Birth Trauma Recovery
3 Step Rewind
Trauma symptoms can occur because the fight/flight/freeze mechanism, which has evolved to keep us safe in dangerous situations, is being repeatedly triggered whenever the traumatic event is remembered, even long after the danger has passed.
TBR 3 Step Rewind is a gentle and effective process that aims to lift trauma symptoms by helping you to disconnect the memory of a traumatic event (like a difficult birth or early parenting experience) from your fight/flight/freeze mechanism.
By using deep relaxation techniques and remembering the event in a specific, dissociated way; the memory can be processed and neutralised, enabling you to move forward, free from the difficult, heavy feelings previously associated with the event.
Over the course of three sessions, spanning 2 – 3 weeks, you will have the opportunity to safely revisit the memory of your baby’s birth, or other troubling event, explore how you are thinking and feeling about that now and discover how you would like to feel about it.
Solution Focused Questions and guided relaxation help you safely remember the traumatic events, in effect helping your brain to let go of the intensity of feeling so that the events can be processed into long term memory storage without the traumatic feelings that were once attached to them.
You remain in control of the process at all times and we will work at your speed. You can decide whether and how much you want to talk about the traumatic event, and our discussions can focus on how you want to feel rather than the memory itself.
I charge £120 for the full Rewind service, which includes all my expenses and travel. Some or all the sessions can be face to face in your own home if you live within a 25 mile radius of Belper, or online via Zoom if you prefer or if you live further afield. All you need to provide is a safe, undisturbed space in your home and some loving arms to hold your baby and/or entertain your older children while we work.
Session 1 - about an hour and a half
We will start with a relaxed, informal chat, usually over a cup of tea. This will be an opportunity to get to know each other a bit and for me to understand what you need from the sessions and any particular concerns or issues you may want to discuss. I will also make sure that you understand the 3 Step Rewind process and feel comfortable and able to ask me any questions you may have.
You can talk as much or as little as you want about the traumatic event. The focus of the session is more on the impact of trauma on your day to day life now and then on identifying the changes you would like to see and feel.
You will then have the opportunity to undertake a guided relaxation and, in this relaxed state, visualise yourself thinking and feeling the way you would do free of the burden of trauma. This will empower you to prepare and set the groundwork for session 2
Session 2 - about an hour
Using deep, guided relaxation and the 3 Step Rewind process itself, you will be invited to remember the traumatic event in a specific and very safe way. This will enable you to feel fully relaxed and at ease as you finally process the memory, detaching it from the flight/flight/freeze mechanisms that your brain and body put in place at the time of the trauma to protect you, but which no longer serve you.
You will then be able to replace those feelings with the emotional goal state that you designed and practiced in our first session.
At the end of the relaxation phase of the session I will stay with you, holding the space while you assimilate your experience of the rewind and feel your way into your new state of mind.
Session 3 - half an hour to an hour
About a week after session 2, we will have the opportunity to discuss how you are feeling now and talk about any changes that have taken place since the 3 Step Rewind. You can consider the progress that you have made in terms of lowering the level of any heavy emotions arising from your memory of the event and begin to make plans for the future, free from that burden of trauma. If you like, we can repeat the relaxation phase one last time to empower you to embed and strengthen your goal state of mind.
Who might benefit from the 3 Step Rewind?
This process can help anyone who is suffering from symptoms of trauma following a particular, defined event or episode where they felt out of control or unsafe. You do not have to have experienced a “bad” or “dangerous” birth in order to have been traumatised by it. Some people have had relatively straightforward experiences but still come away with a heavy emotional burden if they felt unheard, disrespected or unsafe at any point. Others may have had a very difficult experience but be left with no traumatic memories at all, Trauma is in the subjective mind of the individual and does not necessarily correlate with the objective experience itself.
Trauma symptoms can include but are certainly not limited to anger/irritability, anxiety, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, and trouble with appetite and/or sleep.
Trauma can often be confused with PND and other mental health difficulties. For example, anxiety and panic are symptoms of both PND and birth trauma. Trouble sleeping can also be a problem for sufferers of both conditions. Left untreated, it is not uncommon for trauma symptoms to cause depression in the longer term because living day to day with this heavy emotional burden can drag a person down into a very low mood.
The 3 Step Rewind can, by treating the trauma symptoms first, open a window of opportunity to tackling the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other longer term mental health problems.
I am happy to work with any new parents or birth partners, whether mothers, fathers, co-parents, friends or relatives, who are suffering trauma symptoms following the birth of a child. Maybe you were the birth partner and you felt powerless to help your loved one as she laboured, or maybe you are suffering following the loss of your imagined or idealised birth experience. Maybe you found the birth of your baby terrifying and you beieved both you and your child were going to die. The traumatic experience does not need to be recent, some people carry this burden for years.
I can also adapt this process for those suffering these symptoms following any other traumatic event, where the trauma is stemming from a defined memory and the event is now in the past. If your trauma is caused by an on going situation this may not be the right process for you. Please do get in touch though and we can discuss your case in more detail.
“I planned all along to have a water birth but when it came round to labour and the birth my daughter stopped moving during & her heart rate dropped & I was rushed in to have an emergency c section. It was terrifying to say the least. After the surgery, it was physically so difficult, but I also felt a heaviness everyday that I didn’t realise was affecting me. When I spoke to Lucy about how my labour & birth went she picked up on that I was full of fear. She hit the nail on the head & as we worked together delving into my feelings more I realised I was so anxious & fearful everyday that something awful would happen to me & my baby. The panic I felt at the time of the birth, I was reliving everyday with everything around me triggering those feelings. Working with Lucy doing the 3 step rewind has honestly changed my everyday life in ways I didn’t imagine it to. I have managed to feel much more positive & relaxed when I think back upon the birth & everyday in my life, the heaviness has lifted! I cannot begin to thank Lucy for helping me with what I didn’t even realise was affecting me so deeply, to being able to finally live & enjoy everyday as a new mum and being able to now be happy and content! “