Moving Past Sexual Abuse Group Starting Soon

Raeburn House, Auckland, New Zealand, is running another Moving Past Sexual Abuse group. In the past the group was organised as a support group in which participants would be surrounded by survivors who understood their experiences and sharing one’s stories and supporting each other was the strongest emphasis.

This new Moving Past Sexual Abuse group is about discovering ways of how to leave the abuse and the legacies of the abuse behind oneself. Rather than concentrating on what happened in the past the emphasis is on having a life worth living NOW, today, and the days to come.

You will be shown how it is possible to regain control and reconnect with joy, wisdom, and peace of mind. You will find that the capacity to live in wellness has always been dormant within you waiting for you to connect with it. The Moving Past Abuse group is geared to help you realise that potential!

You can expect that we will address how to deal with anger, difficult emotions, social connections, relationships with self and others, depression, perceptions, thought, and in general how not to be ruled by the past.

Here are the starting dates and details:

When: Mondays, 8 weeks, Starts 30 July
Time:·7:00pm – 9:00pm
Total Cost: $80
Facilitator: Gudrun Frerichs
Venue: Raeburn House, 138 Shakespeare Road, Milford

For more information contact Raeburn House, phone: (09) 441 8989 or emaillearning@raeburnhouse.org.nz.

Find more interesting groups run by Raeburn House by going to their website.

New: Moving Past Sexual Abuse Seminar

Raeburn House is running again a sexual abuse survivor group. In previous years the survivor groups were ongoing support groups that accommodated survivors to attend for several terms. They were designed following the three stages of Judith Herman’s model described in Trauma and Recovery (1992). Since then our understanding of recovery has evolved and the new group will take place with an emphasis on learning rather than sharing one’s experiences.

We will explore the three principles that are behind our psychological experience so that people can overcome the debilitating symptoms often found in the aftermath of sexual abuse. That involves gaining an understanding of how our feelings are created, how to deal with low moods, how to discern between low quality of thinking and high quality of thinking, and how to cope/deal with distressing feelings.

When: Wednesdays, 8 weeks, Starts 2 May 2012
Time:·12:30pm – 2:30pm
Total Cost: $60
Facilitator: Gudrun Frerichs
Venue: Raeburn House, 138 Shakespeare Road, Milford

To enrol contact Raeburn House directly on (09) 441 8989 or email learning@raeburnhouse.org.nz.

Discounting the Past

Today I would like to respond to comments made earlier this month on the ‘home’ page here. My first impulse was being saddened by the confusion and despair readers felt by some of my latest post. However, it didn’t take long for me to get excited. Every time someone presents a challenge it gives me – and I suppose everyone – the opportunity to widen our understanding and deepen our insight. So I am very grateful for people to take the time and formulate their opinion and point out that what they are reading is not gelling for them.

It’s a tricky topic, the topic of “it’s just thought”, isn’t it? It’s hard to get one’s head around the fact that the world we experience is rather more a hologram created by our own thinking then a representation of what’s really OUT THERE. Especially when we end up with a badly bruised body or mind by our encounters with “out there”, be it objects or people’s’ actions. That’s however how it is – it’s a biological reality that we can’t grasp what’s out there without processing and interpreting it through our mental filters (history, beliefs, values etc.), through what’s ‘IN HERE’. It doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong or something bad. Experiencing your personal hologram as real is doing exactly what mother nature designed you to do: thinking that your thoughts are real. Everybody operates like that – nobody gets spared! Continue reading

PTSD Viewed Through the Lens of 3 Principles

Those who have followed this blog are aware how intensive I have covered the issue of overcoming the legacies of abuse and neglect. The simple reason is because dealing with flashbacks, memories, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and a toxic self perception seems to be the tragic struggle most survivors have in common. Not only that, it’s also a struggle that seems to take many many years to overcome for a large number of survivors.

But what if it doesn’t have to take forever and forever to deal with the aftermath? I don’t know any survivor who wouldn’t want to shorten the time until s/he is OK again, having a peace of mind, being in touch with a natural sense of well-being, balanced life, and overall contentment and happiness.

I have found this blog post that offers a challenge to those approaches to therapy with traumatised people who focus on re-visiting the traumatic moment, catharting feelings and emotions, and re-interpreting past experiences. Instead, principle based psychology is resting on the notion that every human being has an innate sense of health that we can access through our thoughts. It is important to understand the connection between thoughts and feelings. If our thoughts are negative and/or painful (for example: “I am such a cot-case”) we will feel depressed or sad or anxious. Thus the quality of our thinking determines the quality of our feelings.

Sydney Banks, who first conceived the Three Principles said “The most important thing to remember is it’s not what you think – it’s the fact that you think. Thought holds the secret to all our happiness, all our sadness. Once you realize the power of thought, I guarantee your life will never be the same again. If you have a positive thought and you put life into it…positivity happens
and you start to live in a positive life”.

Hop over the blog and read the challenging article. I would be interested to hear what your opinion is! Read this fascinating article here!

Letter To My Younger Self

Today I came across a lovely blog post from a fellow blogger. The title was “Letter to My Younger Self”. I became curious to see what Rachel (the blogger) wrote. (The post is no longer life anymore.) Those of you who know me will understand that: I hold the strong belief that a big part of the recovery journey is to find a place of compassion, love, understanding, respect, and appreciation for the younger SELF who managed to cope with the abuse.

When I make this statement I hear frequently “Yes, maybe, BUT see how much I am struggling, see how much I am in pain, see how difficult it is to reverse the dissociation”. The way the younger Self coped is creating a whole lot of problems today.

My counter-argument is usually: The younger You coped with something horrendously difficult and confusing the best way s/he could. S/he did so with the limited resources and understanding a child has; often with barely any support. You can now, as an adult, make the necessary changes.

However, the first step is to give recognition to the child in the form of love, care, respect, understanding, appreciation. It won’t be long until one by one your problems will start melting away.

How To Have A Happy Childhood?

J0411818 One of my favourite sayings is “It’s never too late to have
a happy childhood”. This is particularly true for survivors of sexual abuse. When
you are a survivor and you struggle to function in daily life, you missed out
on the vital ingredients to a happy childhood: emotional support, care,
respect, appreciation, and age appropriate challenges, which all together can
be described as the ingredients that make up love.

Continue reading

5th Step to Happiness: Random Acts of Kindness

Happy face Hello again! It took me a while to find my way back into writing for the blog. Even with the best intentions, sometimes life takes over and 6 weeks have passed. I better get my act together or I won't be able to finish all ten steps before the year has passed.

By the way, how is it going with the previous four steps? Are you still on track doing them regularly or did life took over for you as well? As I said before, happiness is not a thing people just have. It's a discipline! You have to work for it … and some have to work harder for it than others to compensate for 'them depressive genes'. I guess, it's a bit like brushing teeth. It's just not helping to keep plaque at bay brushing only once in a while. Twice a day, I think is the standing recommendation. There you have it!

Continue reading

2. Step Towards Happiness

Happy face Are you ready for some more happy stuff? How is it going with your Gratitude Journal? Keep up the good work.The second step towards happiness has to do with 'being in the moment' or better with focusing on and enjoying what you do in life. That involves noticing the beauty of things and using all your senses for taking in your experiences. This can be many different things for different people.

Continue reading

DID Treatment: Practical Steps Towards Happiness

Happy face Here are the promised 'Happiness Exercises'. Why do I call them that? Because research has shown that when you do these exercises regularly, you will feel better. Not only that, your sense of improved well-being and happiness lasts for many months after having done the exercises. Although the research has not been done with people who have multiple personalities, or more correctly dissociative identity disorder, I reckon it can't hurt to do them anyhow. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Continue reading

DID Treatment: Stop Depression by Pursuing Happiness

Happy face It has been common since the 60s that people  visit a counsellor or therapist to talk about the problems and difficulties that trouble their lives. Beliefs like "…It has to get harder before it gets better"  reflect commonly accepted wisdom and experiences people had for a very, very long time. These beliefs are now challenged by discoveries made by researchers who focus on what is known as 'positive psychology'. Without discounting the usefulness of traditional therapy that explores the problems people have and assists in finding new understandings or new behaviours, they suggest that a more effective approach would be to ALSO focus on people's strength and virtues.

Continue reading