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


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


Learning from Intimacy

Learning from Intimacy

Learning from Intimacy

Our relationships teach us a lot about ourselves, our needs and attachments formed to those around us. Relational attachment styles can be formed to protect ourselves, to adapt with social situations or connect deeply with another. Exploring what intimacy brings up emotionally, mentally and physically highlights areas that cause inner conflict and that opportunity to re-experience intimacy in other ways.

Types of intimacy

With the many relations we form or are born into, be it with family, classmates or community – we learn from our initial attachments which ‘type of person’ is safe, and how to respond when there isn’t a sense of safety. Here we can explore, from a space of retrospective, the types of intimacy patterns we develop over time with notice areas that brings up pleasant or unpleasant judgements or feelings towards ourselves, others or the idea of intimacy in general.

Types of intimacy can be experienced in the;

  • Physical Intimacy: Proximity of presence and comfort levels with touch.
  • Emotional Intimacy: Attunement of emotional wellbeing and another person’s feelings.
  • Intellectual Intimacy: Sharing thoughts, ideas, beliefs and opinions.
  • Experiential intimacy: Connecting through subtle awareness, interactions and spiritual experiences. 

When noticing pleasant or unpleasant judgements or feelings to the various areas of intimacy above, the opportunity to reflect… 

“In what context am I experiencing this?”

“Is this only to towards others or only towards myself?”

“When and with whom did I decide this was so?”


With family or community narratives around intimacy, this may or may not be influenced by the broader cultural environment we find ourselves in. Television, films and social media posts may display aspiring or conflicting views that brings about a sense of uncertainty or frequent comparisons to others and how we ‘should’ be experiencing intimacy. 

The developmental factors add another dimension to the context in which people may form a sense of self when responding to distressing intimate relations formed early in life. The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study highlights the effects of early childhood experiences have on a person’s health and well-being in the long run and the behaviours that develop from such pro-longed experiences. 

These ‘templates’ formed, whether it’s generalised as ‘all women’ or ‘all men’, ‘authority figure’ or [insert occupation here]. When we apply this template by default on entering a new work environment or interaction, it could be useful to notice when feeling uneasy with someone, is it something they did or said, or if they remind you of someone or bring up a memory from another time? 


British psychologist John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.” in his work ‘Attachment and Loss'(1969). With this initial focus of developmental needs and safety, it wasn’t until Psychologists Mary Ainsworth’s experiment of The Strange Situation (footage of this video can be found here), that emotional connection was also considered as an important factor of attachment styles.  The experiment observes of how babies respond to being left by their mothers, and in a room alone with a stranger and how the babies respond when their mother returns.

Studies continue on how the extent of attachments in early life affect human development, behaviours and defence mechanisms as well as looking at adult attachment based studies with emotional dependencies, self-worth and behaviours when it comes to dating or in marriage counselling. Most recently, the attachment styles originally known as ‘Secure, Anxious & Avoidant’, have further developed in areas of these emotional connection styles:

  • Secure.
  • Anxious-Preoccupied.
  • Ambivalent.
  • Dismissive-Avoidant.
  • Fearful-Avoidant 
  • Disorganised

These may change over time as people develop, move into different environments or relationships. We may notice when an attachment style show up differently for various people. Neither are good nor bad, it’s only when an attachment style is a barrier to fully wanting to connect with another that people may seek therapy to find ways to adapt and explore alternative ways of dealing with the unpleasant thoughts, feelings or behaviours that are acting out in situations out of context. 

With so many resources available, I’d recommend starting with this book from Diane Poole Heller, who looks at the ways to create healthy, intimate relationships when healing from past traumas or adverse experiences. 

“We are fundamentally designed to heal.
Even if our childhood is less than ideal, our secure attachment system is biologically programmed in us, and our job is to simply find out what’s interfering with it – and learn what we can do to make those secure tendencies more dominant.”

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Dr. Heller

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Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776

Providing Comfort in Tough Times

Providing Comfort in Tough Times

How to Provide Comfort to
Those Going Through Tough Times

When life hands you a tough situation, you may need to lean on other people for comfort. But what if you’re the person that needs to provide the shoulder? It can be a difficult job since you need to be the one that stays strong for the other person.

How you provide comfort will vary depending on who you’re comforting and what they’ve gone through. However, there are universal tips to keep in mind when you’re consoling someone.

Here are some strategies that can help you provide much-needed comfort to others:

  1. Uplift them. When someone approaches you for comfort, chances are that they’re not asking you for your advice. More likely, they just need someone to be there for their emotional needs. Avoid trying to solve their problems unless you’re asked for advice. In that case, you’re free to provide any advice that you have.
  1. Listen well. It’s always a good idea to develop your listening skills. A part of being a good listener is truly striving to understand what the other person is saying or going through. Remember that you can provide a certain degree of comfort just by lending an open ear to the person suffering.
  1. Offer unconditional help. Sometimes it’s comforting just to know that the other person is there. Tell the person that’s suffering that they can discuss their problems with you any time they need a lift to help them get through.
  1. Give a hug. It’ll certainly vary depending on the relationship that you have with the person you’re comforting, but you can provide physical comfort with a hug. Hugs simply make people feel better! The human touch can melt the soul and warm them with comfort.
  1. Be understanding. You might not know what it’s like to go through the tough time that you’re helping with, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t strive to understand. Do your best to try and understand where this person is coming from.


Understanding Grief

If the person you’re helping is dealing with loss, you’ll also be helping them with their grief. Grief is a natural emotion to go through when people are facing a traumatic loss, natural disaster or sudden and unexpected change. If you gain a better understanding of grief, you may know what to expect should it ever happen for yourself or someone else and feel able to respond in an empathetic manner.

Process of grief

The Stages of Grief

As outlined in the KüblerRoss  Grief model above, grief is expressed in different stages and different people spend varying amounts of time on each stage. Sometimes the stages aren’t even expressed in the same order.

Grief usually starts with the initial shock of the loss and often times denial accompanies this distress. Then pain and anger sets in, which may last for a long time. Sometimes depression also sets in before the person journeys into acceptance.

While you don’t want to push a person through the stages too fast, you do want to do whatever you can to help them along to acceptance. When they’re angry, be an open ear and try to reassure them. Help them see their problem or loss from a different perspective.

Depression can be difficult to help with since the person tends to lose interest in the world around them. You and your shoulder to cry on can make a difference. Show them that the world hasn’t given up on them, so they shouldn’t give up either. With your support, and the help of a professional, the process will find a way that works best for the person and their understanding of what’s happening for them.

When someone you know is going through a rough time, these tips are a basic guide in ways to console your loved one. The comfort you bring them may be the one thing that helps them make it through to better days.

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Amanda Salvara MBACP

Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach


+4420 8106 0776