Hellen Krahn, B.A., M.A.(Honours) - Counselor
Member of Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
Hellen specializes in counseling for:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Panic Disorder (PAD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Abuse (Spiritual/Emotional/Sexual)
- Anger Management
- Caregiver Self Care (when caring for persons with a disability or aging)
- Depression and Supporting those with Depression
- Esteem Building
- Loss and Grief
- Personal and Spiritual Development
- Post-traumatic stress and Trauma Recovery
- Relationship Concerns
- Suicide signs/prevention
Hellen experienced the following symptoms:
- A heightened fear of what people think of you
- Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that are reminders of the trauma
- Chest tightness feeling, chest pains
- Difficulty concentrating
- Digestive Problems, Constipation
- Easily distracted
- Emotionally blunted, flat, or numb
- Fear of making mistakes or making a fool of yourself to others
- Feeling detached from others
- Feeling jumpy and easily startled
- Feeling like your tongue is swollen
- Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
- Feelings of unreality
- Flashbacks (feeling like the event is happening again)
- Heart Palpitations
- Heightened self awareness, or self-consciousness
- Hyper vigilance (on constant “hyper alert”)
- Hyperactivity, excess energy, nervous energy
- Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
- Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
- Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Living on high alert, hyper vigilance
- Loss of interest in activities and life in general
- Muscle tension, stiffness, aches, pains
- Muscle twitching
- Neck, back, shoulder tension and stiffness, spasms
- Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
- Not feeling like yourself, detached from loved ones, emotionally numb
- Shallow Breathing
- Startle easily Giddiness, jumpy
- Stomach upset, nervous stomach
- TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) - clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth
- Trapped in your mind feeling
- Weight gain; sudden weight gain
Hellen, born in Mexico, moved with her family to Canada at the age of 7. Immediately upon entering Canada, she faced some unfortunate challenges, especially for a young girl moving to a new country.
For example, while learning to adjust to Canadian life and the English language, she was ridiculed and shamed by other school children due to the stigma attached of her cultural background. And merely a year later, at the age of 8, she was raped by a family acquaintance. This left her vulnerable to several years of sexual abuse by a family member. As a self conscious, now overweight, adolescent whose trust in people had been shattered, she escaped by reading books and creating a “safe” world in her mind.
As Hellen grew up, she avoided the conscious awareness of her anxiety and depression by keeping herself extremely busy and by being overly excited about life. It was not until her late twenties when an unstable long-term relationship ended that a crack in her defense mechanisms caused a barrage of emotions, memories, and delayed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, including those listed above.
In addition to her many symptoms, because of Hellen’s inability to trust and her need to be seen as strong, Hellen learned to cope with relationships with anger.
Recognizing the impact of her struggles, Hellen turned to numerous books about sexual abuse, PTSD, and recovery, which contained stories of others who had successfully dealt with their traumas: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As a result, her struggles began to make sense as these writings normalized the after effects and symptoms of what she had survived. These books also provided her with some of the tools she needed to change, heal, and grow.
Since Hellen had ruled out conventional medication as an option, she pursued a “natural” approach to recovery, which included a change of diet, natural supplements, and changes to the way she was thinking and feeling.
Gradually, with the help of a couple of people who chose to respond to the frightened vulnerable girl inside Hellen’s tough shell, instead of withdrawing, she learned to let go of her anger and express her needs.
Hellen continued to work on her underlying factors over the years and finally returned to normal and lasting health. She is another example of how identifying and successfully addressing the underlying factors of anxiety and depression can bring lasting relief. Today, Hellen is living a normal, healthy, and symptom-free life.
Hellen has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling. She has provided counseling services to individuals and groups in the areas of addictions, abuse (spiritual/ emotional/ sexual), anger management, caregiver self care, anxiety, depression, loss and grief, personal and spiritual growth, post-traumatic stress, and suicide prevention since 1995. Counseling with Hellen can be done in either English or Low German (Plautdietsch).
Hellen resides in the East Elgin area of Southwestern Ontario, and enjoys spending time out in nature walking, exploring, and photographing with friends and family.
Testimonials: Click each link for the complete testimonial.
"I cannot thank Hellen enough." - Janelle, USA
"I am very thankful to Hellen Krahn and anxietycentre.com." - name withheld, Canada
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Symptoms of Anxiety; Anxiety Attack Symptoms; anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated July 2016.