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. […]

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 in December (part 2)

Stress in December (part 2/2)… Managing the different parts of our selves and identities during stressful times such as Christmas isn’t simply about seeking affirmation. For many it can be the difference between being harmed or staying safe around others. Staying quiet about your mental health struggles around people who are unsupportive might be the […]

Stress in December (part 1)

Stress in December (part 1/2)… When we’re stressed, we can get ‘locked in’ to what’s causing that stress. This can be heightened by what we’re thinking, feeling, and physically experiencing in response to stress. For example: headaches, stomach pain, anxiety, anger, and finding it hard to think about much else. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic can […]

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 […]

Support Services for Survivors

Support Services for Survivors… It’s important to recognise that the impact of sexual violence can be as varied as each survivor who experiences it. I’d like to #ShoutOutForSurvivors who have specific experiences and/or parts of their identity that need to be included in the support received, when they’re ready to receive it. Revenge Porn Helpline […]