No one can do it for us, but we can’t do it alone.
~ Dr. Peter Levine(1)
When it comes to certain aspects of healing trauma, this makes sense.
Self-regulation, the renegotiation of self-protective responses, the release of armouring, the resolution of body memory, the re-integration of inner parts, and the repair of attachment ruptures can all benefit from the attunement, guidance and co-regulation of another nervous system. Resilience can be cultivated.
Sarah is an attachment and body-oriented psychotherapist who combines a depth and breadth of knowledge of trauma therapy approaches with a warm, engaging nature and capacity to sit with the complexity of her clients’ experiences. Through felt sense attunement, intuition and skill, she aims to foster safety, curiosity, a willingness to explore, and trust in one’s innate ability to heal.
Sarah’s commitment to trauma-informed practice means that she will be transparent about her observations and discuss different therapeutic approaches that could be useful in reaching your goals. Your right to informed choice is paramount.
Therapy is not something that is done to you, but a process that is embarked on together, and your voice is important every step of the way.
Sarah the Therapist
Commitment to trauma-informed and trauma-focused care.
While Sarah is trained in traditional talk therapy, the options don’t stop there. She integrates a variety of top down and bottom up approaches in her work as well. Therapy can address many levels, including what is happening with the body-mind, relationship with self and others, personality, behaviour, communication, beliefs, systemic issues, and more. This means that therapy won’t be a one-size fits all experience and that her approach will be tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.
Sarah’s flexible, approachable style is based on her clients’ histories, nervous system patterns, body memory responses, attachment dynamics, personality structure and traits, life themes, unmet needs, culture, and spirituality. Perceptive, compassionate and understanding, she generally works from the periphery inward to respect and grow the window of tolerance, while also recognizing the value of appropriately-timed challenges and observations that cut straight to the heart of the matter.
She works with clients of all walks of life, from a variety of cultures, ethnicities, religions/faiths, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions. Her early career experiences with seniors in long-term care, neurodivergent children, and foreign trained professionals, immigrants and refugees prior to becoming a therapist also inform her current work.
She is committed to anti-oppressive practice and tries her best to foster a safe space that celebrates diversity, acknowledges different paradigms and perspectives, and respects differences of opinion.
Sarah the Human
It’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what’s happened to you.
Sarah’s life experiences and background allows her to relate to individuals from many walks of life. Like many therapists, she has been active in healing her own history of personal and inherited trauma through a variety of approaches. She has been a client of traditional psychoanalytic psychotherapy, talk therapy, Somatic Experiencing®, EMDR, touch work, attachment-focused work, EFT (tapping), energy healing, equine-assisted therapy, and pelvic floor physiotherapy.
Her compassion for her clients’ needs, experiences and the things they’ve had to carry comes as a result of her own recovery work. Navigating intergenerational patterns, as well as relationships with individuals with personality disordered traits and fragmentation, has given her a deep respect for the complexity that comes from healing from developmental trauma and shame.
She has also experienced various other forms of adversity, including bullying, car accidents, surgeries, a fall from a horse, pain patterns, medical issues, harassment, sexual assault, grief and loss, and body dysmorphia symptoms. As a result of her ancestors’ experiences, she has an appreciation for the impact of military service, disability, alcoholism, poverty, infant loss, parental loss in childhood, pregnancy and birth-related complications, foster care, and colonial trauma.
While Sarah rarely discusses her personal history in sessions and uses self-disclosure sparingly with the goal of normalizing, minimizing shame, and building rapport, sharing her background here is done with the intention of helping prospective clients get a sense of who she is as an individual. While young, her life experience has been vast.
Embracing of Diversity
Sarah accompanies her clients as a fellow human who values post-traumatic growth.
Sarah’s ethnic history is largely of European descent with documented traces of indigenous ancestry. Her French ancestors came to Canada in the 1600s, while her German ancestors arrived in the early 1800s. Fluent in French and English, her mixed cultural and linguistic background (in particular, being of partial German descent and half anglophone) was a target of marginalization and shaming by her peers in the small French Canadian town where she grew up. Having to switch personas to fit in was required, though she experienced bullying, ridicule, micro-aggressions and rejection on a regular basis just the same for many of her formative years.
Struggling to belong and feeling unsafe with others is a familiar experience for her. Although being Caucasian did not spare her from being ostracized while younger, she recognizes the overall privilege that comes from her skin tone that allows her to escape the additional violence and racial discrimination faced by persons of colour.
She has been interested in cultures, languages and genealogy since she was young, and began taking an interest in First Nations and Métis history, traditions, and colonial trauma when she was a pre-teen. To learn more about this part of her ancestry, she took coursework that focused on colonial trauma taught by a Métis professor, met with indigenous elders to learn more about blood memory and traditions, and took part in different First Nations ceremonies.
Sarah’s experiences with spirituality are varied. Raised in a joint Catholic-Protestant home, she has attended mass as well as a variety of other services, including United, Pentecostal, modern Mennonite and non-denominational community churches. Baptized as an infant and confirmed as a child, she chose to be baptized again as a young adult.
She also experienced first-hand the existential dread, anxiety, panic, and mixed emotions tied into leaving a faith community that relied on indoctrination. She has since explored other forms of spirituality, including Buddhist principles, yoga and mindfulness meditation, and indigenous traditions and shamanic concepts.
As a result, she has the capacity to relate to individuals for whom formal religion is an important resource, as well as individuals who find meaning in other forms of spirituality. She also understands the complexities involved in leaving toxic religiosity or cult-like organizations and healing from religious or spiritual trauma.
Finally, Sarah has friends, family members and clients who span the range of sexual and gender diversity, from traditionally cis-gendered people to folks who do not fit any particular category or whose orientation and expression are in transition. Sarah is honoured to lend her support as an open-hearted ally.
Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP is a Registered Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor, and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner in private practice in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
- Levine, P. (n.d.). Dr. Peter Levine on Working Through a Personal Traumatic Experience. PsychAlive. Available online here.