Birth Trauma: Part 3 of 3

We now join Anne Marie McKinley (a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI) for the final part of this sub-series and take a look at various trauma therapies available to both mums and dads.


Which Therapeutic Approach?

When either parent attend counselling in pregnancy, or post birth, several pathways may open up. If a woman is searching for a therapist herself, there are a number of things that may not be immediately obvious.

Therapy or counselling is often known to first time seekers through TV or film representations of how therapy works, or through reports from friends and family. Entering the perinatal timescale may also be the only space in the next number of years where parents can freely allocate time to heal old emotional wounds, deal with anxiety or depression, and come to terms with the journey of birth which may, for them, have been less than they had hoped and dreamed. It can be hard to prioritise self-care later on when there are little ones around your feet. [Read more…]

PTSD: What to do if you face discrimination

We welcome Louise Fraser from DPP Law who guides us through the subject of discrimination of those dealing with PTSD – what constitutes discrimination, what to do and the steps you can take.


As anyone who struggles with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will know, the condition itself provides enough challenges without additional troubling issues being created by individuals who refuse to take the steps required to understand it, or support those who suffer from it. In the worst cases, those living with PTSD will experience discrimination that not only makes day to day life difficult, but also exacerbates symptoms of the condition, creating a vicious cycle.

So, what should you do if you face discrimination at work, or in any other part of life, as the result of a diagnosis of PTSD? [Read more…]

Birth Trauma: Part 2 of 3

Friend, Flight, Fight, Freeze, Flop? Anne Marie McKinley (a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI) now takes us through the why and how in her fifth instalment in this series.


The Trauma Response and Childbirth

Bessel van der Kolk has spent over 30 years training psychotherapists to work with psychological trauma. Taken from the 28th Annual International Trauma Conference:

 

For almost three decades this conference has examined the evolving knowledge of how trauma affects psychological and biological developmental processes, and how the damage caused by trauma and neglect can be reversed. 1

 

We live in a world where teachers, more frequently, educate small children in the skills of mindfulness and self-regulation early in their little lives. However, many adults will often only find this need to engage in such activities when they are pregnant. [Read more…]

Birth Trauma: Part 1 of 3

The fourth from her series introducing us to maternal mental health, Anne Marie McKinley (a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI) focuses her next 3 parts on various aspects of trauma response in birthing.


Birth trauma is still represented as though it is a surprise in some parts of the world. Even with pain relief, and the intention towards active management of normality, women still develop PTSD in the postnatal period. These next three (4-6) contributions will focus on various aspects of the trauma response in birthing and suggest some very practical interventions which may assist in prevention or amelioration of symptoms.

[Read more…]

Dealing with the Symptoms of PTSD

Other than using the Rewind Technique, which I have found to be the kindest treatment for dealing with symptoms associated with traumatic events, there are many other treatments and activities which can help alleviate the symptoms a sufferer is experiencing. Here, Robert Johnson guides us briefly through what PTSD is and some of the options available to those living with the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex-PTSD (cPTSD).


As we know, life consists of ups and downs which we overcome daily. When we think about any type of mental disorder, just think of the ‘many more’ ups and downs that those people need to deal with. For PTSD, the battle with fear and anxiety is a long one and can last the whole day. It can also continue through the night when the reliving of the events is frequent. In order to understand PTSD, it is important to have it defined before proceeding. [Read more…]

Perinatal Mental Health

We are pleased to be sharing the first part in a series by Anne Marie McKinley on the theme of maternal mental health. Anne Marie is a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI who, over the coming weeks, will be introducing us to maternal mental health and its related aspects.


For every year of births, the estimate long term cost to society of Perinatal Mental Health in the UK is 8.1 billion pounds (Bauer, 2014). 1 This estimate is based on the costs of mental health care of women through pregnancy and beyond, and it follows the trajectory of the cost of health-related ‘quality of life losses’ over the lifetime of mothers and their children’. [Read more…]

Make 2019 the year you stop waiting for it to be okay!

As another year ends, we can be grateful.

Some, however, will not be feeling a desire to express gratitude as 2018 was yet another year of psychological pain and turbulence. They wonder if these symptoms will ever leave – and peace and non-suffering will ever come to them.

We know there will always be suffering but to what extent, is in our own hands. The world may often be chaotic, but we can remain separate from that chaos if we elect to skilfully and mindfully observe more, and judge less.

[Read more…]

How Dogs Can Help Improve Our Mental Health

From the time spent with Arthur, our rescue Lurcher, I know only too well the joy and benefits that owning a dog can have. Our guest, Will, here shares some of the benefits having a four-legged friend can have with regard to our mental health which is based upon his excellent 12-part article written for Dog Owner.


Mental health issues can affect anyone – it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for a living. It can be hard to talk about our mental health with those closest to us, and the fear of being judged or labelled as something we are not (lazy, entitled, high strung) is often enough to deter us from fully sharing the way we feel. However, many of us have our dogs, or the option to visit one.

[bctt tweet=”They offer the love, a listening ear when we need it and can benefit a myriad of mental health issues. #dogs #mhuk” username=”BobBrotchie”] [Read more…]

The Year-end Post from Counsellor Bob Brotchie

It’s probably fair to say 2017 was another turbulent year for humanity! Driven by their own sense of inadequacy, copycat terror was once again evident as individuals and groups tried to force those of democracy and of opposing views to cow down to the radical and extreme (non) faiths and ‘beliefs.

[bctt tweet=”Where there is disaster, look for the helpers.” username=”BobBrotchie”] [Read more…]

PTSD: The Signs You May be Missing

Whilst post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly understood as a condition suffered by frontline personnel in the military and emergency services, there is a groundswell of opinion that suggest quite strongly that variations of PTSD can be found across society.


Janice Killey has a wealth of experience and training in this area and shares some of the signs we may be missing and gives insight into what PTSD is and the symptoms to watch out for. Janice also holds a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts (Counselling), Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ASH) and is a Registered Psychologist at Psychologists Southern Sydney. She is also a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Many people nowadays are unaware that they have a mental condition called PTSD or best known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Why is this so? Well, the reason for this is, even today, is the lack of information or awareness about it. Let me share with you what it is all about and the signs that you may be missing. [Read more…]