IF YOU ARE WAITING TO BE SEEN BY A SEREN COUNSELLOR

Be gentle with yourself – you are going through a very difficult time.
Whatever other commitments you have, make time for yourself each day.
It is fine to do this, and no need to feel guilty: you are important.
Eat healthily; sleep as much as you need; take walks; enjoy fresh air.
Spend time with anyone who is relaxing: family, friends, colleagues.
Keep a pattern to your day: it helps maintain a sense of normality, and
Can be a comforting reassurance on really hard days . Occasionally
Spoil yourself: with a leisurely hot bath/reading a book/music.
Respect alcohol, coffee and cigarettes: a little may help, but excess won’t.
Share difficult feelings with someone you trust. If that is too hard,
Try to replace negative thoughts with a positive, by valueing simple things,
Like a bird singing, a child’s smile, the beauty of a flower, a new day.
Make use of local and national support networks :
Knowing others feel the same, can be helpful and comforting.

If you find at anytime that your feelings may overwhelm you,
and you want to talk to someone anonymously, you can contact:
MIND info line: 0845 766 0163 www.mind.org.uk
No Panic helpline: 0844 967 4848 (10 til 10, 365 days)
The Samaritans: 116 123 freephone 24/7; www.samaritans.org
You can also ring Seren for an update on the waiting list: 0845 456 1657

If you have flashbacks, the following may be of use:
Tell people you trust what is going on: good friends and those that love you
will be glad to know what support they can give, but they may need help to
understand what helps you the best: everyone’s need is different. Explain
that you are having recurring memories that cause you distress (you do not
have to go into more detail) and that when this happens, you would welcome
their support by …

– Giving you a hug? Not giving you a hug?
– Do you want them to talk and to be reassuring?
– Or for them simply to be ‘there’ for you, without talking?
– What makes you personally feel safer?

There are also a number of books you might find useful, such as
‘Breaking Free: Help for Survivors of child sexual abuse’ by Kay Toon and
Carolyn Ainscough; ‘Healing the Shame that binds you’ by John Bradshaw
‘Hurting and Healing: How to overcome the trauma’ by Gloria Wade
‘Adults Molested as Children: A Survivors Manual for Women and Men’
by Euan Bear and Peter Dimock