A chance to heal for victims of trauma

The Steps to Healing Programme, a gentle self-help programme for those who have suffered trauma, is to be held in Ballycastle this coming January.

The Wider Circle offers this gentle self-help programme for people who are suffering from trauma. The programme is called the Steps to Healing Programme and Corrymeela in Ballycastle is to be the location for the next weekend residential which will be held at the end of January. The Wider Circle is a charity with 13 years’ experience in the field of emotional trauma, offering free of charge services to those in need. This programme seeks to restore a sense of hope in the lives of those affected. Gillian Mangan, Development Manager with The Wider Circle, said “Corrymeela is the ideal location for people to come to who are dealing with the on-going effects of trauma. The combination of its peaceful surroundings and the safety and security of the programme will provide the perfect sanctuary to help participants to address their trauma”. Only those who have suffered trauma are present in the sessions and this includes the group facilitators. This peer element helps those involved to gain trust and learn that they are not alone in their suffering.

Studies show that 40% of us in Northern Ireland have experienced a trauma which has had a long lasting impact. Often traumatised people experience disturbed memories and feelings of isolation and helplessness. Many of those affected can live with their trauma for years before recognising it. Through the Steps to Healing Programme, The Wider Circle provides a supportive environment where people can deal with frightening emotions and experiences. By incorporating storytelling, they are encouraged to accept their trauma as something that happened in the past, rather than something they have to live with all the time. The programme provides participants with a safe space to acknowledge their experience and this enables them to move on.

“You don’t realise until afterwards the benefits you get from talking about your trauma. You can open up and share and you realise it’s ok to do that. The sessions feel like a safe place because they are structured and secure. I feel like I can handle my trauma a lot better now.”. Catherine McGroggan, former Steps to Healing participant.

The Steps to Healing Trauma Programmes will take place in Corrymeela, Ballycastle over the weekend of the 20th to the 22nd January. Programmes are also due take place in in Benburb, Co. Tyrone and in Belfast beginning this January. For more information on The Wider Circle Steps to Healing Programme, please visit www.widercircle.org or contact The Wider Circle at info@widercircle.org, 02890 693430.