Here are a handful of websites which have been invaluable on my journey so far:
The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is a brilliant organisation which represents the lived experience voices of people who have experience sexual abuse and trauma. I signed up for their newsletter, which they email every Monday. It’s always full of interesting news and opportunitites, and I found most of my lived experience work through it. I highly recommend becoming a member (free for individuals and user-led groups).
Talk For Health
I discovered Talk For Health through the NSUN newsletter during the first lockdowns. I signed up for a taster for their ‘therapy without therapists’ peer support, and went on to complete the full programme. This free training teaches you valuable communications skills I didn’t even realise I needed to know – and are now invaluable. I’ve since used the skills I learned here to set up my own peer support group. Highly recommended.
Pete Walker’s website was one of the first resources I found which opened my eyes to complex trauma. Pete is a licensed psychotherapist in California. He’s written a few books, including Complex PTSD: From Surviving To Thriving (which I review here), and there is a lot of fantastic information on his website. Pete’s ’13 Steps for Managing an Emotional Flashback’ are particularly life-changing and inspired my emotional flashback cards.
Dr. Nicola LePera
Clinical psychologist Dr. Nicole, disillusioned with conventional therapy approaches, promotes a way to heal yourself from trauma. I came across Dr Nicole on my own healing journey and found her content, and the community around it, more useful than anything I experienced with conventional therapy. I am not alone – when I first made this page, Dr Nicole, aka @the.holistic.psychologist, had 1 million followers and now she has over 4.5 million. The need is clear for an easily accessible, compassionate trauma-informed approach like this.
Blue Knot Foundation
Blue Knot Foundation is an Australian trauma-informed charity helping survivors of childhood abuse. Australia is not that far ahead of us here in the UK when it comes to trauma-informed care & practice, but it is moving in the right direction. If you’re in Australia, you can use Blue Knot’s helpline. Otherwise there is a wealth of further information about trauma-informed care & practice, useful for both survivors and professionals. See here, for example, the Trauma-Informed Practice Guidelines.
Reddit is a big online community with many different ‘subreddits’ where people can post about different niches. And, yes, there is a Complex PTSD subreddit. It’s a fairly positive and well informed community. I find it particularly useful when I feel like nobody understands – just reading through some of the other posts is enough to make you realise you’re not alone. You can also contribute, if you need a safe space to externalise your experiences, and reach out to a supportive community.
This is a great resource built by Google, allowing you to search a wide range of academic research papers across the world. It’s an empowering platform to have access to, as you can begin to critically review complex trauma & mental health research for yourself. An example is this search ‘borderline personality disorder complex PTSD’, returning lots of interesting research related to this.
If you’re in the UK, Turn2Us makes sure you’re getting the state benefits you’re entitled to. Anybody struggling with severe Complex PTSD should be able to access disability benefits, such as the non-means tested Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you’re unable to work because of your trauma, you should also be entitled to benefits to help you with this. A calculator like this will tell you what you could receive. If you’re based outside of the UK, have a look for a similar website relevant to your country.
Mad in America
‘Science, psychiatry and social justice’ are the keywords here. Mad in America takes a critical view of psychiatry to stand up for the rights of people experiencing extreme distress, otherwise diagnosed as mentally ill. It’s inspiring to hear so many others voices around these subjects, but also depressing to realise the misdiagnosis of trauma has been going on for a very long time.
The Mental Elf
A UK-based blog which posts every week day, providing summaries of evidence-based guidance and research related to mental health. They trawl over 500 independent sources every week, and have many guest contributors from within diverse mental health professions. They’re independent and non-biased, so it’s a good source of information, but can still be too mainstream for me sometimes.