Trauma Focused Therapy Service

At the Possibilities Clinic, we recognize that Neurodevelopmental Differences like Autism and ADHD often occur with other diagnoses, called comorbidities. When trauma is part of the picture, or when Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been formally diagnosed, comprehensive treatments must be tailored with the trauma in mind. Clinicians at Possibilities offer Trauma Focused Therapy to individuals with Neurodevelopmental Differences, like ADHD, Autism, and Learning Disabilities, where exposure to trauma has occurred.

Here are some questions we are asked about our Trauma Focused Therapy, along with our answers.

Currently, clinicians at Possibilities who offer this therapy work with individuals 15 years of age and older, into adulthood.

No. A teen or adult who has experienced trauma and is seeking support may receive this therapy at Possibilities. A  formal diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not required.

Trauma Focused Therapy at Possibilities offers treatment to support daily functioning and enhance mental health. A diagnostic assessment examining symptoms—and whether or not they reach criteria to constitute a formal diagnosis of PTSD—is not a part of this service. A formal diagnosis of PTSD is not required to receive psychotherapy that can improve functioning and mental health.

For adolescents, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) is the most empirically supported treatment for PTSD. TF-CBT is a conjoint parent-child therapy that involves Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles—examining the relationship among thoughts, feelings, and behaviours—and exposure treatment.

For adults, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) have been recommended as first-line treatments for PTSD. At Possibilities, a combination of these approaches is available, tailored to client needs.

Here are some brief descriptions:

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) involves Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles—examining how thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all connected—as well as exposure treatment

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a type of CBT that helps patients modify unhelpful beliefs related to a trauma

  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy is a treatment where patients engage in exposure to both the trauma narrative (by repeatedly recounting and processing it) and to situations in everyday life that they are avoiding

First-line PTSD treatments involve attending sessions regularly and completing between-session work, which may be challenging for clients who struggle with scheduling, punctuality, and getting tasks done consistently. Sessions with an Occupational Therapist or Coach to supplement the therapy work, and support increased engagement in daily life, may be recommended. Assistive technology might also be explored to help make worksheets easier to access and complete. With accommodations and modifications in place, trauma work can be addressed with systems that improve efficiency and the likelihood of reaching personal goals.

This therapy is provided by Psychologists at Possibilities. In some cases, the Psychologist may advise additional work with an Occupational Therapist who can support executive functions and re-engagement in daily life through coaching or functional rehabilitation.

The length of therapy can vary, but on average Trauma Focused Therapy occurs over 16 sessions with a Psychologist. If additional support is recommended from a Coach or Occupational Therapist, these supportive sessions will occur at a pace recommended by the clinician in collaboration with you to support progress.

No. You do not need a doctor’s referral to start Trauma Focused Therapy at Possibilities.

Therapy and Coaching are offered by allied health professionals, like Psychologists and Occupational Therapists, who are not covered by OHIP. Please check with your insurance provider, if applicable, to see if these non-medical services to support mental health and functioning might be covered.

Figuring out whether symptoms of inattention and restlessness indicate ADHD, PTSD, or both requires in-depth investigation. We offer a comprehensive ADHD assessment called Focus Forward 360 with multiple experts examining lots of information to help make accurate diagnoses. The Multidisciplinary Assessment Team includes a physician, a psychologist, and a psychometrist. This comprehensive assessment requires a physician referral.

Please fill out our Registration Form. Once we have this form, a Care Team member will call you to set up an appointment. For any questions, email us at or call 1-833-482-5558 to speak with our Care Team.

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