Trauma therapy is available online and by telephone. When we’ve come through the other side of Covid_19, face to face trauma therapy and outdoor trauma therapy will also be available in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland.
I love trauma therapy.
That (and my glee as I talk about my holistic, somatic approach to trauma therapy in this live webcast from one of BACP’s trauma conferences) might sound strange but I’d spent decades feeling hopeless. Telling people I was ‘fine’ but feeling broken beyond repair.
Discovering this wide range of effective, transformative and GENTLE tools to help people not only move past trauma but – with enough time and healing – to shine brightly enough to help others through their own traumas still feels magical.
I’m not at all suggesting that trauma recovery is sunshine, rainbows and unicorns but it’s not as painful as you might imagine.
It’s certainly not as painful as I’d imagined.
Still, you’ve come this far. It’s natural to worry that talking about what’s felt unspeakable might set you back.
My focus, as we work with whatever you’re ready to work with is on supporting you, helping you understand how your body and brain have acted naturally to abnormal, unnatural events.
Helping you to connect with additional resources as well as remembering things that have worked for you in the past.
Honouring that part of you that’s already more resilient than you may realise.
I recommend blocking some time out after our sessions so you can journal, reflect, nap or spend time with trusted loved ones and process the work you’re doing.
This might be an hour, a few hours or even a day. By learning to treat yourself with compassion and care, you’ll notice positive results sooner.
You have survived.
That is enough.
AND, some people, sometimes, with time and support, develop what has been termed post traumatic growth
If you’re in the early stages of your trauma recovery (or disbelieving it’s even possible for you), the idea of post traumatic growth might feel like a cruel joke.
Like the idea of thriving during a global pandemic
But some people find it helpful to have that awareness of the possibility of not only healing from what you’ve survived but of becoming stronger at those broken places.
We can, if you want, actively work towards post traumatic growth.
My approach to online trauma therapy uses a mixture of mindfulness (increasing your capacity to be present and to connect with that part of you that’s so much more than what you’ve survived) and regulation (a whole host of self care coaching tools you can use, in the moment, to help yourself feel better).
For most people, weekly online trauma therapy sessions, at least for the first several months, is the best approach.
And for some people, one session might be enough for now. Single Session Therapy can be a way for you to go just deep enough for now, learn some ways to help yourself and come back if and when you choose to at some point in the future.
I know how scary it can feel to reach out for support and the site is filled with self care tools you can access for free
You can read more about how you can use your whole self to heal HERE
And the book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing also offers a trauma sensitive approach to each of the tools. They (and the way I work) incorporate traditional talk therapy (psychosynthesis), trauma sensitive yoga, mindfulness, EFT, NLP, coaching, crystals and more.
In the myth, the Greek goddess, Persephone, was abducted by Hades and taken to the Underworld.
Her mother, Demeter, mourned until she managed to get Persephone back. But while she’d been in the Underworld, Persephone had eaten some pomegranate seeds which meant she had to return to the Underworld for part of every year.
Persephone, having been a girl when initially kidnapped, grew into her role for part of every year as Queen of the Night.
By living in the darkness and getting to know her shadow and depths as well as that of the world, she was able to be a powerful guide for others.
Women and men who resonate with a strong Persephone archetype are able to turn that pain, rage, sorrow, suffering and trauma into light.
Connecting with your inner Queen or King of the Night and helping others find their way out of their own darkness.
This gift doesn’t come from repressing our pasts but by owning them.
At the moment, we’re living in very interesting times. As well as personal triggers like bereavements, traumas, divorces, tragedy, abuse, debt, other losses, illness, chronic pain, addiction, identity and cultural issues and struggles for social justice, barely a day goes by without ‘underworld’ issues being brought to light.
As a result, it’s very much in the collective unconscious. While painful, it’s also simply an opportunity for deeper healing. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Rather than shame-spiralling for being human, we can make self care and Self care a bigger priority.
Our experience of becoming stronger at the broken places and realising that we’re not broken beyond repair enables us to benefit from deeper healing.
By embodying recovery and healing, we can be that guiding light for others, holding that sacred healing space more powerfully than we could have if we hadn’t explored our own depths.
We can work together to improve your self-care and Self Care to help you heal and recover more deeply (remember, Persephone couldn’t have stayed in the Underworld year round and still been that light for others).
Even if you feel nowhere near ready to help others, you can start by connecting with that part of yourself that’s already whole and build from there.
If the Persephone archetype resonates for you in any way, knowing that your own healing and recovery means you can become a shining light for others might help support your own healing and recovery.
Self-care and Self Care are crucial or we risk burnout. We can’t guide anyone when our wounds are too open and raw ourselves.
I love the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi where the breaks in ceramics are repaired with liquid gold honouring the trauma and, ultimately, enhancing its value.
As counsellors and therapists, we have personal therapy during our training, in part, because it’s widely recognised thatwe cannot support others where we haven’t been ourselves (both in the practical experience of having therapy and also, by exploring our depths).
The idea is that by the time we start working with clients, certainly by the time we qualify, we’re far less likely to be triggered by whatever our clients might bring, even when it touches our own wounding.
We can use that wounding to support our clients.
Our experience of having survived our own underworlds means we’re able to offer a deeper presence to support others’ healing and recovery.
When we notice it becoming being more of a struggle (maybe we’re triggered, maybe more tearful than usual, maybe irritated, angry – whatever your own stress signals are), we might take it to our usual supervision or engage in deeper personal therapy.
Supervision might be ongoing or ad hoc, supporting you in resourcing yourself through this bump and helping you heal your mind, body, heart and soul at this deeper level. You can find out more about integrative clinical supervision HERE
Maybe you’re not a trauma counsellor or therapist – you might be a coach, yoga teacher, hairdresser, massage therapist, teacher, social worker, manager or parent – anything that means you’re hearing stories from people you’re helping which make you sometimes forget how far you’ve already come and feel like you’re right back there.
We can work together to help you connect with your resourcefulness. Your inner Queen (or King) of the Night.
You can learn to use your experience of whatever you’ve survived to help you better support others without sacrificing your own hard-earned boundaries and wellbeing.
Westport, Co Mayo, Republic of Ireland and, when travel’s possible again, London and Essex, UK.
(c) Eve Menezes Cunningham 2004-2020. All rights reserved.