WEBSITES I LIKE
How to Choose a Therapist For Post-Traumatic Stress or Dissociative Conditions. If you are just starting therapy, or looking to change therapists, this webpage has thoughtful advice on what to look for, what to ask when you are interviewing therapists, and what really matters the most (turns out characteristics of the therapist matter more than theoretical approach). I wish I had this kind of resource years ago. It would have spared me the pain caused by two people who possibly shouldn’t have been providing therapy at all, and certainly didn’t know how to work with trauma.
In 2016 I became serious about meditation. I still have a lot to learn, so some days I meditate on my own (with a timer) and some days I listen to guided meditations. I really like the voice and the messages in many of davidji’s guided meditations. He’s also good at allowing you enough time for the message to settle in (i.e. it’s not all solid talking). There are over 100 meditations available for free on his website.
Kristin Neff is a leading researcher on the benefits of self-compassion. On her website, she offers seven excellent guided meditations as well as a series of exercises in self-compassion.
For The Little Ones Inside. “Welcome to an oasis of calm, soothing gentleness, compassion, loving-kindness and self-nurturing in the midst of a crazy-making world. Visit a while in space that honors, affirms and reclaims the way and the truths of the Sacred Feminine.” Psychologist Robyn Pozin has created and collected a range of materials to support gentle, compassionate self-care. In addition to her stories and art, she also has a great resource page of her own. One of her important messages is that it’s okay to go more slowly and take care of yourself. Her tales are generally examples of how she learned to do this in her own life.
Cheryl Rainfield is a young adult author who writes stories about young people who self-harm, a topic she knows about from her own past experience. On this page she lists 17 Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself. She also offer advice here for how to respond constructively to someone who is harming her/himself.
APPS FOR YOUR PHONE
Something that has helped me a lot in my healing has been mindfulness meditation. I wish I had learned how to do it earlier, because I think it could have helped me with all the flooding I experienced when I was first opening up to my therapist about things that had happened. Or who knows, maybe I couldn’t have done it then. But I’m finding it very helpful now (2016). I downloaded the Insight Timer app for my phone and love it. I use it every day. I try to do either a guided meditation or a quiet meditation with attention to my breath every morning. Then sometimes at work I take a short break and go to the sick room and do another one for 5-10 minutes. It helps me find my center again. I love that the app offers well over 3500 different guided meditations, from a minute long to an hour or more. It also plays bells for you to time your own meditation, if you prefer. There are some recorded talks on as well, and features that track how long you have been meditating this week and in recent months. I know there are several other apps out there, but I haven’t tried them yet. So far I’ve been really happy with Insight Timer–and it’s free.
How To Be A Friend To Yourself (4 minutes)
There are a lot, so I have a separate page for my Healing Reading List.
STUFF I’VE MADE THAT YOU CAN COPY OR ADAPT
Messages To The Girl. These are little cards I made and sometimes carry with me in my purse as reminders. I used them the most when I was just starting to believe in my own memories of trauma and still needed help to continue believing the girl when I was around my family. You can print them out and use them too, or just use them to give you ideas to make your own. (I have more that I’ll add later.)
Map of the Pit (mapping depression symptoms). You’ll want to make your own descriptors and really think about what the things are that you think or do when you are a little depressed or depressed or crawling around in your darkest, lowest places. E has found it useful that I brought it to her from time to time and mark the things I had been experiencing. I have tended to downplay how bad I feel to her, so the map helped her know what was really going on. It used to be easier for me to bring one in than to talk about it. These days I’ve become more comfortable talking about how I feel, so I don’t use this much anymore, but it was a useful tool in the past.
INSPIRING, MOTIVATING STUFF
If you like to have cards with poems or messages to inspire you, you might like to check out Compassionate Ink, which create and sells these cards. I found out about them when my therapist sent me one of their cards. Now I think I will get some of my own to share with my friends.
I started a Pinterest board specifically focused on inspiration. (I also have other boards on recovering from abuse and other topics that matter to me). It’s nice to go back and review these pins (or look for new ones) from time to time. (If you use also Pinterest in this way, let me know so I can follow you.)