TMI-scholarship-winners-2023

PTSD UK 'Yoga Therapy for PTSD' scholarship winners

Yoga and yoga therapy for trauma has become popular as there is a growing basis of clinical evidence and case reports that its application significantly supports those with PTSD and C-PTSD in with the gentle reconnecting to their bodies, improving self-regulation, better socialisation, and increasing positive health behaviours. 

The complex nature of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) makes it a challenging condition to treat. In the UK alone, PTSD is estimated to affect 1 in 3 people who go through a traumatic experience, and yet it all too often remains misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and stigmatised. An intricate interplay between cognitive, behavioural, and physiological symptoms often dominates the lives of those suffering from PTSD and Complex PTSD (C-PTSD), and a variety of combined treatment strategies are therefore required to manage both the physical and emotional difficulties that define the condition.

It is for this reason that yoga therapy—an emerging multi-dimensional treatment strategy that works with the mind, body, and lifestyle—can offer such profound healing for those with PTSD and C-PTSD.  With its ability to target the nervous system, yoga therapy offers both short-term support in symptom management and long-term opportunities for transformation, helping to galvanise emotion regulation and offer new perspectives on life. Unsurprisingly, the use of evidence-based practices from yoga and mindfulness alongside medication and psychotherapy are becoming more commonplace in PTSD and C-PTSD treatment, and a growing body of scientific research points toward several key psychophysiological mechanisms through which yoga can reduce symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD.

With this in mind, as part of our ongoing collaboration with The Minded Institute and the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance we opened up applications for a scholarship place again this year, for The Minded Institute’s ‘Yoga Therapy for PTSD’ course.

The standard of applications was phenomenal – we’re so happy to see how much passion and determination to support other is out there!

Between The Minded Institute and PTSD UK, we offered 4 scholarship places on the course – meaning that there will be 4 newly trained professionals, willing and able to support people with PTSD and C-PTSD in a really meaningful and tangible way.

We’re so proud to be able to offer this chance to our winners and bring some ‘on the ground’ support to people affected by PTSD and C-PTSD via these amazing yoga teachers and mental health professionals.

We’re proud to introduce you to the winners of the scholarships here….

 


Rhian

“I am a Relate-trained Sex and Relationship Therapist, and I encounter many clients who struggle with PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms as a result of childhood abuse and trauma, sexual trauma, relationship trauma and narcissistic abuse.

After studying somatic approaches to trauma, I have started to use treatment strategies for my clients that include mindfulness, guided visualisation, self-soothing exercises and body focused awareness. I have come to understand the importance of supporting the nervous system and have also come to understand the significance of the polyvagal theory in PTSD. I would be excited to use the skills on this course in Yoga Therapy for PTSD with my clients to complement the top-down therapeutic approach.

I feel this is especially something that will make a huge difference to those I work with, many of whom feel disconnected, disembodied and dissociated due to sexual trauma or abuse within relationships. I believe many of the people I encounter have lost their confidence due to their past experiences, and I feel it would be wonderful to be able to use Yoga Therapy to encourage them to find a renewed sense of empowerment, agency and sense of self. “

 


Lisa

“I currently teach postnatal yoga in my community and a lot of my recent mothers have talked about traumatic births being part of their journey. I would use any skills learnt to help them as well as the wider community.

I have a variety of people in my adult classes and I know a lot struggle with mental health. As someone who also has C-PTSD, I know first hand how much yoga can help and this is why I teach. I would love to offer classes to those who are in need of this kind of help from any walk of life. I would offer free sessions to my local Women’s Aid shelter, local homeless charity shelters and also in schools for children that have faced emotional trauma.

I cannot put into words what this scholarship would mean to me. I was diagnosed with C-PTSD in 2018 and have this year completed a course of EMDR. It is in my wellbeing plan about how yoga is one of my main things to keep me well. Throughout my entire journey with my mental health, Yoga has been it’s own therapy for me and that is the reason I also teach it. I saw this advert and knew that I had to apply as it is my dream to share how amazing life can be and I am so passionate about how yoga can be a huge catalyst in that.

I would love to share my knowledge learnt from the scholarship with a variety of people but especially those who have suffered violence, refugees, homeless and those battling with addiction.”

 


Laura

One of the main communities I teach is children and adults with additional and complex needs and their families. I have been teaching yoga to this group for six years.

I teach in North London, and currently teach nine 1:1 yoga therapy classes per week, with children and adults who have conditions ranging from autism to ADHD to cerebral palsy, as well as adult community classes open to everyone.

As the weeks and months go by, it is beautiful to witness yoga helping students straighten their spine and awaken their posture, and moving with more confidence and ease. I see them gaining mobility, as they open tight hips to be able to move forward in their practice. And reconnecting with their feet and unlocking their knees, to create greater stability and grounding. It’s amazing to see their shoulders relax, and their breathing regulate and deepen as they learn how to use their lung capacity better. I also see that with new body awareness comes self- love, and vice versa.

To gain more intimate knowledge into the science of this to apply in my classes and take further would be incredible.


Emma

“I work in a secondary school working primarily with children between the ages 0f 11-16 with additional needs. I am a Trauma Informed Practitioner in school and support pupils 1:1 and in groups who need help with social skills, emotional literacy, bereavement, EBSA and any other need impacting their wellbeing. I would use this training to expand the range of support I am able to provide for children, many of whom, have experienced trauma and PTSD.

This scholarship means that I would be able to incorporate yoga into my practise with the young people I work with. I have always practiced yoga myself and know the wellbeing benefits first hand. I would be excited to be able to gain the knowledge to give the wonderful opportunity of healing and growth through yoga to our children.

Our additional learning needs department has been praised following a recent inspection and will therefore be used for other schools to observe best practice.”


Find out more about how yoga can help support people with PTSD and C-PTSD here

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