Tag Archives: trauma

Some clips from my studio guest slot at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Private Practice conference on trauma last month

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I really enjoyed joining Anne Scoging and Karen Lloyd after Michael Gavin’s workshop on self-care and trauma at BACP’s trauma conference last month. And now I’ve figured out how to edit online video (I feel like a technological genius but know that I’m far from it), I can share some clips which I hope you’ll find interesting.

Introduction to the way I work (and how no one’s broken beyond repair) – click here to watch

How to tune into our bellies when we may be filled with self-loathing about our bellies – click here to watch

Some tips for embodied self-care for counsellors and other caring professionals – click here to watch

Another quick tip for embodied self-care – click here to watch

How EFT can be helpful in trauma work – click here to watch

More on how EFT can be helpful – click here to watch

Click here to register for the fuller conference webcast.

Feel free to comment below and to share your own top tips for self-care, too.

love,

Eve x

 

 

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Looking forward to being a studio guest for BACP’s Private Practice conference on trauma next Saturday

The conference has long been booked up but with their new webcast system, more people can access the material for longer.

I’ve been asked to be a studio guest after Michael Gavin’s ‘Self care in the face of trauma’ presentation (something I feel very strongly about and am really excited about hearing his talk).

Will hopefully post a link after the event is live but am flagging it here in case anyone’s going and wants to say ‘Hi!’

love,

Eve x

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Me on BBC Essex today with Sadie Nine talking innocent until proven guilty and, well, mostly that

I’d like to add (we ran out of time) that survivors who don’t report abuse of any kind are NOT responsible for potential future attacks. The perpetrators are responsible. There are all sorts of reasons for people not coming forward and heaping on blame on top of existing trauma and shame is not helpful.

The more people see justice being served and people being held accountable for their crimes (and hopefully rehabilitated and getting the help THEY need – healthy, happy people don’t hurt other people), the more confidence future survivors will have in reporting crimes themselves.

Yes, today’s Loud Women was more serious than usual with most of the discussion being around whether people who have been arrested for sex offences should be kept anonymous until proven guilty or whether seeing the name out there might encourage other survivors to come forward, heal their trauma and, hopefully, have their story heard and justice served.

It was interesting to hear from a magistrate, too.

You can listen to the whole programme (for the next 7 days) by clicking here (I’m on from around 1.15 to 2pm).

Do seek support if at all triggered or affected.

What do you think? Should anyone (regarding ANY crime) be named before there’s enough evidence to press charges and their name and details become public domain anyway? Feel free to comment below.

Metta,

Eve

x

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What might help you recover and ‘repair’? (some inspiration from Gabriel Byrne)

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The delightful Gabriel Byrne is back on UK screens on Sunday in the new 3 part drama, Quirke (pictured).

In an interview with Total TV Guide, he talked about the healthy anger he still felt towards the men who abused him as a child. Asked if he still got angry thinking about his past, Byrne said, ‘Yeah, I think so – but it’s a healthy kind of anger. A drive to repair oneself and to ensure that, hopefully, it ends here.’

Whatever trauma/s you’ve been through, remember that you have survived. You are safe now. You too can recover and ‘repair’. And you deserve whatever support you need to make the process more manageable for you.

Yes, it can feel infuriating to think how challenging simple things (staying alive) have been. Survivors can spend a lifetime just surviving. But that’s no small thing.

What does recovery mean to you?

What can you do to support your own reparation process?

Have you been able to (safely and healthily) express your own anger at the injustice and cruelty of it all? There may be many levels to your anger, not just at the perpetrators and systems that allowed it but the people you love who didn’t protect you.

What happens in your life today that is a hangover from that?

Even if it feels completely beyond your reach, what would you like life to look like?

It may be having even one day when you don’t think about the trauma/s or where those thoughts aren’t so triggering…

And if you’d like my support with any such issues, find out more at ptsdwitham.co.uk and get in touch today.

Metta x

Image courtesy of byrneholics.com

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Couch Coaching: My new hero (Betty and Coretta)

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Next time you feel overwhelmed, traumatised (their home was fire bombed before Malcolm X was killed in front of her and her children), grief-stricken, spare a thought for the amazing Dr Betty Shabazz.

I grew up aware of Dr King’s legacy (I remember us solemnly learning about the then new Day when I was at a previously segregated elementary school in Wilmington, Delaware for 6th grade). I read Malcolm X’s memoir as a teenager. And I’d remembered, from somewhere along the way, that Coretta was an activist in her own right.

She wouldn’t have married Martin if he wasn’t actively working to help shape the world into a better place for everyone. But, until I saw the Lifetime film, Betty and Coretta, I don’t think I had even heard of Dr Betty Shabazz (played by Mary J Blige).

While Coretta (played by the ever amazing Angela Bassett) spoke out publicly from the time her husband was murdered, Betty, initially, felt that arguing against people who were misunderstanding her late husband’s message (violence as a last resort), was futile.

By the time she was widowed, Betty had 4 children and was pregnant with what turned out to be twins. I feel overwhelmed at the idea of twins on their own. But 6 children? On top of all that trauma, grief, loss and misunderstanding? (Her link with Malcolm X meant she faced a lot of extra predjudice.) My hero.

I loved watching Betty begin to find her voice and to use it. She went back to college to get her doctorate and spent her life doing her best to empower countless students and others. At one point, she tells a struggling young woman not to thank her but to ‘Pass it on. People helped me when I needed it.’

The film was (for me at least) a bit of a tear-jerker (I lost count of the number of times it made me cry) but a wonderful reminder of this amazing woman and how far so many people have come (and how much further we need to go for social justice for all).

And I know that next time I feel like something’s beyond me, thinking of the amazing Dr Betty Shabazz, will help me dig deeper.

Metta x

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One Billion Rising – Embodied dancing to end rape, abuse and injustice this Valentine’s Day

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You might be interested in this Guardian interview with Eve Ensler by Decca Aitkenhead about becoming embodied, recovery from trauma and abuse and how it’s not enough to think but important to use our whole selves and dance for change and justice (as well as to shift our own energy and empower ourselves).

I met Eve Ensler in New York at her V-Day conference (the first day of my being freelance, in September 2004) and she’s been a huge inspiration to me since first reading her words. Last year, I went to one of the London events for One Billion Rising but this year, I think I’ll just dedicate one of my mini dance breaks to the cause.

Whether you can get to an organised event or just feel like marking it privately, take some time to honour your body and do something that feels good for every cell.

It may be dancing, it might be some yoga, maybe going for a walk or run or simply learning to pause (as often as possible, perhaps set an alarm a few times a day to get into the habit) and notice what’s going on in your body as well as your feelings, spirit and mind.

If you notice anger, you might want to dance or stamp your feet (as with Resolution Magic) to honour the feelings while releasing the stress hormones (and, where trauma is involved, help yourself get back into your body, empowering yourself to shout and stamp and know that you’ve survived and are OK. You are more than the trauma/s).

And whatever’s going on for you, whether you’re one of the 1 in 3 or you’re concerned about loved one/s and you don’t know what do or say (or there’s no trauma but you’re simply having an off day) sending yourself and others Metta (loving kindness) can begin to shift and improve things, too.

Metta x

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The calm after the storm and lessons from the Universe

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After last night’s drama, I had an amazingly good night’s sleep.

And in the fresh light of day, was able to move beyond just the need for more self-empathy and to recognise how last night triggered older stuff that hasn’t yet been fully healed.

It often makes me laugh when I realise that so many of the lessons my soul appears to need to keep relearning are around the same theme. When I see patterns, it’s like, ‘Of course!’ But in the actual moment, it’s not easy to be so reflective.

So, while happy to have more clarity around the issue/s now, I’m also aware that the next time the Universe offers me an opportunity to do more healing around it, I may temporarily forget all over again.

And that’s OK, I’m human. I can see that I dealt with last night better than I had dealt with similar things in the past.

Fortunately, it’s become second nature to seek the lesson in everything, if only so I can learn it As Quickly As Possible and say, ‘OK, Universe, got it – you can stop torturing me now.’ (I mean, ‘Thank you, Universe, for shining a light on this area that still needs healing by sending me the perfect trigger to ensure it gets my full attention.’)

While never easy (and a part of me wishes I had no more shadow stuff to heal), it gets easier.

So whatever wounds/stuff/patterns come up in your own life for further healing, be as kind to yourself as is possible and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come – even when there’s still a long way to go.

And remember the oak tree – every storm strengthens its roots.

Metta xx

Image courtesy of creativedoxfoto/freedigitalphotos.net

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Stronger in the broken places? Kintsugi

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I bought this lovely vase the other day. Then, yards from the charity shop, dropped the bag and heard a crack. On the bike ride home, before assessing the damage, I figured, if repairable, rather than use it as a vase (my repair was unlikely to be watertight), I could use it as a ginormous Gratitude ‘Jar’.

While (carefully) washing the pieces, I put the base back together and decided to Google the potter. Turned out that the year before’s model was being sold online for up to $400!!!

Obviously, mine being broken wouldn’t be worth anywhere near that much but it made me happy to think that it wasn’t just me who loved it and regarded my (£7.50) charity shop find a bargain.

A friend reminded me of the Japanese approach, ‘kintsugi’, to breaks and painting the cracks gold, making them beautiful and that immediately made me love it even more. While my gold pen hasn’t shown up spectacularly, it’s enough to remind me that what we often feel is broken beyond repair can have a completely new lease on life.

AND, I’m loving adding new things I’m grateful for to this vase so it’s improving my outlook, too.

Metta xx

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‘We were all born lovable, sociable and non-violent’ – Dr Bob Johnson

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I spent one of my favourite days ever on Saturday, at the Bowlby Centre, learning about new (to me – he’s been doing this for decades) ways of working with trauma from consultant psychiatrist Dr Bob Johnson.

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He developed a model of ‘truth, trust and consent’ working at Parkhurst Prison and talked about ‘cutting the roots of violence from an Attachment perspective.’

Influenced by pioneers like Alice Miller and John Bowlby, he points out that even the most violent prisoners were born lovable, sociable and non-violent. Most impressive of all, he believes that everyone has the potential to be rehabilitated: ‘You have a human being in front of you who has a software problem. It’s not a hardware problem.’

He’s not (at all) saying the work is easy, but it can be done.

Dr Johnson defines mental health as ‘Your mind letting you do what you want’ and his passion for his work was utterly inspiring.

Find out more about Dr Bob Johnson’s work here.

Find out more about the Bowlby Centre here.

Metta xx

Baby image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net / photostock

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