What are trauma and PTSD

What are trauma and PTSD… It can be confusing and distressing to not have a name for what you’re experiencing mentally and physically. ‘Post-traumatic stress disorder’ (PTSD) is a medical, diagnostic term for the range of: behaviours, psychological and somatic reactions, and relational difficulties that may be experienced in the aftermath of a traumatic event. […]

Perspectives on Intersectionality

Perspectives on Intersectionality… I’m delighted to be selected by Inspiring Women Changemakers to be the recipient of their Bernadette Mary Speight award in their Igniting Inspiration campaign. I spoke with Inspiring Women Changemakers recently about my thoughts on intersectionality, and my work with survivors of sexual violence and marginalised people. I felt it was important to highlight […]

Gender, Sex, and Relationship Diversity

Gender, sex, and relationship diversity… The mental health system has a legacy of pathologising and attacking those who are not heterosexual and/or cisgender. Over the years I have shaped my work to actively include LGBTQ+ people, knowing that safe access to mental health care should be offered to all. As psychotherapists we are tasked with […]

Meeting A Survivor Where They Are

Meeting a survivor where they are… Psychotherapists are offered an insight into a survivor’s life at the point they meet, as well as making contact with their past. The impact of barriers to accessing specialist support (waiting times, funding or lack thereof, practical accessibility needs, the impact of blame/shame/guilt, etc.) should form part of the […]

Stigma Around Stress

Stigma around stress… There are a lot of ways we negatively internalise our stress responses. Examples I hear are: ‘I think I’ve got bipolar because my moods change so much.’ ‘I feel like I should be able to cope better, people go through much worse than this.’ ‘Some days I can’t get out of bed […]

Stress Responses to Traumatic Experiences

Stress responses to traumatic experiences… I recently ran a closed online workshop on the topic of ‘Finding Your Identity Amongst Trauma’, for female survivors of abuse. I really enjoyed meeting them and holding some space for support, solidarity, and whatever else was needed. Part of the workshop included providing information on the neurophysiology of trauma, […]

Finding the Person Amongst Their Mental Health

Finding the person amongst their mental health… Where our lived experience of mental health difficulties sits within our sense of self and personal identity varies from person to person. Some people have a positive connection to their mental health even if they’ve struggled with it, making meaning out of their lived experiences to enhance their […]