Blog

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

Lessons and Reflections on Healing Solidarity

The perils of projectisation, how we embody our activism and push for a right to rest, what it means to truly listen and meet the other person where they are, challenging masculine behaviour and discourse in aid; these were just some of the many conversations taking place at the Healing Solidarity conference last week. This … Read more

Healing Solidarity and what’s to come on Life in Crisis

Today I am providing a quick update on my work on stress in the aid sector, and news of an exciting, inspiring and innovative conference coming up next week, which everyone can join and participate in! These last few weeks I’ve reached that point that many doctoral researchers will be familiar with; where the Phd … Read more