Passionate About Helping Others
My quest to understand and indeed, identify acute trauma has lasted over a decade and during that time my right to live a happy, healthy life was taken away from me. Despite willingly engaging with mental health services and regularly taking the prescribed medication, I still ended up in crisis 13 years after experiencing my acute trauma and was finally sectioned.
At this point I was given a different mental health diagnosis and in turn, was given completely different medication. Critically, I was finally given an explanation of the neurological consequences of my acute trauma which almost single-handedly gave me the right, and the courage to begin living my life again.
Over time, I became able to question my maladaptive thoughts and self destructive choices. I had been given an opportunity to do the work that would allow me to reclaim my well-being and now I want to give that opportunity to others in the same position before they cause irreparable harm to themselves, their lives and their loved ones.
In order to truly understand and define it, I began working with other people who had experienced acute trauma and the typical responses displayed. It was important for me to explore a variety of experiences in order to document the characteristics of acute trauma and its unique neurological impact.
I've been truly honoured and humbled by the many people that have shared their experiences, entrusting me with often complex, challenging and raw emotion. This insight has formed the definition of the four components of acute trauma that, when combined, create unique neurological responses that require specific diagnosis, support and therapeutic engagement.
My background in Psychology, counselling and, more recently embarking on a Phd in Mental Health Science, has allowed me to effectively research and test the notion of acute trauma whilst developing the tools, training and resources necessary to sustain those who have experienced acute trauma, along with those that are expected to support them too.
My work has recently been adapted into a COVID-19 response after research has show that their experience of the global pandemic will be an acute trauma for many people. The full research report can be viewed here
Committed to making a difference
When my brother died in 2002, I accepted at the age of 19, that my life was over. In the moment that the police knocked on our door in the early hours of the morning and as we sat down and heard that Daniel had drowned, my world collapsed around me.
Nearly 20 years on, there are still times when the pain of losing my brother is intolerable, impossible to bear; and I don't think there is anything that could have or ever will minimise that.
Yet, in Acute Trauma and the training, support and insight it provides to people that have experienced so catastrophically life shaping, I hope I will help others make better choices.
Being able to understand Acute Trauma and some of the strange thoughts and feelings that accompany it has helped me immeasurably. Knowing that there are other people that think and feel similar things to me have helped me feel less alone and recognising some of my actions as a response to acute trauma rather than a mental illness or senseless destruction, has helped me improve the relationship I have with myself.
I sadly never had the opportunity to share my narrative or the chance to gain emotional insight or control. When I most believed my life was over, there was no one there to tell me otherwise and quite simply, that is what I hope to do for others with by supporting Charlotte in her quest.