Kirstie Eames

"WE DON'T HAVE TO DO ALL OF IT ALONE, WE WAS NEVER MEANT TO" (BRENE BROWN)

Do you feel stuck? Lost? Depressed? Each of us can experience hard times, but only a few know how to turn it into a starting point for the new life full of happiness. I'm a qualified Counsellor with years of experience, and my mission is to find your hidden potential and give you all necessary tools to develop and grow.

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What I Do

As a trauma therapist I can provide a grounded presence where you can begin to explore your trauma while feeling safe, listened to, and held. I’m a therapist who is trained in how to work with trauma will be able to offer grounding techniques, and awareness exercises in the here-and-now so that you can start to feel safe.

This helps you learn how to come down from hyper-arousal and helps you to be grounded in the here-and-now experience.

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TRAUMA AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

All you hear in your mind and feel in your body, is that there’s something wrong with you.


Your emotions are too much, yet you’re not enough at the same time. Your emotions feel like they are too burdensome to dispel on others, yet left inside, they eat you alive. 

Trauma informed therapy illuminates how the autonomic nervous system controls our internal environment automatically. It works below our level of consciousness and is a completely natural and organic system. 

There are two branches of the autonomic nervous system;

Sympathetic: Activates the flight & fight response 

Parasympathetic: Sometimes called rest & digest, but this system is an energy conserver 

These branches work together and in response to safety and danger. That means, we automatically adjust to cues of safety or danger. Now what’s fascinating is, these cues can be from the external environment, within our own bodies, or simply from our perception. 

And perception here TRUMPS reality.


IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT IF YOU ARE SAFE, BUT IF YOU FEEL SAFE. 

Every autonomic response from your autonomic nervous system then is in service of finding safety and surviving. 

At the heart of anxiety is an inability to feel safe. And therefore, a continuation of being stuck in survival mode. And there are consequences when we get stuck here. Such as burnout, panic attacks, repeated trauma, physical illness… 

I want you to ask yourself today, “Do I FEEL safe? Does my body feel safe? 

Theory states that our autonomic nervous system automatically adjusts between THREE different modes of being and experiencing ourselves and the world. These modes or states adjust based on cues of safety or danger. They occur in a specific order and there are consequences if we get stuck in a particular state chronically. We cannot choose the state, but we can influence them. 

The three states are referred to as safe & social, flight & fight, and lastly shut down. These are reactions to safety and danger and become filters we view our internal and external world through.


SAFE & SOCIAL

This is where you ideally want to exist. This state controls the heart and facial expression. In your safe and social state your social engagement system is in full effect.

When you feel safe, you can take a deeper breath from your belly. Your heart rate is slower. You can be stillness. You can converse. Saliva and digestion are stimulated. You’re primed for health because oxygen is available for restoration. Your cognitive skills, collaboration capacity, and problem-solving ability are firing. You make eye contact and can be in close proximity to others.


FIGHT AND FLIGHT

This state is activated when your nervous system picks up cues of danger. The message is sent to the nervous system that life is dangerous. This state is stacked in the middle of the ladder, or the middle of the spinal column. This state is activated by the sympathetic nervous system and controls the limbs and prepares the body for mobilization. 

SHUTDOWN ALSO KNOWN AS FREEZE OR FLOP

Lastly, the oldest evolutionary system, is freeze or shutdown. This system is located in the belly or the gut. It is activated when the nervous system picks up the cue of not only danger, but that your life is in danger. 

THAT PANIC ATTACK THAT JUST CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. ASK YOURSELF, DID IT REALLY COME OUT OF NOWHERE?

They are so unpredictable. The trigger could have been from the wrong sound, smell, taste, look, environment, energy etc. 

Eventually that trigger will become identifiable but not until you align with your autonomic nervous system and understand the process of neuroception.


Neuroception is the body’s ability to detect risk outside of our conscious awareness. The risk identified (outside of your awareness) could be from the external environment, inside your body, or from your perception of something. 

The detection is brought into the nervous system through the senses. 

Depending on the information your autonomic nervous system neurocepts, will determine your mind and body’s response. ​

Neuroception is responsible for shifting the body between the three different states. The three states unlock different behaviour patterns. We lose the ability to behave in pro social ways when we sense danger and move into survival states. Defensive behaviours are then survival based.


It’s so important to understand that there are healthy and unhealthy neuroception responses, and this is correlated with trauma. 

With healthy neuroception the body detects and shifts to appropriate state based on environment. You’re able to use socially healthy behaviour in safe environment and the body doesn’t throw up defences unless in danger.


When neuroception is unhealthy, the body doesn’t accurately detect, or shift states based on environment. The body doesn’t fight or flee in unsafe situations and doesn’t use social behaviour in safe environments. You cannot recognize red flags or aren’t picking them up.

This is a trauma response. 

 

WHO I CAN WORK WITH

As a Trauma informed specialist, I can work with clients who have suffered.

  • Early childhood Trauma

  • Sexual Violence

  • Childhood Sexual Abuse

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Bullying

  • Complex Trauma

  • PTSD

  • C-PTSD (complex)

  • Physical Abuse

  • Sex Trafficking

  • Ritual Abuse

  • FGM

  • LGBTQ

  • Financial Abuse

  • Elder Abuse

  • Coercive Control

  • Emotional Abuse

  • Stalking

  • Adult and Child exploitation

  • Grooming

  • Non recent abuse

  • Online Abuse

  • Criminal exploitation and gangs

  • Neglect


Please note I can also work with more generalised mental health such as depression, GAD, anxiety in all forms including OCD, personality disorders and behavioural disorders such as eating disorders.

I am an adult counsellor and only support clients over 16 and above.

 
 

My Counselling Story

QUALIFIED, BACP MEMBER, EXPERIENCED TRAUMA INFORMED SPECIALIST

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My name is Kirstie and I’m here to help and support you to gain the skills you need to make a positive move forward.

I am a qualified Integrative Counsellor and a specialist sexual violence counsellor working with Trauma, all forms of Abuse and general mental health.

I love to learn, to work with all sorts of different people and to draw on my life experiences to support clients in a way that is most useful and meaningful for them.

The basis of my work is that we all have within us the resources for growth, and capacity to have a meaningful life. I find meaning in helping people understand themselves better – understand why they may feel the way they feel, think what they think, and do the things they do. Through this understanding comes greater self-acceptance, self-care and self-belief.

I offer one to one counselling in a safe, confidential, Empathetic, non-judgemental space for you to be able to promote healing, build self-awareness, build self-esteem and to be heard to help you move forward in your life.

I am a BACP individual counsellor, this demonstrates my commitment to providing you a safe, highly professional ethical standard of knowledge and skill.

I have seven years’ experience of working for Rape Crisis and two years working for Mind.

I use a combination of Trauma informed therapy, person- centred therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Transactional analysis, Psychodynamic including attachment and the Empowerment model within my practice.

The essence of my work is to facilitate self-growth by helping you identify the core challenges and setbacks in your life, so that you can overcome them with confidence.

 

Schedule a Session

Basildon, Essex

07562 715454

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