“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”
Bessel van der Kolk - The Body Keeps the Score
Navigating complex trauma recovery can be overwhelming and isolating.
Finding the resources that work for you and integrating those tools into your daily life is really challenging. We need relational support, understanding, and encouragement to help us develop an inner compassionate foundation from which to heal and recover. The Survivor Wise Mentorship offers education and resources within a compassionate healing relationship and community to promote integration and progress.
WHat is a
survivor wise mentorship?
Mentorship is a survivor-driven program that provides access to trauma-informed, science-backed recovery tools delivered through the lived experience and story of a person who has used them herself to heal - the mentor.
A mentorship is a healing relationship between two complex trauma survivors where trust and safety can be developed through sharing compassion, strength, wisdom, and hope together.
What Mentorship Offers:
Trauma education offered in an accessible and relatable way
Survivor insight around trauma recovery modalities
Holding space for self exploration and understanding
Building support and resources around the ways trauma affects the present
A compassionate lens around the impacts of trauma
An introduction to parts work, somatic support, emotional literacy, and nervous system regulation
Connection to a survivor community
What Mentorship DOES NOT Offer:
Licensed clinical diagnosis, practice, or cure
An expectation or requirement to retrieve or revisit past traumas
WHat is a mentor?
A mentor is an experienced and empathetic guide. The mentor survivor is a survivor who has more experience on the path of recovery who can offer options and choices to other survivor's who are getting started and in need of support. A recovery mentor provides guidance, perspective, compassion, emotional support, and witnessing as one who has walked the path too. A recovery mentor empowers other survivors to own and direct their recovery journey.
Meet your mentor
Hi! I'm Sara, and I am a complex PTSD survivor and have been in recovering from complex trauma for over 15 years. Without an official diagnosis for complex PTSD in the DSM (the diagnostic tool for mental health professionals in the USA), I had to carve out my own recovery plan based on personal research and discovery. Utilizing my degree in biology, I have spent over a decade deepening my understanding of complex trauma, its effects on the brain and body, discovering effective treatments, and putting those tools and resources to work in my own recovery journey.
I can honestly say that I am experiencing healing in ways that I never thought possible, and because of this I want to share my lived experience with other survivors to empower them to heal and find hope.
Sara's educational experience
Internal Family Systems Informed Introductory Training
Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with Education Certification & Writing Certification
15 Years of Personal Research Around Complex Trauma, Family Dynamics, Generational Trauma, Somatic Healing, Relational Healing, Internal Family Systems, Etc.
8 Years Experience Facilitating Trauma Recovery Groups
5 Years Experience Mentoring Women in Trauma Recovery Programs
Consultation on Sexual Trauma Recovery Support Groups Pilot Program
Sara's lived experience
A recovering complex PTSD survivor
An understanding of what it is like navigating the trauma recovery system and the challenges that brings
An understanding of trauma from a lived experience point of view
An understanding of what it is like using and practicing trauma-informed tools
An understanding of the day-to-day, in the trenches, type work that healing is
A compassionate lens around trauma-related behavior and how it shows up
What mentees are saying about Recovery mentorship?
each 14 week Survivor wise Mentorship Includes:
14 Weeks of online learning modules on complex trauma recovery topics
A program workbook designed for self-discovery and reflection
Weekly exercises to help you build a recovery toolbox
Weekly one hour ZOOM mentoring calls with Sara
Weekly meeting reflection notes and healing tools to consider
Support throughout the week via instant messaging
3 support group ZOOM calls with other mentees in the program
Curated Mentee Community Chat on SLACK
Access to the Survivor Wise Recovery Library
Financial investment for mentorship
14 Weekly and Automated Payments of $150
Phase ONe of the survivor wise mentorship
Developing Self Compassion Is The Aim Of Mentorship
Whether we are curious about parts work or interested in befriending our bodies, whether we are processing the past or learning to live in the present, self compassion is the key to deep and long-lasting healing and recovery, yet it is often one of the most qualities to develop as a complex trauma survivor. Shame and self-criticism tend to be our home base, and even as we enter therapy and recovery, we may struggle with the weight of constant self-criticism and judgment. We may feel stuck, unable to access the change and growth we so desperately want.
"When we are mindful of our struggles, and respond to ourselves with compassion, kindness, and support in times of difficulty, things start to change. We can learn to embrace ourselves and our lives, despite inner and outer imperfections, and provide ourselves with the strength needed to thrive."
Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer - The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion - mindful.org
How do we cultivate a compassionate foundation within us to support us through our healing and recovery?
In my experience, self compassion is actually built relationally, when our experience is seen, heard, and understood by another, when we realize that we aren't alone in our story, when we can co-regulate and resonate with safe people. These are the moments that slowly accumulate into self-compassion. They are often moments we didn't experience growing up, and so self-compassion feels elusive. The aim of the Survivor Wise Mentorship is to help survivors develop an inner compassionate foundation through relational safety, trust, and understanding.
What is covered in the
Compassionate foundations program?
The Compassionate Foundations program is grounded in two important trauma-informed recovery concepts: curiosity and compassion. Through curiosity, we come to healing with an open mind and a desire to understand ourselves and our behaviors through a trauma lens. We begin to see that our responses make sense given what we have experienced. As we begin to better understand ourselves and our responses, we start to develop compassion for ourselves and our stories. Through compassion, we cultivate hope in our capacity to grow and heal beyond our trauma.
This program is divided into two main sections:
Getting Curious - Understanding Complex Trauma
Getting Compassionate - Creating a Recovery Recipe
This recovery mentorship will focus on the basics of complex PTSD recovery, including understanding how trauma impacts the nervous system, dissociation, and shame, as well as recovery tools such as shame resilience, boundary setting, and more. This program will introduce you to parts work, somatic support, emotional literacy, and nervous system regulation. The goal of this program is to give you a solid compassionate foundation from which to continue your recovery journey.
Understanding Complex Trauma
Introduction to Recovery Essentials
Week 1: Getting Oriented
Getting Curious - Understanding Complex PTSD
Understanding Trauma and Your Nervous System
Week 2: Unmet Developmental and Neurological Needs
The Creation of the Inner War
Week 3: Mapping Out Your Nervous System
Smoke Alarm and Watch Tower
Polyvagal Theory and Fight, Flight, and Freeze
Understanding Dissociation - The First Protector
Week 4: In the mind: Fragmentation, Compartmentalization, and Identity Loss
Week 5: In the body: Depersonalization, Derealization, and Time Loss
Understanding Shame - The Second Protector
Week 6: Getting to Know the Inner Critic
Week 7: Cultivating Rest Practices
Creating a Recovery Recipe
Getting Compassionate - Creating a Recovery Recipe
Week 8: Standing up to the Inner Critic and Setting Internal Boundaries
Emotional and Nervous System Regulation
Week 9: Unpacking Your Relationship with Emotion
Decoding the Messages of Emotions
Body Awareness, Interoception, and Cues
Week 10: Navigating Trauma Triggers
Identifying Needs and Boundaries
Week 11: Unpacking Your Relationship with Receiving
Exploring Overworking, Human Giver Syndrome, and Resentment
Identifying Needs Via Emotional Awareness
Self Care Routines
Week 12: Unpacking Your Relationship with Boundaries
Boundaries as Defining Who We Are
Boundaries with Self: Self Trust
Boundaries with Others: Hoops of Trust
Asking For Help
Week 13: Asking For Help
Unpacking Why It Is Hard to Ask for Help
Relational Healing: Trust, Boundaries, and Limits
Week 14: What are my next steps?