Newsletter August 2020


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Welcome to the August edition of our Newsletter, and a very warm welcome to all our new subscribers this month.

It certainly feels like summer in St Ives and the cooling fan in our new office at the Town Hall is an essential asset.

After months of online and telephone sessions only, we started to see clients face to face at the end of July, although a large number of clients prefer to continue with online therapy.

The walks by the river quay in the Old River Port are refreshing and grounding between sessions and it is lovely to see more people out and about now.

But this is not the normal we knew…

Used by now with the unpredictable, with new ways and new tasks to prevent the spread of pandemic and protect self and others, finding new ways to get on with our lives, respecting social distancing and having our lifestyle changed substantially, we found ourselves, changed as well…

It is time to let go now, be curious about what life brings and get on with it to the best of our abilities.

We hope you all enjoy the rest of August and that our news is of interest to you!

Kind regards,
Adriana R Talaba

Emotional Wellbeing Therapist,
Founder and Director of Transmute Wellbeing Limited

Read my story: about us

“I hope you love yourself enough to recognise the things you don’t like about your life and I hope you find the courage to change them.”


Newsletter August 2020

A trauma informed view looking at the last few months


Cultural Trauma and Covid 19

Cultural trauma is an attack on the fabric of society, affecting the essence of the community and its members.

Experiences of being helpless, alone, stuck and at the mercy of unpredictable forces.

We all have been affected by it!

It is not an individual failing, but a natural response and we are all impacted but respond in different ways.

It is understandable we might experience denial, become suspicious about our self and others and surprised by our own behaviour, emotions and thoughts.

  • Sleep difficulties?
  • Felt numb and disconnected?
  • Have to adapt to new roles and responsibilities home and work?
  • Eat, drunk or self-medicate to cope?
  • Spent long time isolated and alone?
  • Worried about the wellbeing of loved ones?
  • Have you been a key worker and had to expose yourself daily to repeated trauma?
  • Financial difficulties?
  • Loss of job?
  • Loss of close ones?

Isolation, abrupt change and unpredictability might have triggered trauma responses in us, and past trauma might have been as well reactivated.

Although we are generally striving in living a balanced and meaningful life, when trauma kicks in, we no longer have a full sense of control and as we feel powerless, we get in unwanted situations:

  • Domestic abuse, family conflicts, violence anger, sexual violence
  • Negative and critical self-talk and as result guilt, shame and blame
  • Abuse of substances or food, lack of exercise and health deterioration
  • Hurt, sadness and withdrawn from activities, depression
  • Anxiety and avoidance of activities that are perceived as a treat
  • Feeling stuck, loss of perspective and emotional pain and despair
  • Disconnection from others and lack of initiative to call for help

Different cultures respond differently, different people respond differently, but in essence we are all having a natural response to powerlessness and this is out of our control.

Sorry for a dark insight into our own very human nature, but it important to acknowledge it so we can work with it and strive to transmute this in resilience, strength and ultimately regain that sense of control and emotional wellbeing.

A few tips here for you

Emotions are there for us! They are not supposed to be denied, believed, or acted upon. We have to accept them and listen to what message they try to give us, as they use a different language.

We are driven by two main inner forces, love and fear.

They are both there with us, helping us to keep safe and enjoy life.

They shelter within our window of tolerance, helping us to be comfortable, safe and function.

Love is helping us to care about ourselves and others and enjoy life.

Anxiety helps us to survive, stress is helping us to thrive, anger helps us to release frustrations and so on.

Becoming powerless, exacerbates the negative emotions within us and we go in an exclusive survival mode, when our logical mind has very little control.

This is a natural process and happens to everyone.

In threatening situations, we go out of our window of tolerance and then our emotions can work against us!

Therefore, it is important to regain control as soon as possible and for this we have to cultivate awareness, self-compassion and use helpful pocket tools.

Recognise trauma responses and get back in control

  • Fight: Argumentative, angry, aggressive, confrontational, unable to concentrate, controlling, demanding, inflexible
  • Flight: Hyperactive, manic, running away, hiding, can’t follow rules, lonely
  • Freeze: Distracted, not listening, wide eyed, pupils might dilate, confused, forgetful, scanning the room
  • Flop: Unhappy, low mood, alone, withdrawn, quiet, passive, compliant, not drawing unnecessary attention

Tools to get back into the window of tolerance

  • Get yourself back into here and now using grounding techniques *
  • Practice Mindfulness
  • Exercise your body
  • Anchor yourself in the present if traumatic memories pop up
  • Own your feelings and experiences, accept them with compassion
  • Mark traumatic memories as over

* Grounding techniques. Use your 5 senses to bring yourself into here and now. Sight – Taste – Smell – Sound – Touch.

Helpful attitudes of mind

  • Keep things in perspective, look at the big picture
  • Stimulate and encourage your curiosity for new
  • Keep up towards your goals, make adjustments
  • Learn new ways of doing and thinking
  • Look for opportunities of self-discovery
  • Stay connected with others, even if just online or phone
  • Create and keep a daily routine
  • Make sure you have leisure and relaxed time
  • Be kind with each other and connect
  • Communicate and spend time with family, friends and people who inspire you
  • Observe and challenge your thoughts

A video about emotions: https://youtu.be/SJOjpprbfeE.

Observe, analyse and challenge your thoughts

Recognise the Negative Automatic Thoughts:

  • automatic – they just “pop up” without effort on your part
  • distorted – they do not fit the facts
  • unhelpful – they keep you low in mood/frightened/depressed and make it difficult to change
  • plausible – it does not occur to you to question them
  • involuntary – they can be very difficult to switch off

Challenge them by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is the evidence? Do the facts of the situation back up what we think, or do they contradict it?
  • What is the effect of thinking the way I do? How does it influence how you feel and what you do? What are the advantages and disadvantages of thinking this way? Can you find an alternative which will have a more positive effect?
  • What alternative views are there? There are many different ways to look at any experience. How else could you interpret what has happened? Get as many alternatives as you can and review the evidence for and against them. Which alternative is more likely to be correct?
  • What thinking errors are you making? When people have experienced stress or trauma it can change the way they think. They jump to conclusions, over-generalise from specific experiences, take responsibility for what is not their fault, and so on. Which of these errors can you find in your thinking?

Ongoing activities at Transmute Wellbeing


Regular group activities:

We offer online wellbeing workshops, book a place on our events page:

  • Self-Compassion
  • Mind-body Connection and Emotional Distress
  • EFT tapping for Emotional Wellbeing

If you are interested in the above topics and you want this exclusively for you and not participating in a group, or you want to share it just with your team at work or with your own private group, contact us and we can arrange that for you.

One to one therapy sessions:

  • We offer 30 minutes free consultation when you contact us, via phone or Zoom.
  • Face to face at our office in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, conveniently located in the Old River Port at Town Hall. All face to face sessions are subject to Covid 19 risk assessment.
  • Online via Zoom, Microsoft Team or Skype.

*New!
We are now trained to offer “Single Therapy Sessions”, suitable for people who want to resolve a specific issue in a single session. Contact us for details.

We have an integrative approach to therapy, and we offer:

Click here for more details

Upcoming programs available for individuals, organisations and charities


If you experienced domestic abuse or sexual abuse/violence and you feel stuck, contact us to enrol for our trauma informed recovery programs.

We are very excited about starting the enrolment for our Recovery Programs.

Based on the results of years of practice and research in working with domestic abuse and trauma, the experts at Rock Pool developed those programs and we invested in this specialised training to be able to help you.

You don’t have to talk about what happened to you, it is all about the impact it had on you and how to get a better quality of life.

You can contact us regardless if what happened to you was a long time ago or recently.

The program aims to build your resilience, healthy coping mechanisms, self-acceptance and personal strength.

You will be engaged on an amazing journey towards regaining control over your life and growing from your trauma.

We run this program for small groups of 4, however we can create various numbers of groups, as needed.

We will also tailor the groups around their gender and sexual orientation as we are aiming to work with everyone.

Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit

The Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit program will start in November 2020, but you can contact us to start the enrolment process.

Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit

We are aiming to start rolling the first group program for Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit in September 2020, so get in touch with us if interested.

Contact us on our secure email: info@transmutewellbeing.co.uk if you want to know more.

If you are interested in the programs but not feeling comfortable about group work, get in touch and we might be able to support you on one to one basis, however research shows that group work is more effective for the recovery programs.

Click here for more details

Want to know more about EFT?


At Transmute Wellbeing we blend EFT tapping with energy psychology, psychotherapy and EDMR, depending on your needs. Look up our EFT tapping page.

We can support you resolve complex issues whilst in a session with us, but we also encourage and support you to learn using the basic EFT as a self-help tool.

Contact us if you want our free EFT leaflet guide so you can learn to use the techniques to manage distress or discomfort or as a daily routine.

When it comes to emotional distress, pain, physical distress , cravings and other unhealthy coping mechanisms, EFT tapping is an amazing tool, as it acts directly on our amygdala: Watch https://youtu.be/VpAICLoh8yg.

* We offer every Saturday morning 11 am an hour of EFT tapping via Zoom for free.

Please join us to experience the benefits of EFT. Look up the events page to book a place.

Look up a daily energy routine: https://youtu.be/nN2uq78Y2bE.

Click here for more details


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