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What is Trauma?

In today’s episode we are chatting to Amanda Marples, who is a writer, social worker and mentor with over twenty years experience in community mental health. 

We will be discussing her new book: “The Healing Workbook”. Published by Summersdale, this guide is designed to help people understand and deal with trauma.

For more information on the DSM definition of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) click here.

For more information on the ICD10 definition, click here.

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Please note that this show does not constitute medical advice and is not a replacement for seeking professional help. You can find our more about the show and get signposting to support on our website anyamedia.net/livelyminds

Transcript

E: Hello, my name is Ellie.

 

W: And my name is Will.

 

E: You are listening to a lively minds the podcast about mental health challenges that go beyond

the ebb and flow of the everyday.

 

W: The podcast that is less about how we deal with our mental health and more about how

we understand it in the first place.

 

E: In today’s episode we are chatting to Amanda Marples who is a writer, social worker and mentor with over 20 years experience in community mental health.

 

W: We will be discussing her new book, The Healing Workbook, published by Summersdale. This guide is designed to help people understand and deal with trauma.

 

E: Hello Amanda, it’s lovely to have you here.

 

A: Hello.

 

E: Thank you for being with us.

 

A: Hello, it’s lovely to be here. No, thank you for asking me. It’s lovely. I’m really looking forward to speaking to you.

 

E: So just for our listeners, I was wondering if to start with, we could talk a bit just about what trauma is. So you’ve obviously worked with trauma survivors for quite a long time but how do you kind of define trauma? 

 

A: How I define it, I guess I define trauma as any experience that is distressing, frightening and I think on top of that as well it’s any experience where a person perhaps feels out of control or helpless or trapped in some way, so any kind of aversive experience like that really. The diagnostic criteria are a lot more, is a lot tighter, depending on, depending on which you’re using. There’s two different ones, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the DSM and the ICD-10, the two different diagnostic er sets of, ah I can’t remember what you call them. 

 

E: Classifications. 

 

A: Yeah. 

 

E: The one’s the diagnostic statistical menu. 

 

A: That’s right. And the other one is the international classification of diseases. Yeah, that’s the one, so it depends which one you’re using so, there’s no kind of universally accepted definition. But for my purposes, that’s how I see it essentially. So yeah, any experience. 

 

E: What’s the difference between the two different classifications of it. 

 

A: Well, actually I guess what we’re talking about is the Diagnostic criteria for PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder. The DSM requires that a person, that the experience had to engender perceived or actual threat of death, which is quite tight criteria really.

 

E: Oh, I didn’t know that actually.

 

A: Yes. Yes. So, But the ICD-10 only requires that the person perceives that the experience was frightening or distressing. Which is much broader and makes a lot more sense and with the, you know,  there’s a lot more that we could talk about where that’s concerned, because we know that for many people, experiences such as, like to use an example like bullying, for example, there is no threat of death there, but PTSD can absolutely develop out of an, out of an experience like that and frequently does. So yes, so I have great difficulty with the DSM actually. Because if, if a clinician is using that framework, then they can’t give a diagnosis of PTSD because that part of the criteria is not met, which makes no sense to me. They need to look at it again, I reckon. But yeah. So for my purposes, and thinking about people that I’ve worked with over the years, trauma… and I do go into a lot more detail about this in the book, but trauma is any experience for me where the person was frightened, distressed, helpless, felt out of control, felt trapped, felt unable to cope, and the usual coping strategies start to break down. And I guess trauma as well is also the result of that event. So trauma can be the event itself and then the, the impact that it leaves behind.  That makes sense. Yeah. 

 

E: Thank you. Yeah, I think that’s really clear.

 

A: Oh good. Bit of a long winded

 

E: No, I think that’s really clear and I think maybe it’s worth asking as well just while we’re on the topic of, you know, diagnosis criteria and manuals. 

 

A: Yes. 

 

E: Because people might have heard of PTSD and they might also have heard people using the term CPTSD, so complex post-traumatic stress disorder so, I wonder if now might be good time, to time to talk about the difference. 

 

A: Yeah 

 

E: how would you describe the difference? 

 

A: It’s what complex C-PTSD is a bit, I don’t know if controversial is the right word, it’s not universally accepted by all clinicians, so like there will, there are still some clinicians and some organisations I guess who don’t accept C-PTSD as a formal diagnosis for whatever reason. I think there’s all kinds of reasons probably for that. But complex PTSD, well, complex trauma, if we start there, that’s probably a better place to start. Complex trauma is any trauma that involves any kind of interpersonal element. So like we were talking about bullying earlier on, that would, that would count as complex trauma. So it’s anything where the distressing event is at the hands of another person or persons. So that would encompass things like assaults, physical assaults, sexual assaults, abuse, any kind of abuse, all of those kind of interpersonal experiences that are traumatic and result in trauma would be called complex trauma. So complex PTSD came, I don’t actually know like the details of like the political history of that

diagnosis but certainly, and in my experience working in community mental health, lots of people

would get a different diagnosis, something like personality disorder. But what we know, what is common to most people that have got personality disorder, particularly borderline personality disorder, or as it’s called in some quarters, emotionally unstable personality disorder, is that usually arises out of early complex trauma. So it usually arises out of what we call adverse childhood experiences that usually develops. So, personality disorder does not cover it, very stigmatising, doesn’t kind of encompass everything that’s going on for that person. So, recognising the complexity of it and the interpersonal nature of it, it, it makes sense to have a separate classification for that particular kind of presentation. Because the usual presentations in trauma, all the usual stuff that you would expect, hypervigilance, disturbed sleep, reliving experiences, those kind of like flashbacks and nightmares, that’s what, usually what we mean by reliving experiences. You get all of that stuff in complex PTSD but on top of that you get a lot of things like really severe emotional dysregulation, so not able to kind of stabilise yourself, not able to stay calm, very often, kind of, real kind of peaks and troughs in mood and real difficulties in managing relationships, and often people will use a whole range of coping strategies that I guess we can call maladaptive. I don’t particularly like using that word but that’s, you know an easy way for people to understand it. So coping strategies that might not be particularly helpful in the long term so things like developing addictions to cope or using food or using alcohol or using, or even using relationships as a way to cope. So you get that in complex PTSD as well, its like an extra, an extra layer that you get with that. 

 

E: Like PTSD plus? 

 

A: Yes, absolutely.

 

E: Yeah, I have a C-PTSD diagnosis as well. 

 

A: Right 

 

E: Well PTSD diagnosis and then they said the same thing to me about C-PTSD. 

 

A: Right. 

 

E: They would diagnose me with it but on the left forms it would still say probably just PTSD. 

 

A: Yes and I find it difficult to understand sometimes why we can’t just have that because it resonates for so many people and it makes much more sense than something like borderline personality disorder which kind of suggests that the person is the problem and not the stuff that’s happened to them. 

 

E: Yeah

 

A: That’s the issue really.

 

E: Yeah and there’s you know, I don’t actually know, I’m not super up to date with it but I know that, but borderline personality disorder in particular or emotionally unstable personality disorder was one of the conditions that once diagnosed, you then were not offered the NHS counselling

and psychotherapy that you would be if you were given a different diagnosis.

 

A: Yeah, I mean… 

 

E: So I don’t know if that’s still the case. 

 

A: I think it’s patchy. I think it’s getting better. I think there’s a lot more understanding and compassion actually for people that have got a diagnosis like Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder but there’s still that kind of, those kind of old attitudes that that diagnosis is characterised by people attention seeking or not being serious when they’re, you know, when they’re talking about distressing ideas or even suicidality. 

 

There’s that whole, I don’t know, just kind of not being taken very seriously. Or it used to be like that certainly many years ago. It’s better, but there’s still some of that I think. And it’s very stigmatised.

 

E: Yeah, it’s like from people that I’ve worked with just from years ago when they got that diagnosis, it’s almost like that’s, that’s it. 

 

A: That’s nothing we can do. 

 

E: You’ve got a disordered personality. Yeah, I can’t do anything about that. 

 

A: And it’s not actually true. There’s loads that can be done.. There’s so much that can be done.

 

E: Yeah.

 

A: So much. And a lot of that, the stuff in the workbook actually, all of the exercises and all of the kind of systems that I kind of go through in the book are things that can be used with complex PTSD, absolutely, or even if, you know, somebody recognises or identifies as having symptoms of emotional and stable personality disorder, you know, there’s some grounding and stabilising exercises in there that would work really well. There’s, there’s plenty, plenty that can be done. 

 

W: I kind of feel like I don’t know very much about trauma at all and don’t feel I’ve really ever experienced it. If I was to describe what my mental health challenges are and have been for a long time I would say it was anxiety. And one thing I was just wondering was like how, how do you distinguish the difference between trauma and anxiety? 

 

A: I think, I mean trauma, if, if somebody is suffering because of a trauma that they have had then absolutely they will be anxious because it’s the same physiological symptoms that are at play. What happens in anxiety is, are you familiar with fight or flight and what that means?

 

W: mmm

 

E: Yeah

 

A: So, you know, we all have these ancient, it’s an ancient survival system that is literally designed to keep you alive. So if a threat is perceived, then you will get racing heart, perspiration, muscles primed for action so that you can fight or run away from whatever it is, that, that is perceived as a threat. That is at play in what is happening in trauma. I guess the difference, if I just, let me just back up a little bit. So it is normal when somebody experiences a traumatic experience to, in the aftermath of that, to experience some symptoms of anxiety, some symptoms that include things like poor sleep, poor appetite, loss of interest, those sorts of things, and that’s normal, most people, it would be abnormal not to have those experiences after something really awful has just happened. For the most part those symptoms will settle down and go away on their own and that’s fine and normal and a normal part of being a human being and no intervention will be required. When somebody is traumatised or where it’s developed into PTSD what happens is the normal systems of coping have failed. So what happens, and I go into a lot more detail about, about this in the book, but normally what happens, and memory comes into this as well, memory is really important in trauma.

 

So a traumatic event happens, or a series of events, but let’s just go with one, for the time being because it’s easier. The, the kind of normal, in inverted commas way of dealing with that is that the mind will just process that as a memory and it will just drop off into either short-term or long-term memory, depending, but it just gets processed as a memory. What can happen in trauma where it’s severe or where PTSD is developed is that the trauma is so awful, that the usual, the usual systems break down and the memory can’t get processed so it gets stuck. So what happens in peace? And the analogy that I use, I do like an analogy, it helps me to understand things a lot better. I like an analogy.

 

E: I love an analogy. 

 

A: So if you imagine that we have a conveyor belt and there’s little packages on it and each of those packages are stuff that is happening to you in your day-to-day life and some of those events will be difficult or traumatic. So they trundle along the belt and get processed and they drop off into a big bin marked stuff that happened to me once and that gets filed away in your head and it isn’t a problem and it’s fine, it’s just a memory. What happens essentially, I mean this is very kind of, you know, I mean, I’m not a neuroscientist or a neurologist, 

 

[laughter] 

 

so there’s probably scientists all over the place saying that’s not how it happens, but this is the best way for me to understand it and to explain it to other people. What happens in trauma is that an event happens, comes onto the conveyor belt, tries to get processed, but it’s so distressing, so impossible to deal with, that it’s like a big red button gets hit and the conveyor stops so it never reaches the end of the conveyor belt, doesn’t get processed, so it just sits there on the conveyor belt, so it doesn’t become a memory as far as your brain is concerned it’s something that is still happening, that’s why we have, that’s why we have reliving experiences because your mind, minds are amazing, brains are amazing always blows me away when I think about it, it’s trying to process it, desperately trying to process this memory. So it tries to kind of come out sideways, so you get flashbacks and that’s just your mind saying we’ve got to process this thing, we’ve got to process it, we need to make it into a memory because it’s just stuck there or you get nightmares. That’s a you know, really common in PTSD in particular. So it’s just the brain trying to do its job really, trying to get that package all along the conveyor belt to the end so it can just be a memory that’s not intruding anymore. 

 

W: So it seems to me that the difference between someone having a kind of a trauma response compared to somebody experiencing just more generalised anxiety is that a trauma response would usually be in response, in response to an event or series of events.

 

A: Yes, exactly.

 

W: Would that be fair?

 

A: That’s absolutely fair.

 

W: As opposed to a more generalised anxiety response, which would be to do with just, well, I guess, as per generalised anxiety disorder, for example, just much more general generic kind of like anxiety in everyday life kind of thing. 

 

A: Yes. It is exactly and really what’s happening in trauma is it’s still an anxiety response but it’s an anxiety, but the body and the mind is responding to an event as though it’s still happening right now today in the present. Do you see what I mean? So it’s still a full-on anxiety response as though it’s still happening. 

 

E: Yeah 

 

W: Yeah 

 

A: The brain does not know the difference. We are gifted as human beings with incredible imagination where we can remember the past, we can project into the future. As far as we know, there’s not many other mammals that can do that. There’s only really us that can do that. And also we have language, which gives us a whole other thing to deal with. So your brain doesn’t know the difference between something that’s real and something that’s imagined, which is why, if you think about it, when you go to the cinema, you’re watching a scary film if you watch a scary film. That’s why, even though you know that it’s not happening and it’s not real and you’re just watching it on a screen, your body doesn’t know that. So you still get racing heart, some people might hyperventilate, some people might get really distressed. Your brain doesn’t know, can’t tell. We need an upgrade really. 

 

[laughter]

 

We need like homo sapien 2.0 or something. We’re still operating on quite old systems. We’re designed to deal with stuff that’s here and now.

 

E: Those are both incredible analogies. That’s right, we are operating on like a really outdated operating system still.

 

A: We are and we’re stuck with it.

 

E: And also the conveyor belt analogy, I like that a lot. I’ve not heard that.

 

A: Yeah, it works, it works for me and I think it…

 

E: It’s really good.

 

A: It takes some of the shame out of it as well because what I’ve always found in working with people with trauma particularly, thinking about complex trauma, there’s such an element of shame in there. You know, why am I like this? Why am I not coping? Why am I not getting over this? So being able to explain to someone that we’re talking about really complex systems involving body and mind and brain that we can’t control, for me that takes a lot of the shame out of it for people

 

E: Yeah

 

W: Yeah

 

A: to just understand that there’s stuff happening that you can’t do anything about really. 

 

E: We’re just going to go to a quick break. 

 

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E: You’ve published this amazing book and I was wondering if you could first of all tell us a bit about what led you to, to do that because it’s your first book like that isn’t it?

 

A: It is yes it is the first.

 

E: So could you tell us, yeah, a bit about the format of the book and what kind of led you to want to create it. 

 

A: What led me to it? So as we’ve mentioned already, I’ve worked in mental health for a really long time in community mental health and always been really interested in trauma and I guess like we were saying before, you know, I’ve always felt like there is so much more that can be done for people that are traumatised on a micro level as well as on a, you know, on a more kind of formal therapeutic level as well. But you know, I’m a great believer in kind of self empowerment and self help. It’s, you know, stuff that I’ve done personally as well. So I’ve got personal interest in it. You know, I had a very difficult childhood, I could probably, I’m not diagnosed with complex PTSD, but I imagine I probably could be if I was so inclined to go

down that road. But I also think that self diagnosis is absolutely valid as well, just to throw that in. So yeah, so you know, I’ve had a very long, many years experience working with people that are traumatised and I’ve done various things, I’ve been involved in lots of different things. I’ve done group, facilitated groups for people that are traumatised and I’ve done one to one work and I’ve had caseloads of people with all kinds of different diagnoses. And the other thing as well that I think is important to say is that also in my experience trauma is not always, but very often at the root of so many mental health problems. But even things like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder quite often can be traced back to, I can’t remember what the, what the statistic is, there is some statistic somewhere, but the co-occurrence of conditions like schizophrenia with childhood trauma is really high. It’s like 80 odd percent or something like that. Don’t quote me on that, I’ve probably got that wrong but it’s high anyway. 

 

E: Yeah

 

A: So I’ve always been aware that it’s, you know, particularly in our culture there’s this, it’s pervasive, you know, it’s, I don’t think anybody, I think most people have either, either know somebody that has experienced trauma or have been traumatised themselves. So essentially the opportunity presented itself to me, the publisher were looking for somebody to write a book about, about trauma and I put myself forward for it essentially. It was simple as that. How, you know, they said, did I want to write it? And I said, yes, I absolutely do.

 

E: And did you, was the intention always that it would be a workbook because, so it’s called the Healing Workbook 

 

A: Yeah

 

E: And just for listeners who haven’t used it yet, there’s a lot of, it is a book about trauma, but it also has a lot of exercises and things in it for you to sort of like actively take, you know, it’s an active book.

 

A: Yeah, and I’m glad you used that word ’cause I was about to use it as well. It is an active book and I think you know, any recovery from anything whether it is trauma, whether it is all the things that come out of trauma like addiction for example, or eating disorders or you know, any of that other stuff that kind of tends to travel with trauma requires a really active, requires active participation I guess to recover from it’s not,

 

E: Yeah

 

A: It’s not passive but, and I guess and that is true actually of all any kind, I mean this is not therapy the book itself is not therapy, but it’s therapeutic. But even therapy is active. It requires the person who’s going to therapy to make changes, think about doing things differently, change their mindset. And it’s the only way that change can happen, really, in my experience, is if you do something different. I have a friend who always says to me, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always got.” And I think that is really, really true.

 

E: So I was a bit, I don’t know what the right word is, cautious when approaching the book, because really love, really good, like those kinds of exercises. And a lot of them are taken from like, there’s a few of them in there, of a kind of like cognitive behavioural therapy style exercises of kind of breaking down, you know, your thoughts and behaviours into cogs for want of a better word, to kind of deconstruct and identify them and see how they are. 

 

But I also am aware that there’s been like the market in the last sort of eight years has been quite saturated with, I’m thinking like mass reproduced, not not books like your books that are written by a mental health professional with a lot of information and readings to do in there, there but you know like the sort of self-help journals that are very light touch. 

 

A: Yeah. 

 

E: And they’re very generic and kind of often have quite unsophisticated thought behind them in terms of what exercises are going where and what the intended outcome is and that sort of thing. So I was interested to see like a really good example of what something like this could be which I think your book is amazing and brilliant and I’ve like sent photos of bits of the pages to

people I know to be like, 

 

A: Aww that’s so lovely!

 

E: Look at the definition of trauma. It’s so good. Yeah, I loved it. But also because I’m quite, yeah, I’m always a bit sceptical of like CBT treatments because they go against, I also have, I think that’s probably from the same mindset as you, my interest in research and kind of view of mental health is very much from a trauma based approach and kind of understanding. And to me, cognitive behavioural therapy is kind of the opposite of that, because it does that thing where it’s like, well, it’s your thoughts, so if you can break them down and your behaviours, and you can break them down and figure out what you’re doing wrong, then you can rebuild them. 

 

A: mmmm

 

E: So I guess I was like, nervous before reading the book. So I was like, oh no, but what if, what if the work in the workbook is all, puts all the sort of blame on me, but it absolutely doesn’t. And like, everything has clearly been selected so, so well. So yeah, I guess that’s not even really a question. 

 

A: [laughter]

 

E: That’s just me talking to you about. But I guess the question actually I wanted to ask in relation to that was kind of like how did you go about choosing these particular exercises and the order and that sort of thing because that’s quite interesting because obviously they’re not all CBT type ones but yeah. 

 

A: Yeah, it’s interesting what you say actually if I can just blather on for a bit about CBT that’d be really great because I think that, 

 

E: Please do

 

A: because I think you’re absolutely right about, and I think and I think it’s a real shame that that’s what’s happened, you know I meet so many people that say CBT’s rubbish ant works for me you know I just felt like it were really formulaic and blah blah blah. And I think it can be, it definitely can be, but I think that’s probably true of, you know, most therapies and some of it is about how it’s been delivered and it’s about where a person is at and what they’re ready for and what they can and can’t do. 

 

E: Yeah

 

A: But cognitive behavioural therapy, you know, is based on really sound evidence-based principles and the vast majority of the exercises in this book are all based in kind of, those kind of cognitive behavioural set of theories and principles. 

 

And also ACT as well, I don’t know if you’re familiar with ACT, acceptance and commitment therapy, which I love as a therapy, 

 

E: Yeah

 

A: I think it’s amazing, I love it. But ACT itself is a, came out of CBT, but it came out of a recognition that straight, difficult, it’s probably not the best way to put it, but straightforward CBT, you know, 12 sessions to be free of anxiety, won’t, doesn’t cover what needs to be covered when when you’re looking at things that are more complex than that, or when you’re looking at trauma. But ACT is great and I really like it and I think as a therapy I think, I just

love how compassionate it is and how it kind of meets a person where they are at. That’s

what I’ve always felt about that.

 

E: Could you explain a bit about what ACT is just for our listeners who don’t know what acceptance commitment therapy is?

 

A: Yeah. So acceptance and commitment therapy. I suppose the central, the way that I think about it and some people might disagree with this, but the way that I have experienced it when I’ve talked to people that do this therapy and people that have had the therapy is it’s a therapy that encourages a person to, like the first bit of the acronym, to accept where they are at. So whether that’s chronic anxiety, chronic pain, chronic mood disorders, cause it’s really, it’s for people that have got kind of chronic problems that CBT is just not shifting like classic CBT is not shifting their anxiety issue or their affective disorder or mood disorder or whatever it is. So acceptance, so the acceptance is accepting that I have this thing, I have this thing that is affecting my life.

 

The commitment is recognising that you can still live a good life, a committed life, committed to your own values and have that thing as well. Because often what happens, and I’ve seen this a lot, you know, with people that I’ve worked with where there’s this, where people can, there’s this hopelessness around having a chronic problem that’s not moving where they feel like, well helpless and hopeless like they can’t do anything about it they can’t live the life that they want to live they can’t be happy essentially because they’ve got this thing that’s not going away it’s particularly true in chronic pain actually, if somebody’s got you know pain that’s with them all the time physical pain. So this therapy looks at well how do you live a valued life recognising that you can’t shift that thing and encourages people to see that it’s possible that you don’t necessarily have to get rid of that thing to be able to connect to things that you want to connect to and, you, have a life that’s worth living I guess and I really love that about it. 

 

E: It’s interesting that you brought up chronic pain as an example because when I first got physically poorly and had a lot of chronic pain I did start, I started an eight-week journaling course for a group of other people who suffered from chronic physical pain and it also, everyone just had sketchbooks because it was all about ad hoc and grassroots but it specifically went through each week we did lots, like sort of creating our own versions of loads of the types of exercises that are in your workbook and it, people really found them so helpful. 

 

A: It is. 

 

E: Those types of exercises and you get so much control over sitting on, I don’t I don’t know, you feel really in control of your own therapy, if you’re sat there on your own, like working hard at these exercises to kind of work through and understand yourself better, I think.

 

A: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And we know as well that when people can reconnect to their values, the things that matter to them, ’cause that’s all a value is really, it’s just something that matters to you. When people start reconnecting to that stuff instead of avoiding it, because they feel like they can’t go there because they’ve got this chronic problem. When people start to do that, research shows that the other symptoms that they’re dealing with can actually start to reduce. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s, but you know, the research bears it out that it is the case. But it’s just encouraging people to feel safe enough to be able to take those risks. Because I think it does feel like a risk. I think if you’ve… you know going back to trauma, if you have disconnected from people because people are scary, especially if your trauma was interpersonal, if you were assaulted for example or if you’ve been abused in any kind of way or mistreated in a kind of way, of course, you know, people are not safe. So, but what happens then is that people miss out on so many good opportunities and the, you know, the opportunity to kind of do the things that they do want to do. It’s like, this is not the greatest phrase in the world, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so people will cut out everybody in their life in order to stay safe and re-connecting to people then starts feeling like a risk. But done slowly and with support and with a lot of self-compassion, if people can start reconnecting to those things that matter to them, you can overall see an improvement in symptoms.

 

E: So what kind of person and what kind of stage is this book, is the healing workbook, kind of designed within mind as an audience? 

 

A: It, it would suit anybody to be honest. I’m not just saying that for sales. It would suit, it’s designed to be gentle. It’s not supposed to be, you know, if I designed it so that it’s kind of full on or and all the way through the book, you know, repeatedly saying, if this exercise feels too much. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Wait. Go back. 

 

E: Yeah

 

A: There’s a section in this that’s just about grounding, which is just about containing a flashback or containing anxiety or containing any kind of difficult symptom that you’re experiencing. And I’m really keen for people to make sure that they do that first before they do anything else. Like, learn how to ground yourself, try and become a Jedi master at grounding before you do anything else because that is what will keep you safe really. So, so being able to do the grounding if you can get good at that, then really anybody can use this book and it’s designed to be flexible as well so, I mean it’s written in this order for a reason so there’s a bit of kind of psycho education at the beginning where it’s more about like what is trauma 

 

E: Yeah

 

A: what is going on in the body what is going on in the brain because it’s important to understand what is happening to you if you’re experiencing symptoms and then it goes into thinking about how do I create safety in my life, what do I want things to look like and then starts to go into how to do some very gentle processing work so you can get that conveyor belt and start moving again and get the, get the memory to the end of the conveyor belt. So it’s designed to be gentle but what I would say, and I say in the book as well, is that at any point if you feel unsafe you have to ask for help. It’s always of critical importance to ask for help if you feel unsafe in any way or feel overwhelmed. You know, see your doctor, pick up the phone, reach out to somebody that’s safe. I think that’s very important. And I do, do say that quite a lot in the book as well. But yeah, it is pretty much for anybody. And you can use it. I’ve got a, I know of a couple of people that are using it that are professionals that are using it with clients so you can go through it with someone as well. 

 

E: that’s brilliant 

 

A: because the way that it’s structured would fit quite nicely with therapy sessions, especially CBT therapy sessions so it can be used with a therapist if that feels more comfortable for people.

 

E: Yeah, it’s created in such a way that I couldn’t see how that would work really well and for the therapist as well actually

 

A: Yeah

 

E: Because you’re not just sending someone home with a worksheet that you’ve printed out, you’ve, there’s, you know the book also has a lot of information and all of the important stuff that you’ve written in it so yeah, 

 

A: Yeah I think it suits that kind of format 

 

E: So thank you so much for joining us today 

 

A: It’s alright, it’s been great 

 

E: Yeah I’ve really loved it I feel like I could talk to you about trauma therapy for ages but yeah I’m sure we’ll be speaking to you again very soon. 

 

A: Lovely, would love to on the podcast 

 

E: So the healing workbook is published by Summer’s Dale and is available from all the usual bookstores.

 

Thank you so much everyone for listening and please do tune in again in two weeks for another

episode of Lively Minds the Mental Health Podcast. 

 

W: Please note that this show does not constitute medical advice and is not a replacement for seeking professional help. You can find signposting to support on our website anyamedia.net/LivelyMinds. 

 

E: Make sure you keep up to date with our shows by subscribing wherever you get your podcasts.

 

W: Take care and bye for now.

 

E: Bye.

 

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Lively Minds is an Anya Media //// Still Ill OK co-production

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