Blog

Lockdown and Learning from Solitude

It has taken me a long time to sit at my desk as I am doing now, and write. Like everyone at the moment, I am faced with an avalanche of information, expectations and emotions each day and this can be paralysing. But in the last few weeks I have learned a few things which … Read more

Healing Trauma through the Body

In the last week I’ve been following, when I can, the online Embodied Trauma conference. This was an essential, ground-breaking initiative that challenges the purely psychotherapeutic model for treating trauma, by delving into the body’s capacity to heal through awareness and experiencing that surpasses mere cognitive or verbal cues and explanations.  It this respect it … Read more

A Personal Account of Trauma and Healing

Trigger warning: I will be addressing the delicate issue of trauma, and how it has shown up in my life – and how it is helping me to understand more fully how we humans suffer, and heal. Last week I marked the three year anniversary of my mother’s death. On 21 January 2017, I woke … Read more

Care as a Political Act

Many of us are aware of the Audre Lorde quote: ‘Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’ What does this mean, in principle and practice? This question, expressed in multiple ways, was being explored at this year’s online Healing Solidarity Conference, hosted by Mary Ann … Read more

Compassion, Inclusion, Resilience – New Workshops, and New Website!

There have been some new and exciting developments with my work in recent weeks, and I’m thrilled to share some updates with you – on my new website, a self-care and resilience workshop I ran for mental health volunteers, and another workshop I co-facilitated at AidEx in Brussels, on compassionate and inclusive leadership. Firstly, if … Read more

The Quiet Unseen Struggles of Women Humanitarians

This year, the annual World Humanitarian Day is honouring the efforts of women humanitarians, particularly the unsung heroes who often receive little recognition for their commitment and hard work. This blog piece contributes to this celebration of women in our sector, by drawing on the stories of some of my African research participants in Kenya. … Read more

Stress and Burnout: Western concepts?

In a recent article for Open Democracy, I wrote that although increased awareness of mental health problems in the aid sector is encouraging, we have to be cautious that such problems aren’t confined solely to the white aid worker’s experience. I would like to build on that article by offering a few more examples from … Read more

On Ending Chapters and Starting New Ones

Wait, what just happened? Aid workers who are reading this, how often have you had this feeling after returning from field work, or completing an intense and all-consuming job? That feeling that something that gave you purpose, that helped to define your life for much of the time, has come to an end…..and now you … Read more