Around a fortnight ago I received an e-mail from a network called Inspiring Women Changemakers to let me know I had been put forward by two of its members for an award. I spent a fair part of the following hour getting my head around the news, which was such a surprise.
The timing marks ten years of working as a psychotherapist in many different spaces whilst developing my specialism in trauma as a result of sexual violence. It also comes at the end of a very difficult year where the massive gap between the need for therapeutic support and its provision is more visible than ever.
In this last year I worked with two ICW members to complete a 65-page report on the issues caused by the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines on pre-trial therapy for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. I also finished a book manuscript which I hope will enable other psychotherapists and counsellors to work with survivors inside and outside of appointments.
In the meantime Therapy Leeds has received its highest number of referrals ever because everyone’s mental health has been hit by the pandemic. Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, personal identity, and relationship difficulties are the most common issues people have needed support for.
So many people are survivors of sexual and domestic violence. I have never been able to limit my response to this within the closed-off privacy of psychotherapy appointments, especially when specialist support is inaccessible in so many ways. It really does mean a lot to me that the work I’ve done has been recognised.
To learn more about the nomination and my work as a psychotherapist, writer, speaker, and activist click here.