The Biology and Psychology of trauma and menopause. Sensitive brains, bodies, nervous systems and hormones
Adverse childhood experiences and attachment wounds are strongly associated as risk factors for:
"Do you feel like you are drowning?"
Looking at the image of a middle-aged woman, completely distressed with head in her hands, I immediately self-identified and felt completely seen and heard.
According to this well renowned Menopause Specialist, my increasing feelings of anxiety, panic, irritability, coupled with a rapid heartbeat, inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of interest in life, feeling unhappy and depressed, extreme fatigue and complete lack of sex drive were due to perimenopause and my decreasing hormone levels.
This experience began my journey to where I am today, having navigated this difficult time to a positive place and understanding the unique challenges that come with the menopause transition, also being a complex trauma survivor and a Highly Sensitive Person.
My method, My Mission
What is my brain body method?
My journey of real self-discovery began in 2017. The whole experience took me to hell and back but it led me to where I am today. I had to systematically go backwards and join the dots in my personal history and childhood trauma and combine extensive evidence-based research, discovering that I am in fact a Highly Sensitive Person and finally acknowledging and processing the fact that my complex trauma history from childhood and my subsequent coping strategies throughout my life were, in fact, as a direct result of my adverse childhood experiences.
Over the past few years, I extensively trained in trauma-informed modalities including Integrated Somatic Psychotherapy and Polyvagal Theory and I am now taking a complete career break as I embark on full-time study for a postgraduate diploma in Psychotraumatology and focusing on writing a book about what I have discovered along my journey.
Our life stories are written into our nervous systems from birth (even in utero) – our hormonal profiles and physical and mental health are shaped and influenced by our childhood and teenage experiences. Menopause is a biopsychosocial transition with each woman experiencing it in a completely unique way! You cannot separate your hormones from your life story and environment.
My sole mission is to make Menopause trauma-informed and provide a space where women are able to talk about their experiences without shame and stigma.
Welcome to a new integrated strengths-based, trauma-informed Brain and Body approach specifically dedicated to menopause and midlife mental health. Empowering women to take back control through post-traumatic growth, resilience and evidence-based psychoeducation.
What makes this Tribe special?
*Group psychoeducation is appropriate for learning about generalised anxiety, stress management, nervous system regulation, group yoga, personal development and social support but it does not replace 1-1 therapy and I do not advocate this type of ‘one size fits all’ approach that is now regularly advertised on social media.
A lifetime of experience
A bit more about me
Psychology, personal and post-traumatic growth and resilience has always been at the core of my work. I started my career in business within Human Resources working in London in a large Advertising agency as a Chartered CIPD Human Resources Manager.
After having my son, I suffered post natal depression and took a complete career break, embarked on a degree and further study integrating the mind, brain and body. I then moved into Sport Science and Medicine, working full time at Aston Villa Football Club for many years. This is also where I trained extensively in Pain Science and complex injury and the interactions between the brain, the body, pain, trauma and performance utilising ACT Therapy (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). My work has been recognised by both the Premier League and The FA where I have presented on numerous occasions.
I then established my own specialist rehabilitation studio with my husband. I decided to close my business completely at the start of the COVID pandemic as at that point I was struggling with being over-medicated and recovering from that took a significant amount of time – it was during this time that I embarked on my own research ongoing trauma-informed education and training whilst consulting with various medical professionals as to why I had ended up in such a bad way.
Having been through a really frightening, confusing and totally overwhelming few years and then finally discovering and realising the connections and interpersonal neurobiology between my own perimenopause journey and mental and physical health as both a HSP and trauma survivor I had a total eureka moment!
That moment of realisation was the pivotal point when it all finally made sense – I felt complete. That’s why I am extremely passionate about supporting women like me through what can be an extremely challenging but also a hugely transformative and positive life phase.