trauma

The Gift of Bearing Witness: Trauma Treatment at its core with Mary Bromley

Mary Bromley is wise, warm, creative, funny and whip smart - grounded in good instincts honed over the forty years she has worked as a therapist with trauma survivors, as well as a diverse client population of adults and children and adolescents.

In this conversation she helps us understand the wide spectrum trauma can fall on - from car accidents to natural disasters, mass shootings to sexual assaults; and that individual responses to trauma are unique to each person. There is no one way to heal trauma, she explains, there is only finding the right fit for you.

Her way is talk therapy, which she describes as a “Loving Contract:” being a witness to the trauma and then helping her clients become free of it, teaching them to be present and mindful now that the trauma is over, helping them to feel strong and empowered. Deep Listening, “Whatever you have to say to me is not going to make me afraid, I will be right here,” and Witnessing, “I’m the witness you never had,” are the cornerstones to her practice.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Mary with Katie Beers

Mary with Katie Beers

Mary Bromley

 Mary is a Psychotherapist and Clinical Social Worker with 35 years of experience.  She has worked at The Post Graduate Center for Mental Health,  St. Vincent's Hospital (Rape Crisis Treatment Center & the Adolescent Clinic ), The Ross School, and the East Hampton Town Police Department.  Mary co-founded "The Retreat," the only domestic violence center on the East End of Long Island.  She has a private practice where she deals primarily with anxiety and depressive disorders. She treats adolescents, adults and families.  She also continues to work as a consultant for the East Hampton Town Police Department Detective Squad for sexual abuse and crisis intervention situations. Her philosophy of practice is "mindfulness" or cognitive behavioral therapy to address issues of trauma, post-traumatic stress and anxiety.

Read more about Mary in an article from the East Hampton Star

Anneke Lucas & Liberation Prison Yoga: A Spiritual Revolution

Thirty years after escaping from a child sex trafficking network in Belgium -  Anneke Lucas has arrived triumphant and whole, compassionate and hopeful. Her voice is brave and honest as she speaks about her years trapped in the dark underbelly of the world’s power society, the lethal residue of shame and guilt, the techniques the body and mind take on to survive. Her long healing journey has delivered her into a place of action and a clear-eyed, hard won understanding of the tied lineage between abusers and abused. To give herself “a purpose in dark times” Anneke created Liberation Prison Yoga - a program that takes trained teachers of trauma-conscious yoga, meditation and mindfulness into prisons, altering the form of the class to create a safe setting that encourages mind/body/heart integration. “Our work is to remain humble, to share from the heart, we are not there to fix people,” Anneke says, adding “When I was in the network I always wanted somebody to come in and give me hope ~ I wished that someone from the outside would have come in and said ~ ‘I know where you are, I know it’s hard, but here’s hope ~ because I’ve been there and I’m out.’” This is her clarion call; through her story and her actions she is giving hope to others, and in response hearts are opening with sweet love and genuine gratitude. A spiritual revolution indeed.


Meet This Episode's Guest

 
Photo credit:  www.annekelucas.com

Photo credit: www.annekelucas.com

Anneke Lucas

“If you’re a survivor, I just want to acknowledge that you are a pioneer, brave beyond words, and I would like to encourage you to recognize this and be extremely kind to yourself, because you are walking this path not just for you today, but for the future of humanity.”
— Anneke Lucas

Anneke Lucas founded Liberation Prison Yoga in 2014. As a survivor of child sex trafficking and extreme violence, she used elements of her own healing journey to develop programs based on how she would have wished to be treated in her young adult life. A close analysis of those people who were able to get through to her when she was shut down by trauma forms the cornerstone of LPY’s philosophy – for Liberation teachers to become those people; aware and unconditionally present for their students.


Anneke is an advocate for sex trafficking survivors and also speaks on the subject. She is writing a book about her healing journey, Seeds Beneath the Snow: Post Traumatic Growth and Purpose in Dark Times represented by Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory.

Read more about Anneke's story on her website and learn more about Liberation Prison Yoga here!
 


Anneke was sold into a murderous paedophile network in Belgium when she was only six years old. She was being abused and tortured to serving as a sex slave to European elite. In her talk she openly speaks about her healing journey, what is tried to be highly covered and promotes the awareness of this often-unseen topic.

Rebecca Street: Holding A Healing Space

How To Help Survivors Of Sexual Abuse

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The silence that surrounds sexual abuse and assault keeps survivors mute, isolated and in the shadows, forcing them into deeper cycles of trauma, shame and self-blame. It also protects and absolves their perpetrators. Silence is one of the biggest obstacles to stopping this taboo epidemic. Finding very few books to help chart a way through these rough waters, Rebecca Street felt called to act. A sexual abuse survivor herself, it took Rebecca ten courageous years to write You Can Help. She began by asking difficult and vital questions, such as: “How can we come together to bring light to this darkness? How can we end this taboo?” She invited other survivors to share their stories and gives practical tips for helping - such as words one can use to open the door and encourage the secrets to be brought into the light and shared. “Healing,” she notes, “doesn’t take place in a vacuum. We need others to participate.” Her gentle and infinitely compassionate book gives us a way to begin the conversation and find the path to healing that will help the women, men, teenagers, young adults and children that are suffering from the trauma of sexual abuse.

 


Meet This Episode's Guest

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REBECCA STREET

REBECCA STREET is a New York based TV, stage, and film actor. She lived in Los Angeles for twenty-four years where she raised her children and worked in TV and film. Though she has performed in many TV episodics, films, and commercials, she is perhaps best known for her 2 year portrayal of a woman with AIDS on “The Young & Restless." NY credits include HBO’s “Mildred Pierce,” "House of Cards," and playing Mary Tyrone in "Long Day’s Journey into Night" Off Broadway. In 2017 fshe was eatured in the new Gore Verbinski film, "A Cure for Wellness," which she shot in Berlin. 


Rebecca is an incest survivor, having experienced 15 years of sexual abuse by her biological father. She is grateful that her journey to recovery has finally brought her to a place where she can be a public advocate for the many others who have suffered sexual trauma, and do so without shame. Hence, You Can Help: A Guide for Family and Friends of Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault.  She has addressed both lay people and professionals at a variety of venues on the ramifications of sexual trauma and methods for facilitating recovery, including the NY State Office of Mental Health, the University of CA. Santa Barbara, Juilliard, and the Fordham Graduate School of Social Work.  This Fall, Rebecca is offering a free 6 week online healing program designed specifically for survivors, entitled YOU ARE NOT ALONE.   

 

www.youcanhelpsurvivors.com


Praise for

You Can Help

 

"Rebecca Street’s book, You Can Help offers a miraculous blend of compassion and pragmatic advice about how to help survivors of abuse. Ms. Street shows great bravery and understanding as she explains her own journey from abuse to healing, and shares the knowledge she has distilled from it. She offers her expertise with a gentle directness that should ease the way for anyone struggling to comfort a loved one who has been subjected to violence. My research on adult development has taught me that the problem of abuse is widespread and profound. I hope this book reaches as many individuals as possible; it has great potential to speed the healing process."

— CONNIE GERSICK, Ph.D 
Faculty Co-Founder, UCLA Women’s Leadership Institute
Visiting Scholar, Yale School of Management
Senior Research Associate, Lansberg, Gersick and Associates, New Haven, CT.

 

"Rebecca Street’s courageous, sensitive and well-written book, You Can Help is a much needed resource for educating and empowering survivors, their friends and family members, and the professionals who work with them. As a psychotherapist and social worker for over 20 years, sadly I have seen far too many people affected by sexual trauma, and I wish that I could have given this book to every single one of them."

— MARTHA E. MILLER, LCSW 
Psychotherapist
Stress Resilience Educator and Consultant
Private Practice, New York, N.Y.

 

"Rebecca Street’s book, You Can Help is a great resource for family and friends of victims of sexual trauma as well as for the victims themselves. The author recounts her own story of recovery while providing hope, encouragement, and practical tips for those wishing to participate in the healing of a loved one who has been victimized. Street takes it a step farther by including stories from a wide range of other sexual abuse and assault survivors who share moving first-person examples of their own journeys to recovery."

— KIRK RAY SMITH, MS 
Former President & CEO
YMCA
Greater Springfield, MA.

 

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Purchase You Can Help on Amazon or Create Space!

If you have experienced trauma, you are not alone!


Please contact Susan for help if you are a trauma survivor and want specialized treatment. Fees are negotiable.

 

 

Some additional resources:

RAINN: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

Darkness to Light: End Child Sex Abuse
Darkness to Light is an advocacy organization that educates adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.

CARRYING THE LEGACY OF INHERITED TRAUMA INTO THE LIGHT With Elizabeth Rosner

 Elizabeth Rosner on her story & new book: Survivor Cafe

In her profound and poetically written non-fiction book Survivor Cafe, Elizabeth Rosner explores intergenerational atrocity, trauma and memory, linking both the personal experience and the collective responsibility. In this conversation she reveals how directly and indirectly her parent’s (Holocaust survivors) trauma shaped the human being she became; physically, emotionally and psychologically; how she came to understand that she always did and always will carry the aftermath of their trauma within her; that it wasn’t as simple as her often given explanation when she was a child of being “too sensitive.” She asks “How does atrocity defy memory and simultaneously demand to be remembered?” She explores how sense memory is carried forward - especially in where and how we feel safe - pointing out places, among trees in a woods for instance, where some feel safe and at peace while others feel afraid and unsafe. Her book is ultimately a call to action, weaving atrocities from the enslavement of Africans, to the genocide of Native Americans, from the Holocaust, to the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She is asking us “to step up and be responsible, to actively own up to the darkness of the past and say we are committed to do this differently now” - in the hopes that our capacity for empathy will grow from acknowledging, remembering and connecting with others as we circumnavigate this sea of suffering.

 


Meet This Episode's Guest

Photo credit: Judy Dater

Photo credit: Judy Dater

 

ELIZABETH ROSNER

 

Elizabeth Rosner is the author of three novels and a poetry collection. The Speed of Light was translated into nine languages and won several awards in the US and in Europe, including being shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Femina. Blue Nude was named among the best books of 2006 by the San Francisco ChronicleElectric City was named among the best books of 2014 by NPR. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times MagazineElle, the San Francisco Chronicle, and others. She lives in Berkeley.

Learn more at elizabethrosner.com.

Buy Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labryrinth of Memory here.