Recovery Toolkit Programme

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Devised by Sue Penna

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.

Group Sessions:

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 our recent  Session 6 -Affirmations and Positive Self Talk
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From Week 10

From Initial Impact to Development of new life

Our Words Our voices – This is what we need


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For further information and/or to enrol and arrange initial appointment please call  07868163103 or email info@birminghamfreedomproject.org

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