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February 2018

Not all heroes wear capes

How leading charities empower traumatised victims..


For over 30 years , I suffered in silence. For three decades, I lived with debilitating symptoms, caused by previous traumatic experiences, that affected every area of my life for so long, I no longer knew what ‘normal’ felt like. I so desperately wanted help to deal with my unresolved trauma, but referrals were slow, waiting times were long, and when I finally got to see someone I was only taught to manage and control my symptoms. Although this approach helps many, it didn't help me. I was still suffering from trauma, but I had the added stress of trying to remember the techniques to use to control the symptoms!

My life took a dramatic turn in November 2010, when I was offered a session of something called Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR).

That single session was life-changing. The dense cloud I had lived under for as long as I could remember suddenly lifted, as I saw the world in all its glorious technicolour. Something that had massively impacted my life for so long, was fully resolved. In one non-time limited session.

I left with a renewed sense of self-worth and a new purpose. My path was forged.

From that moment, I have been on a mission to make a difference. I trained to become a TIR Facilitator and Trainer, which has lead me to be one of the first psychological trauma specialists in this country to provide a way of fully and permanently resolving emotional distress and symptoms of trauma.

And the brilliant part is, I now work with dedicated staff and volunteers in the victims services arena. These charities and organisations offer help, support and a vital lifeline for trauma sufferers but, sadly, have their own challenges. Running costs are high and there is fierce competition for the limited funds that are available from donors and grant providers. Staff become frustrated, as they desperately want to provide the very best for their client, but constantly need to battle with excruciatingly long referral times for therapeutic support. As a result, organisations are constantly having to cut costs, often negatively impacting on the service they can provide, their own resources, staff training and ultimately staff morale.

The National Homicide Service which is part of the national charity, Victim Support, had a clear purpose. They wanted to build on their experience of providing psychosocial support and explore other ways to support their clients through one of the hardest times in their life. They began to imagine the positive impact TIR could have on their clients, and they didn't have to wait long. Shortly after I had trained 10 Homicide Service caseworkers, the results began to speak for themselves. One client bereaved by homicide said, “TIR took away the pressure & helped me work through the trauma . My physical symptoms of neck, back & heart pain have gone away & I feel I can move forward with my life”.(facilitated by Eve)

Another client journaled after their first TIR session “Wow! No sleeping tablets and its 9.20am I’ve just woken up. This hasn’t happened in such a long time, its called sleep. Its now 10.45 and I’m not up yet, I am enjoying this, almost as if I am doing something naughty……. I’ve been happy all day, feels strange, but good.” Similar feedback to this continues to come in.

The Homicide Service caseworkers quickly recognised the benefits of working with TIR. Clients are finding resolution much earlier on and feeling empowered to move forward. It is possible that in time staff will see a reduction in the length of time a client requires their support. The National Homicide Service has demonstrated they are leading, innovative, forward-thinkers, offering a gold standard service in the victim services industry.

At Bounce our aim is to make a massive difference to organisations like this, by training their staff in TIR, thus reducing the need to outsource to other agencies, and freeing much needed funds and resources. But ultimately the great win is that their clients no longer need to suffer in silence, they can quickly get the help they need, from the staff they already know and trust.

Everyone matters and we are very clear on why we do what we do. So if you have been inspired, and can see how this could transform and empower lives within your organisation, then come and join the growing movement of people who pledge to: