Episode 6 in conversation with Jenny Chapman from Safeline
Jenny Chapman is an art therapist, who works at Safeline with people who have experienced sexual abuse.
Jenny describes how art therapy and its wide range of materials can help traumatised people to communicate their feelings, thoughts and memories to help them on their healing journey.
Jenny goes through how sessions with a client might look, according to the their needs. Jenny uses a combination of directed tasks and the client doing their own thing with materials they choose. Jenny builds up a therapeutic relationship, a triad, between the therapist, the client and the materials.
Janet talks about some of the art that she has done herself, including a piece in acrylics that she did at home, with lots of red in it.
Jenny and Janet discuss ptsd, triggers and flashbacks.
Janet has written a blog about the struggle of not finding words to describe trauma, I have no words. Jenny talks about the effect of trauma on the brain.
Janet and Jenny talk about the different choices of therapy that might be available for people.
Janet shares some experiences of her own therapy, including one-one and group counselling and psychotherapy, Gestalt psychotherapy and the “empty chair”, guided imagery, using objects to represent people or feelings.
Janet had an experience early on in her own journey where her male counsellor did not believe her story. Janet talks about this, struggling with believing her own story and also other points in her life when she has needed help and how she decided what help to take up.
Jenny asks Janet what her advice would be for someone who was struggling with trauma. Janet shares the experience of the roller coaster of ups and downs of therapy and the importance of noticing progress that is being made and to carry on, because there is hope for recovery.
Janet and Jenny talk about the benefits of keeping a journal, perhaps in words or a sketchbook, that can help people to make sense of feelings, thoughts, triggers and to see progress, which they may share with their therapist. They also talk about the processing that takes place after a therapy session and the need to take care of yourself and to be kind to yourself.
The journey to recovery from child sexual abuse is long and painful. However you choose to find support and help on that journey, it is worth it. There is hope for recovery.
Thank you for listening.