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trauma and PTSD
'I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.' - Carl Jung
Trauma is not necessarily always what we think it to be; trauma can be big events but it can also be small events that have affected us greatly or ongoing situations which have caused us to dissociate to avoid the pain in order to survive. Nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks and feelings of isolation, irritability, anger, guilt and shame are commonly associated with trauma and PTSD and can have a huge impact on our lives.
Mentally, we may also feel exhausted and not quite 'here', and physically we may feel that we no longer have the energy or inclination to do the things that we once enjoyed. Sometimes there is pain in our bodies and often conventional medicine cannot find a cause; this can also make us more fatigued, despondent and anxious. Increased isolation means that we often have fewer people to talk to or to socialise with, and sometimes when there are others to connect with, often we find it very stressful or triggering to be in either familiar or unfamiliar company or spaces.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and CPTSD (Complex PTSD) are considered by conventional medicine as anxiety disorders caused by events that have been very stressful, frightening or distressing - in other words, traumatic.
Recovering from trauma and managing PTSD requires a multidisciplinary approach - no one approach will have the impact needed to address something that is multi-faceted. I specialise in recovery of the self using holistic approaches to support what is medically termed trauma, PTSD and CPTSD. It is incredibly important to outline here the scope of my practice in this area to ensure transparency, honesty, boundaries and expectations on which we can build a trusted foundation for our sessions together. I am NOT a Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Professional, GP or medical professional and I do NOT diagnose Trauma, PTSD and CPTSD. I am a holistic, shamanic and spiritual healer and this is the approach and services I offer in this area. Most of my clients attend with me after they have explored many different avenues and many feel that they had wished they had contacted me earlier rather than seeing holistic healing as a 'last resort' often finding that the process of many conventional approaches has been traumatising in itself, adding to the distress and helplessness they feel.
Trauma takes many forms and what we experience as a result is incredibly complex because we are complex. You are a person with a lived experience and are not medical labels or symptoms. I prefer to view these experiences not as disorders at all but as natural - but painful - responses from our body, mind and soul when coping and living with experiences that have been minimised, are unresolved or unaddressed. Symptoms are a way for our bodies to highlight what needs unlearned in order to re-learn, what needs to dis-member in order to re-member; to return, restore and recover. Healing is not fixing, it is recovering. You do not need fixing because you are not broken. You may sometimes feel like you are but, I can assure you, you are not. It's not you, it's unresolved, unacknowledged, unhealed pain.
'The best minds in mental health aren't the docs. They're the trauma survivors who have had to figure out how to stay alive for years with virtually no help.
Wanna learn how to psychologically survive under unfathomable stress?
Talk to abuse survivors.'
Dr Glenn Doyle, Psychologist and author
My approach is holistic and integrative, using a wide range of therapies, techniques and tools that I have professionally and personally studied, researched, applied and developed over the past 20 years. As a trauma survivor, I also bring personal witness and a deeper level of empathy to my work. I have lived a life through the lens of trauma and the approaches that I use, teach and share with my clients in their own recovery and healing are the methods I live myself. This is incredibly important in therapeutically understanding what you are experiencing and in assessing the support best suited to you at different stages of your recovery.
Abuse, Trauma and Power
Many therapeutic approaches can help support your emotional self compassion, reconnecting with your physical body and the restoration of your own personal power, which is often taken - or given away - during times of trauma. This is an aspect that survivors of abuse live with - the theft of their personal power. It is rightly yours, belongs with you, and it can be retrieved. My holistic approach works for clients and it could work for you too. Specifically, I support many clients who are experiencing ongoing recovery from narcissistic abuse.
One of the aims of my work is to help you not only reconnect you with yourself, the essence of who you are, and not the behaviour you have had to adopt in order to survive, but to also foster a compassionate and loving relationship with your emerging soul. Honesty, integrity, safety and respect are cornerstones of my practice - you can read more about my commitment to the ethos and values of Flourish here.
Shamanism: Healing For The Soul
My approaches are quite different from the treatments of conventional medicine; they are energetic, vibrational, spiritual and shamanic in nature.
I have found that clients experience both soul and power loss as a result of trauma and, in both my personal and professional experience, this 'lost' soul essence appears to manifests itself physically as PTSD and CPTSD behaviours which tend to reinforce the loss, little by little. There is an element of energetic and spiritual fracturing or fragmenting that occurs during a traumatic experience, in which parts of ourselves are 'shaken' from us by the traumatic experiences and often the PTSD that follows feels like we are caught in a whirlwind of emotion, flashbacks, anxiety and fear. Sometimes there is extraction work needed, especially in cases of abuse and control.
I consider my practice to be of the level of Trauma Enhanced in the NHS Scotland Knowledge and Skills Framework, treating clients who have experienced varying degrees of trauma, and providing healing and support.
Phone consultations are available to book online below as a first contact, where we have a brief chat and arrange an initial assessment appointment. *Please note that I am unable to reply to any email enquiries for trauma and PTSD and booking a phone consultation is the only way to initial contact.*
If you feel after our phone consultation, and after reading of the ethos, values and approaches of Flourish, that I am the right practitioner for you, we will secure your first appointment.
Your first session allows us the opportunity to explore either working together or not. This initial assessment session is exactly as described, an opportunity to explore whether we feel we would like to move forward in the healing process. Both parties are free to say either yes or no to working together, without expectation or judgement.
It is important to understand that Shamanic and holistic therapy are not 'miracle cures'. The one thing these approaches do have in common with other forms of therapy is the ongoing commitment required. Unlike many other forms of therapy, positive long-lasting changes can often happen in a much quicker timescale but this is directly influenced by your own approach and work towards this between sessions.
If we are moving forward in the process, I request an initial commitment to a minimum of 6 x 90 minute sessions, one each week, after your initial 90 min assessment appointment. One to one support plans provide a dedicated number of sessions necessary for the holistic support required for the process of your recovery. The sessions create a safe space where you are listened to with empathy and compassion and without judgement, emotionally supported throughout.
Your appointments are booked in advance and are intended to be the same day and time at each session, or as close as possible. This is therapeutically important. Payment can be made for all sessions in advance, or a deposit and payment plan is available. Please see terms for more details.
The plans are over the course of 6, 12 and 24 weeks, with longer plans available and ongoing follow on sessions if or when required - this is dependent on the extent of the trauma and the nature of the healing required.
Appointments are attended at my private South Lanarkshire practice. For international clients and those unable to attend in person, online sessions are conducted ia Zoom with remote support and distance healing.
Research and Recommended Reading
Studies have shown that various shamanic healing techniques have been used successfully with veterans experiencing PTSD.
The shamanic practice of soul retrieval is now considered a valid healing modality with further research warranted.
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