Online and by telephone trauma therapy is available across Ireland and the UK. Outdoor, nature based trauma therapy is available in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland.
WHAT IS TRAUMA?
- threatens our survival
- overwhelms our coping strategies
- makes us feel alone and isolated
- violates expectation
But we can heal. You are so much MORE than whatever you’ve survived. The fact that you’re reading this means there’s a part of you that wants to work towards post-traumatic growth.
THIS GENTLE AND EFFECTIVE APPROACH CAN POTENTIALLY LEAD TO POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH
It can be scary reaching out for support but you’re not alone. Most of my clients know they seem pretty sorted (successful and, while I’m not a fan of this term, ‘high functioning’)
They’re ready to reduce the gap between the way they appear and the way they truly feel. Some are adult survivors of childhood sexual and other abuse.
Others have survived traumas (maybe a single event, maybe more complex) as adults. And many struggle with ‘trauma with a little t’.
The somatic approach to trauma, working with the body and breath, helps you regulate your nervous system (ie feel better). And the transpersonal approach brings a gentle but powerful element into the work.
Online and telephone trauma therapy is available across Ireland and the UK. Outdoor nature based trauma therapy is available in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland.
there’s more understanding around PTSD and CPSTD but telling yourself that your trauma or struggles don’t matter because what you survived wasn’t as bad as _____ makes things even worse.
I include a somatic approach to trauma, working with the body and breath, helping you regulate your nervous system (ie feel better).
And the transpersonal approach brings a gentle but powerful element into the work.
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.
WHAT IF TRAUMA THERAPY MAKES ME FEEL WORSE?
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.
The video below, recorded when I was a guest panellist on the webcast for a BACP Trauma Conference. explains a bit about how it can work:
YOU HAVE SURVIVED. YOU ARE SAFE
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.
POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH
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.
ACCESS SELF CARE RESOURCES FOR TRAUMA RECOVERY
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.
SUPERVISION FOR TRAUMA THERAPISTS
As counsellors and therapists, we have personal therapy during our training, in part, because it’s widely recognised that we 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
SUPPORT FOR HELPING PROFESSIONALS
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 (read on for more about Persephone).
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.
CONNECT WITH YOUR INNER PERSEPHONE
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.
People 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.
STRONGER AT THE BROKEN PLACES
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.