So here we are, in the second half of the first month of 2020, the first day of Year of the Rat. That 3.5 years went quite quickly.. meanwhile SA&T has been steadily going along, now with a few new sprigs.
For providing specific trauma therapy we now have EMDR.London, central clinic sessions under SA&T's umbrella. It was helpful being based mainly in my art studio but I am enjoying being central too.
I have provided EMDR and Art Psychotherapy consistently at SA&T since I last wrote, though also with organisations. I now provide clinical supervision in groups as well as providing individual supervision.
Work with Doctors of the World developed into self care groups for professionals, which I really enjoyed, so agreed when asked by another organisation to provide group supervision for psychodynamic therapists working with refugees. I trained on a diploma at the Institute of Group Analysis to make sure I was as good at it as I can be and now run a private supervision group. Some of the resources we created and used in the DOTW self care sessions are here.
As some of my clients, particularly teenagers with anxiety and people struggling with complicated grief, have found climbing therapeutic I started to include that as a service and qualified as a climbing instructor at indoor gyms (CWA - Climbing Wall Award and CWDI - Climbing Wall Development Instructor) for this purpose. It's a slow burn, I don't do this a lot but respond to requests and enjoy the diversity, some of my background interest is here.
Linking EMDR and Art Psychotherapy has proven really effective, so I have been introducing Art Psychotherapists to EMDR at the British Association of Art Therapists, and EMDR therapists to Art. This is mainly through The British Association of Art Therapists and their regional groups, EMDR UK and Ireland Regional Groups and now the NHS.
During therapy sessions sometimes materials come about that I'd like to share more widely. Client confidentiality is essential so I have anonymised case studies as well as tools people can use between sessions. Here is a study about using EMDR with art therapy from 2015 and a couple of things I've written recently are below. I'm thinking of a podcast in the future, as though I like to write I already type quite a lot. Blogging will be very irregular... Hmm.
1. A form to help notice things that are going well in your lives: Shiny Reflective Form
2. Below is an analogy that I thought of in a therapy session and quickly wrote afterwards, my client made the image in response the following week. This was around abusive relationships.
As you drive along the road of life you’ll come across all kinds of people, at various stages in their lives. Some will want to hitch a ride, some might contribute fuel, help with directions, some might try to joy ride and even crash and destroy your vehicle. There will also be those who throw eggs and try to derail you. Now and again, you might stop for a passer by, only to find poop on your window. Whatever you do, don’t turn the windscreen wipers on.
Move on, don’t wallow in it, examine it, or further spread it on yourself. Get clear of the mud flinger, then stop at a safe distance and wash your windscreen. There will be a chance in the future to go through a car wash. Stop for lunch.. and meet people who don’t send you off course or make your journey dangerous and unpleasant.
A wider range of people than you would imagine will cross your future path and if you don’t wash the muck off and get moving you won’t see each, other even if you do meet. It’s your car, your body, your life. You let people in you choose to, you have your hands on the wheel and feet on the breaks and the gas, nobody else does.
Swerve if you have to, check the map, change route, fuel up, service your vehicle. But remember you have a future to approach and engage with on your terms.
If you took the mudslingers with you, so it is, though you have the option to wash your windscreen and share with people who are helpful and good company.
Once you are past trauma in your life you can heal.
Recognising the problems and disentangling from the dangers and distraction is the hard part, once you are further down the road you can wash and own your car, your route, your journey; to take care and allow yourself to protect and enjoy it. '
The texts on this site are mainly theory and practice based, I'm having a think about where to put this sort of thing. For now, it was a good prompt to reopen my blog.
Best wishes all, as we embark on the new decade!