The body responds to extreme experiences by secreting stress hormones. People who actively do something to deal with a disaster (like rescuing loved ones or running away) use their stress hormones for their proper purpose and are therefore at much lower risk of becoming traumatised.

Helplessness and immobilisation keep people from using their stress hormones to defend themselves. When that happens, stress hormones are still being secreted, but aren’t being used for the intended purpose. Instead, they keep fuelling inappropriate fight-or-flight responses. To return to proper functioning, this persistent emergency response must end. The body needs to be restored to a state of safety and relaxation, from which it can mobilise to act in response to real danger as and when needed. One way to overcome ingrained patterns of submission is to restore a physical capacity to engage and defend, so self-defence classes can be very helpful on many different levels, and learning to actively fight off a simulated attack, to convert fear into positive fighting energy, can be transformative. Similarly, taking classes in judo, tae kwon do, karate and kickboxing can feel empowering.

I offer a free initial telephone conversation, giving you as much time and space as you need to consider whether you’d like to come and meet me.