Wisdom Of Trauma

Wisdom Of Trauma

Becoming a Trauma informed Society

Brought to you by Science and Non-Duality in partnership with The Compassion Prison Project, Chrysalis Society and The Downtown Street Team; The Wisdom of Trauma documentary follows Dr. Gabor Mate as he shares his work on exploring the relationships between trauma, pain, addiction and disconnection.

Click here to Watch The Movie

“Trauma is not what happens to you,

it’s what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you”. 

Dr. Gabor Mate

What’s significant about this move?

Whether you have experienced trauma or known others in your life who have been impacted by trauma, becoming a trauma informed society helps us as individuals to recognise that even when we don’t see trauma, it cannot be reasonable to deny others of their traumatic experience when there is a significant impact on their mental health, physiological wellbeing and impact on relationships.

There are still a ways to grow, learn and adapt with compassion to heal the self and allow space for others to heal in the safety of home, work or school because humans will be human where ever we go. Location for experiencing trauma is irrelevant, but the need for empathy and compassion is prevalent.

As well as providing first-hand interview encounters of exploring how Dr. Gabor Mate shares his knowledge in what helps to heal trauma, the project itself provides a series of interviews and talks with renowned mental health and somatic experiencing experts Dr.Peter Levine and Dr.Stephen Porges, relationships specialists Esther Perel and Diane Poole Heller PhD, activists and speaker such as Resmaa Menaken MSWAlanis Morissette and international recording artists Sia. All sharing their insights on their learned process in healing trauma through creativity, compassion, recognition and reconnecting with the authentic self.

It is raw, it is real… it is human. It’s advised to take care of the self whilst watching this film and should you wish to join the discussion group that reflects on the impact of this film, there will be a ‘Wisdom of Trauma’ group discussion available to participate in here.

visit wisdomoftrauma.com for more information

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Amanda Salvara MBACP

Registered Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


How do beliefs and values shape your reality?

How do beliefs and values shape your reality?

Your beliefs about yourself and your life have more power over your existence than you can imagine. Personal ideas and values you’ve held for a long time can block the way toward a life you desire. Identifying your unhelpful beliefs as possibilities, along with helpful ones can open up new perspectives for new opportunities.


Here are some examples of examining beliefs that may be hampering you in your efforts to live a fulfilling life:

1. “I ought to let go of my dreams because I’m unable to achieve them.”

A couple of unhelpful things happen when you think this way. First, it seems you may feel undeserving of the dreams you have and are, therefore, sabotaging yourself. Second, you’re likely not doing anything to move closer to how you want to live.

  • One way to alter this belief is to ponder how to follow your dreams. Make a list of the steps required to achieve the life you crave. Look at them as stair steps. Then, begin “climbing” those steps toward your future, one by one.
  • Your new belief might sound something like, “I’m following my dreams starting today and will celebrate each step I achieve along the way.”

2. “I don’t have the right to ask for what I want because I fear rejection.” 

This belief indicates you feel less important than others. You see your wants and needs as not relevant to others. Living with this belief means you likely keep your true feelings under wraps and simply go along to get along with others. There’ll be no rocking the boat from you.

  • The fact is that your feelings are equally valuable as everyone else’s. Consider changing this belief to,
    “I am important and how I feel matters to me. I can diplomatically ask for what I want. Others may disagree, but I can handle it.”
  • When you can state you want or need tactfully and honestly without anger, those close to you will probably listen well and respond to them.
  • However, if they have a negative response, remind yourself that you have no control over the feelings of others.
  • You do have control over your own feelings and actions. Therefore, ask for what you want. Recognise that you can listen to others’ responses, but you’re not responsible for how they feel.

3. “I’m not going to trust anyone again.”

This belief may stem from a time in your past when someone you trusted hurt you.

  • Perhaps, when you were a youngster, your parents were unsupportive or tough on you. Or in a prior close relationship, you felt betrayed or that your feelings were minimised. Whatever the case, it sounds like you’re afraid to trust and you’re trying to protect yourself from further emotional hurt.
  • Alter this belief by giving yourself permission to trust. If you pledge not to trust again, it likely means you’ll not have another loving relationship.
  • Recognize that you probably learned something positive from the prior relationship. You’ve grown and your ideas about what you want are clearer now.
  • You can adopt a belief something like, “In order to have a relationship, I must invest in it. It may be scary at first, but I can do it.”

4. “I don’t make enough money to live a financially secure life.” 

This belief puts a heavy cloak over your efforts to be happy. When you think this way, you fail to see what you can do to save for your future. Your emotional health is intimately connected to how you feel about your financial life.

  • Open the door to a more secure financial and emotional life by adjusting your belief to, “I have control over my finances and I can save X income per week.”
  • When you believe you can live within or below your financial means and still save, you’ll discover you can enjoy your life.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi


What do you think about yourself, others and the world?


Perform a thorough self-examination of your major beliefs and values.

Are your thoughts and beliefs preventing you from achieving healthy relationships, establishing monetary security, or living the dream life you believe are meant for others but for some reason, don’t believe you deserve?

Limit those limiting beliefs when they show up, starting now with the Beliefs and Values workbook that uses various journaling and critical self-reflection prompts to explore and affirm which beliefs are holding you back.

Consent: It’s as simple as tea

Consent: It’s as simple as tea

When misunderstandings occur in sexual encounters, there could be many reasons why the fumbling experience can vary from misreading signals or interpreting what sexual behaviours are deemed desirable, safe and an enjoyable experience for all and acknowledging where the line crossed into abuse of trust, power and control.

As humans grow and develop curiosities around sex and intimacy, it’s a natural to want to explore feelings and sensations whilst learning to trust others when most vulnerable. The important factors that can easily be missed in education or family conversations is the awareness of explicit and informed consent. This being a moment-to-moment process in which ‘no’ means ‘no’ and respecting each other’s decision if feelings change.

Whilst it’s important to recognise the religious and cultural context around sex, the following resource outlines consent through a British cultural lens using the light-hearted reference of consent, over a cup of tea. If you have a moment to put the kettle on, I’d encourage anyone who would be interested in learning how to cover the conversation around consent to share the simple and straight forward wisdom that is provided in this video.

Thanks to, and shared by the campaign #Consentiseverything, as part of the Thames Valley Sexual Violence Prevention Group.


Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios | www.consentiseverything.com


Considerations for Email Therapy

Considerations for Email Therapy

An asynchronous way to communicate what’s going on for you may be a preferred way of trying out therapy to see if it’s something that would work for you, if talking face-to-face feels daunting or not an immediate way to process things. 
However, this form of therapy can inhibit the black-hole affect of putting yourself out there across the internet and not being able to know when or how the information is being received.

How it works


When writing confidential and private information via email, your therapist will provide a secure email address or platform to send messages to. This is a measure taken especially when emailing from shared devices and password protected to prevent any accidental or intentional access from others. 

With the information being provided via text, it would be beneficial to send up to 500 words at a time to your therapist so things can be processed and reflected back in a way that is useful. If an email under 500 words doesn’t feel enough to reflect what’s going on for you at the time, perhaps using a journal alongside therapy will help to process internally first before sharing the significant parts where you feel stuck and would benefit from a therapists perspective and insight maybe helpful. 

An advantage of email counselling is the disinhibition effect, of feeling able to share information without concern of how the therapist may respond. It also provides a space to process like a journal in seeing what comes up and on re-reading the process, editing parts that don’t feel as significant as they may have when once held in mind.

A disadvantage of email counselling is that you may not get the immediate response required when seeking assurance or in a moment of crisis. This is when a 24/7 text messaging or email services such as SHOUT or Samaritans may be the best option to meet the needs required at that time. 



  • Flexibility to write what you want to share when it feels most useful.
  • Emails can be written from your own home, whilst on a park bench, or anytime you feel it’s useful to send an email.
  • Secure email inbox that for confidentiality and peace of mind
  • No chance that you may be seen entering the counsellors practice or worries about travelling to and from the centre
  • Some find it easier to express their thoughts and feelings when not sitting in front of or talking to someone (disinhibition effect)


Things to consider

  •  Are you comfortable having to wait up to 48hrs for a response?
  • Would you prefer building up a therapeutic relationship face-to-face?
  • Do you feel you can express your feelings effectively using words?
  • Do you feel your situation is too complex to be understood via a single message?
  • Have you tried using a journal as a way to process thoughts and feelings initially?
  • When there are no non-verbal cues or body language for you or the Therapist to interpret, do you think this can lead to misunderstanding in what it is you need in a response?

Booking in an initial consultation over the phone or via video provides an opportunity to see how it feels talking with a potential therapist and assessing your comfort levels first before agreeing to initiate email counselling. Things may change, and that’s OK. If at any point you would want to try face-to-face therapy, you can always check in with the therapist if they would be flexible to do so or can refer you to a counselling service that matches your needs.

Navigating Change

Navigating Change

Navigating Change

Whether it’s longing for change, or finding it happen without warning, this article touches on some common approaches that counsellors, psychotherapists and coaches alike will look to when understanding and navigating the unique circumstances people may find themselves in when it comes to moving through change.

Four major factors that come up time and time again, are these key elements of what helps to adapt and evolve were;

  1. Learning: Feedback from experience.
  2. Behavioural: Safety behaviours and rewards.
  3. Resources: Internal and external toolbox.
  4. Mindset: Fixed VS Growth.

Learning: Feedback from experience

According to a study by James O. Prochaska, there are different areas of behavioural change which require decisions on small and larger scales, which all involve variables within the stages of transition. The Cycle of Change has evolved since the first paper released back in 1987, and most recently 2017 with the recent book release called Changing to Thrive.

This initial concept of all change begins with taking the first step of realising something needs to change and resulting in learning what doesn’t work from any mistakes or relapses throughout the upward spiral of moving through change.

Cycle of Change

Behavioural: Safety behaviours and rewards

Behaviour neuroscientist, Tali Sharot shares research in this captivating Ted Talk on ways to look at why we would be resistant to change and how any explicit warnings have limited impact. Detailing how some warning signs, or flags which lead to the bad or unwanted behaviours later in life are maladaptive safety behaviours that were useful at some point in life and worked with the path of the least resistance. These unwanted behaviours may then become a barrier to meeting needs or developing healthy safety behaviours later in life. This video addresses the important components within the process of change coming from social incentivesimmediate reward and progress monitoring.

Resources: Internal and External Toolbox


Critical reflection through journaling helps build resilience ‘muscles’ through self-efficacy and providing a space to process thoughts, feelings and develop a sense of self.
A classic journaling exercise called the ‘What, So what, Now What’ model helps to do this effectively by noting what happened by provided details of the event or interaction or reaction, and then asking the self, so what was/is it about that event or situation that is significant for you or why did it have the impact it did. Concluded with now what? Now the experience, emotion or thoughts have been acknowledged, what would you like to do about it or to happen instead? 

This type of reflection helps build on ones own understanding of themselves and their values whilst observing from a different perspective to enable problem-solving and resourcefulness.

Dedicated Apps

If keeping track is a driver for you, there are plenty of apps that encourage and track progress, such as 7 minutes workout, and others that require tracking substance use or thought process when learning to change maladaptive behaviours.

Websites such as Life Hack and Ted Talk provide a platform where videos and articles are provided for those seeking out how to make change effectively in areas specific to their needs providing positive reinforcing reasons why change might help.

Whilst all the above tools provide benefits for getting onto the path for change in times when lack of immediate social support or finances are available, inevitably, the decision around taking actions is solely up to the person who is thinking of making a change.

Online Support Groups

If external motivation sounds more useful, there are an abundance of online social groups dedicated to helping others going through change together. Most are run by a trained coach, therapist or facilitator in the specific context or situational topic for guidance. It can be within these spaces where supporting and lifting others up can feel rewarding and motivating in itself.

This is also where accountability comes in useful. Finding a group or an individual that helps to keep things on track within mutual support of what you’re both working towards. Have a nudge from someone who’s going through a similar experience is especially useful when doubt or the discomfort of the unfamiliar sneaks in, in the form of avoidance. 

Dedicated support

Where there are preferences towards a personalised or 1-to-1 support, having a mentor, therapist or counsellor to provide a space for reflection, exploring values and needs, or challenge limiting beliefs could be more useful. This form of support allows one to feel heard and seen within a safe environment whilst processing things that might feel otherwise irrational but all valid in terms of finding a unique and useful understanding or experiential work.

Mindset: Fixed VS Growth

Carol Dweck, Ph,D., developed the concept of Fixed VS Growth mindset when looking at how the personal desire to learn and take risks into the unknown can be hindered by an avoidance stance, of not wanting to fail, versus the learning stance, of wanting to move onto the next phase or level to develop or better oneself in their relations, tasks or skills.

There isn’t necessarily a static form of this mindset of people having either one or the other. It’s a fluid pattern that happens to everyone — teachers, parents, students and even Carol has admitted to catching herself in a fixed mindset at times.

The fixed mindset can be experienced as being there to protect us from social rejection, feeling  invalidated or conditional acceptance. What is really useful to be aware of when it’s happening it to ask the question… is this fixed mindset serving the desire and need for change to happen? If not, thank the thought or felt senses for catching it popping up and reframe the thought with “what would serve the need to overcome this obstacle?”

Fixed Mindset…

“I simply can’t…”“Some people are born with it…”“It’s not possible…”

Growth Mindset…

“I’m not sure how, but I’ll figure it out”“This is tough now, but it’ll get easier”“What other options are there?”

Mindset coaching, such as the work of Tony Robbins looks particularly close to rewiring the brain to more empowering and positively charged thinking patterns.

NLP coaching and CBT therapies provides structural frameworks that enable this paradigm shift. Observing the fixed mindset thinking and opening up the possibilities and perspectives to alternative (growth) frames of thought and processing situations that also work towards the same desired outcome. Applying these alternative thought patterns to ruminating thought, along with journaling or even social support,  creates a new habit that becomes second nature and just like building muscles, the aches and pains become less noticeable and the rewards can be felt as well as seen after time.

In this video, Carol Dweck explains extensively on the research and application of “The Growth Mindset”.

Peoples preferences may change over time as life unfolds when moving into different environments, relationships, beliefs or blind sighted events.

Whatever you feel works for you RIGHT NOW is what matters. There is no good nor bad starting point, only what is beneficial or not beneficial at this moment in time for what you want to have more of for yourself now and in the long run. Wishing you all the best in your human experience, whatever lessons it brings. 

Recent Articles

Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

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