Welcome to the Growing Heart website. In a world where stress and trauma are happening every day, we offer sanctuary. This site is packed with information, ideas and resources to inspire and help people know that healing is possible. Hope and a wholistic approach to healing are offered here.
Stress and trauma happen every day. Often, we simply get on with life afterward. But sometimes our experience stays with us, haunts us in some way. There may be an aftermath such as low self esteem, poor quality of life, relationship issues, anxiety or depression that resists treatment, repeated patterns of behaviour that you don’t like, shame and loneliness, addictions, or physical, emotional or mental health issues . Trauma can be passed on to children, for example in families who have survived war or persecution.
If you are reading this, chances are you or family members are trying to deal with the legacy of stress or trauma in some way, or you are a health professional looking for more up-to-date information about treatment. We all cope as best as we can with stress and trauma. People are incredibly good at surviving, and create coping strategies or ways of surviving that help in the short term, but over time the problem often becomes worse or the coping strategy causes other problems. You may have tried standard treatments and wonder what other options you have.
This website aims to increase interest in best practice treatment of symptoms of complex or long term trauma and stress. Our mission is to let people know that healing is possible. Thanks to recent advances in neuroscience and neuroplasticity, for example the neuroscience of attachment and psychotherapy, there are new and better ways to heal stress and trauma, often more holistic and including the body in the work.
Trauma practitioners should have multiple skill sets to enable effective practice. Many health practitioners believe they are trauma-informed without up to date training, supervision or experience. This is an urgent ethical issue which needs to be addressed by the profession as attested by successive Royal Commissions into mental health services and the recent Royal Commission into Institutional abuse. People seeking help or healing are often failed or retraumatised by the very services they turn to for help (Benjamin, 2019).
The founder of The Growing Heart, Claire Hudson-McAuley is an experienced Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse, Alcohol and Drug Counsellor and Family Therapist. She has specialised ACF recommended training in trauma, sensorimotor psychotherapy and attachment, and is included on Blue Knot Foundation’s database as a provider of trauma-informed therapeutic services.
Trauma can affect people profoundly, physically, mentally and emotionally, for decades after the events, as shown by the ACEs study (Andes and Filetti, 1995). But survivors may not remember what happened. Psychiatrist Judith Hermann (1992) first said “trauma survivors have symptoms not memories”.
Trauma-related symptoms including relationship issues, stress, anxiety or depression, failure to reach full potential in work or personal life, somatic conditions without apparent medical cause or with emotional triggers, fibromyalgia and chronic pain conditions, many types of dissociation from living in a fantasy world to having multiple separate “parts” or self-states, PTSD symptoms including irritability, flashbacks or difficulty with trust, sexual or intimacy issues, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, difficulty with parenting or attachment, addictions, self- harm or chronic suicidality, emotional dysregulation, phobias etc.
Physically, survivors are at greater risk of many physical health conditions like obesity, heart disease, airways disease, insomnia, gut issues such as IBS, tinnitus, reduced immune function or immune disorders, and may have a life span up to 20 years shorter than average.
We believe that healing people is possible and that it also benefits humanity and generations to come. For more information call Claire today on 0408 509 110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential chat. You can click here to download a PDF introduction to soothing and settling symptoms of nervous system stress and trauma. During the current CV19 situation all services including consultation are offered online.