow up to be authentic, confident, successful adults”.
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
Book Description from Amazon: “Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (Parent Magazine). Now, this bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:
· Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
· Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
· Engage your child’s willing cooperation
· Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
· Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
· Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
· Resolve family conflicts peacefully
Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding”.