Devised by Sue Penna http://www.suepenna.co.uk
“The most useful thing I gained on the toolkit programme was that I can make my own decisions again, I am not to blame and I can set boundaries which has given my life some order again. Every session has taught me something different which I have found useful in building my confidence and self-esteem. I am no longer nervous about being assertive, I know I am equal and deserve to be treated with respect as much as the next person. My communication with others has improved especially when I talk to professionals and making sure I am happy with my actions and decisions, as they matter too”
“I have learned the importance of boundaries and how to implement them, how to be assertive and confident. I have learned about positive thinking. I look forward to future relationships and being healthy. I can now make decisions and assert them and I can say no. I have loved the interaction with others and am enjoying setting healthy boundaries. It has been a live changing experience and I am in the driving seat of my life for the first time”
The 12 week programme builds on itself week by week. It aims to help women to recover from the psychological trauma of being in an abusive relationship. This is a follow on for women who have completed the Freedom Programme.
Aims of programme:
- to positively change how you perceive yourself (self-esteem and self-image)
- to encourage the development of strategies to help you cope with emotional pain
- to recognise the effects of abuse on children, encouraging you to develop positive parenting skills
- to positively change how you interact with others
- to set individual goals and action planning
to give individuals the knowledge needed to enable them to move forward in their lives and develop healthy relationships
Living with domestic abuse/violence forces women to develop coping strategies that keep them and their family as safe as possible within the context of unequal power divides and extremely controlling behaviour by the perpetrator. Women who have experienced and lived with domestic abuse frequently tell support agencies that the hardest part of recovery is to deal with the psychological distress caused by such abuse. The psychological distress affects how a woman perceives herself (self-esteem, self-image), how she interacts with others (passively or angrily), how she copes with the emotional pain (depression, anxiety, alcohol or drug use), how she uses her parenting skills; it can also leave her with confusion about issues of trust, boundaries and respectful relationships (both with adults and with children).
Any individual experiencing the isolation, exhaustion, humiliation, degradation and threats that are part of the abusive behaviour would encounter these difficulties. The aim of the group is not to hold the woman responsible for what happened to her, or blame her for those actions or decisions taken at the time of the abuse that may in retrospect be found not to have been safe. Rather the purpose of the group is to recognise the tremendous effort the woman has made in keeping herself and her family as safe as possible, while helping her to acknowledge that coping strategies used under duress may not be helpful in her recovery and development of a new life free from abuse.
Week 1 – Introductions
Week 2 – What is abuse and recognising the warning signs
Week 3 – Introduction to Self Esteem
Week 4 – Coping with the psychological distress. Bill of Rights
Week 5 – The effects of abuse on children and parenting skills
Week 6 – Raising self-esteem through affirmations and positive self talk
Week 7 – Anger, conflict and how to be assertive
Week 8 – Anger, conflict and assertiveness revisited
Week 9 – Identifying boundaries and how to put them in place.
Week 10 – Loss and what can be reclaimed. Review of the Bill of Rights
Week 11 – Recognising warning signs and handling intimacy.
Week 12 – Measuring the increase in self-esteem and celebrating success
From Week 10
From Initial Impact to Development of new life
Our Words Our voices – This is what we need
For further information and/or to enroll and arrange initial appointment please call 01216245775 or 07868163103