I have suffered repeated bouts of depression and suicidal ideation throughout my adult life. This is from trauma I experienced as a child and as an adult. The day I called I was feeling suicidal and just really could see no hope for any change to my life so as a result I didn’t see the point of existing. I had sent in the form from the website. Very quickly following that I received a phone call from a volunteer. She could hear from my voice how distressed I was at that point. I did not have to go onto anything in depth on that call. I then received a couple of emails to collect my details and pinpoint the type of treatment that would best support me. The person I spoke to on the phone just seemed to pick up on where I was at that point. She just knew and showed care and compassion. I didn’t have to go into huge amounts of detail to be heard. I was sent a link on all the service providers so I could read through them and identify what type of service would best suit my needs. I felt I needed to work with a psychologist and this was discussed.
After my referral to Dr R., he called to discuss when we could meet, where and a few other things. I’d already spoken with him prior to our first face to face meeting however I was still a little apprehensive. That apprehension soon dissipated on meeting him. My therapist has a very calm, gentle presence which soothed any anxieties I was feeling when we met. In our initial session, as we covered an area of trauma that I’d never discussed with a professional before, he immediately validated me and my feelings. This alone brought such healing. I arrived with so many ‘Why’s’ but left with greater acceptance and self-compassion. As I attended a counselling session each week, I was able to start working things out better in between. Knowing I was seeing him, I would think about what I wanted to discuss so we could make the best use of our time together. I always felt safe around him. At times we shared some humour too which was so refreshing. The results I have had just show the difference 6 sessions can make to someone. What I learned working with my therapist brought me a much clearer insight. My confidence is growing every day and with that life has regained greater stability and worth.
With regards to my trauma healing, that will take far longer to heal. However, my sessions with Dr. R. helped me with tools for living in the now. The sessions helped me recognise some of the indicators of when I’m uncomfortable or feeling defensive. I understand myself better as a result. I don’t feel broken, I just feel I’m wired a little differently from what I previously understood. Therefore, I need to manage some things differently. As a result, my life is changing. I have found greater self-compassion too as I used to bully myself because I struggled so much. This greatly affected feelings of self-worth. Now I am getting better at setting clear boundaries. A thing I have always struggled with. I feel I grow in confidence and strength every day.
I was immensely grateful to be offered six sessions. I feel that is a useful length of time to get you out of the current feelings of crisis. However, more sessions would have been helpful as I felt I could do a lot more useful work with Dr. R. With more sessions we could explore a few areas in greater detail and work on acceptance and I could learn more tools for living.
I would definitely recommend Healed Scars to other women who’ve experienced trauma or abuse. It is so important that women who have experienced trauma or abuse to get fast help. Being on a waiting list for 2 or 3 years is just hopeless. It can be very difficult to even access mental health support services and if you don’t have the means to pay for immediate private care you feel there is nowhere to turn. Feelings of having nowhere to turn leads to a sense of hopelessness and suicidal feelings. More importantly if the matters are never addressed the behaviours just keep repeating and life just goes in painful cycles.