Reaching out for help is never easy for anyone who has experienced trauma. If you are visiting this page for the first time – well done!
You have already taken a huge step on your journey of recovery and healing.
Below are some of the things we can offer to help survivors from our Support Centre in Bath and other nearby venues.
Group psychotherapy is one of the most powerful tools for trauma recovery, they help survivors journey together, support one another, and learn from each other’s approaches to situations.
We run multiple weekly psychotherapy groups for those experiencing long-term emotional and social difficulties arising from trauma. These could include:
depression – anxiety – lack of self-esteem – the effects of trauma and abuse – substance misuse – eating disorders – self-harming and other compulsive behaviours – PTSD etc.
It’s hard to describe exactly what happens in group therapy as each session is individual, unique, and is based off what participants feel they need to bring that day, which is then explored using various creative and expressive methods.
Drama, art, movement and discussion all allow people to explore and process difficult things in their past together as a group and find adaptive ways forward, learning from each other’s experiences and facilitated by the lead therapist. That doesn’t mean that groups are easy, in fact, they can often be quite difficult when managing your feelings in a room with other people. But a lot of the healing happens through working through difficult relationships and dynamics with other group members and processing your feelings toward their reactions or who they subconsciously represent to you.
Some of the most beneficial principles of group therapy are based on the concept of the shared journey, and the hope and accountability which is held between group members. Breakthrough groups are long-term, with the same people attending for weekly sessions, allowing for a community to build and to facilitate a safe and supported atmosphere for everyone.
Each group is facilitated by an experienced therapist and a trainee or placement student, some larger groups can have 2-3 team members supporting.
Male Survivors Group
Alongside our other groups, we run a specialist psychotherapy group for male survivors of sexual assault (recent or historic). We know that it takes on average 26 years for men to disclose abuse that they’ve experienced, and as a result men struggle disproportionately with guilt, shame, anger, and emotional numbing following abuse.
Our men’s group is currently run by Giles and Becca for up to 8 members, and offers a safe space for a men to talk through their experiences and the impact with others who understand.
Breakthrough offers specialist individual psychotherapy to help survivors of trauma to deal with some of the long-term effects arising from their experiences. This can be offered short term, long term, or alongside group.
All of our therapists are trained, experienced and accredited by nationally recognised bodies such as the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), or the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
START is a 10-week psychoeducation course, it stands for ‘Survivors of Trauma and Abuse Recovering Together’.
The START Programme was designed by the team at Breakthrough over the course of 2021-22 and is based on elements from our training courses and our many years of experience working with trauma – as we often find that giving a context for how trauma impacts us across different life areas (and ways of coping with that) can be a hugely effective way of helping during difficult seasons.
The structured 10-week group will look at these areas and help you to develop skills for recovery alongside other survivors all at different stages in that journey.
Each session covers a different area such as trauma’s impact on the brain and body, our attachment styles and how they’re formed, grounding skills, healthy boundaries and relating to others, and coping mechanisms.
The START Programme runs 3 times a year, usually: Feb-April, May-July, Sept-Nov.
We know that no two people process things in the same way – and neither should they!
So, we have 2 amazing Art Psychotherapists on our team to be able to offer creative ways to process events and emotions in sessions, they also run specialist art therapy groups at different times during the year.
Each group is run by an art therapist and support worker or trainee and offer attendees the opportunity to share their experiences in a safe and supportive environment in a creative way that will feel safe for them, and where they can receive support.
These groups also offer a space where adult survivors of childhood abuse can create, play, make mistakes, make mess, and find their true character – opportunities for which were often taken from them as children, which is why expressive therapy spaces are vital for trauma work.
Our yoga classes are not like your average class. The aim in these classes is to work on removing obstacles that stop people attending a class or working on their physical & spiritual wellbeing – the fear of getting it “wrong” or being judged, the anxiety of coming to a room full of strangers, worrying that you’ll be asked to do a movement that you can’t yet do or movements that feel too triggering…. So, we run trauma informed yoga classes suitable for absolute beginners and all about choice – you choose what you do or don’t do! The classes aim to empower survivors, build confidence, and also give you tools to help you build your own yoga skills with what helps ground you personally, rather than repeating difficult moves an instructor has told you that you “should” be doing.
Very importantly there are some things we will never do in these classes… these include no touch (there are no physical assists with moves), no singling people out (there are no verbal assists or drawing attention to anyone), no judgement, no pressure, and no jargon!
Sometimes what survivors most need are the simple things:
Someone that understands, people who have had similar experiences and come through, a friendly face or a safe place to relax and ‘be’ away from the pressures and uncertainty.
So we also offer a drop-in space where our service-users can can relax, get a hot drink and find someone to talk with to help connect between sessions with us, as sometimes the few days between sessions can feel overwhelming.
Facebook Support Group
We know that Breakthrough has a following of survivors from all around the world who unfortunately aren’t local to our support bases. Therefore as well as the resources in our webshop, we have a trauma survivors Facebook group as a place where people can find encouragement, connection and support, wherever they are in the world. To keep the group a safe place, it is set as a private group. If you’d like to join it, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/603148533779631 to request entry.