Three steps to freedom - Programme for child abuse survivors
This is an effective, carefully researched programme starting up in Letchworth and Hertford that cuts through the sense of isolation survivors have. Survivors really can open the door and enter into the life they want, on their own terms. The programme is not a one day or weekend workshop - it requires a 90 minute weekly commitment over six months. The fee is £75 per month with some concessions available.
I am leading this programme, and as a child abuse survivor myself I know the programme is much attuned to survivors’ life experience. I am supported by a qualified colleague who is also a child abuse survivor, and we work together in a confidential group that is limited to 10 participants.
This period of time is important. Lasting positive change is less likely to happen over short periods, and has been shown via neural imaging taken from MRI scans that after a period of six months, lasting positive change ‘takes root’ and establishes itself in the brain. The Three Step Programme rewards participants for their ongoing participation in the longer term.
Within the safe boundaries of a carefully guided relational group, it is possible to engage in this gradual, conscious transformation. Survivors can take the time they need to assimilate and process what is real for them, and when they are ready, take steps onto new ground towards the life they want.
Participants are invited to come for a free session (without obligation) before joining the group. This can be on a one-to-one basis, or by coming to a presentation at Hitchin or Hertford.
Please call 0774 9222822 for further details.
Step One - Remembering:
- Learning about what abuse is, and exploring your childhood experience of this in a safe space.
- Reflecting upon, and understanding your powerlessness over abusers’ actions - which holds them responsible.
- Respecting shame and anger as a consequence of abuse, and becoming aware of any tendency to turn that against yourself or others.
- Sensing and honouring your inner child.
- Establishing what safety is, what safety means to you today and making a commitment to recovery.
Step Two – Mourning:
- Making an inventory of the problem areas in your adult life.
- Identifying parts of your self-sabotage.
- Controlling angry behaviour and finding healthy outlets for aggression.
- Identifying faulty beliefs and distorted perceptions of yourself and others.
- Developing self-compassion.
- Accepting who you are and how you want to live.
- Respecting your grief for your childhood, and mourning the loss of those who failed you.
Step Three – Healing:
- Exploring your inner child, whose efforts to survive now can be appreciated.
- Experiencing your worth and your entitlement to share in life’s riches.
- Adding to your self-esteem.
- Discovering the tools to make any necessary changes of behaviour, at home and work.
- Resolving the abuse with your offenders to the extent that is acceptable to you.
- Holding your own meaning about the abuse that releases you from the past.
- Seeing yourself flourish in all of life.
- Being committed to the reunion of your true self and your eternal soul.
The programme was originally compiled by the clinical psychologist, Norma J Morris, in 1992. The programme leaders will not be able to offer one-to-one therapy to participants, therefore please feel free to call, and keep in touch if you would like to be in our pool of recommended therapists in Hertfordshire.