I feel compelled to bring one organization to everyone’s attention because they’ve really helped personally me along the way, and so if there are any people who feel that they want to support an amazing charitable organization, or need help themselves, they should get in touch!
Aurora Health Foundation – a Southwest-London based therapy center is a very unique healing place for survivors of childhood abuse (both men and women). They were founded in 2006 (I started going in January 2008) as a then-therapist Susannah Faithfull wanted to establish a therapeutic community and a holistic healing place for people who might not get the same kind of help elsewhere.
I found them through a Google search, and I will never forget the day I was meant to go for an assessment: the train was late, I took the wrong bus, I got lost. I was on the phone with them along the way and they were always just encouraging me to get there safe, and finally came find me from a side street as I was anxiously walking around.
I joined a women’s support group which enormously helped me deal with a lot of my issues – it wasn’t always easy, and there were conflicts (as there would be with a group of survivors) but we always worked through all of the issues, and I felt supported, heard, and cared about.
I also attended psychotherapy sessions for years – as it was open-ended, I never felt like I “only had so and so many sessions left” and panicked, or shut down, or anything like that.
Aurora offers traditional talking therapy and support groups, but also different kinds of body work to help you heal both from the psychological and physical traumas of the past. Their integrated approach is very unique, and having been treated through the National Health Service, as well as in Finland in the public health system, and also at a few other organizations that work with survivors, I have never had a similar experience.
They are funded through donations and client fees, so if you feel able to donate to a good cause and help the organization stay in business of helping survivors, please give whatever you can (I know this as I have volunteered for them, and am quite familiar with this place now. It’s like, being a part of a family 🙂 )
I know that Susannah had a vision of building a safe therapeutic community where survivors could come to heal and have meaningful interactions with other survivors, and I really now with hindsight feel that I wish I could continue therapy there as it’s really empowering to be in a setting where absolutely no one judges you.
A lot of the staff are survivors themselves, and volunteer their time also, so it’s a very unique little charity that doesn’t have the sex appeal of large organizations and a big group of donors, but if you feel able to, please support them in any way you can!
Okay that was that, I just really felt compelled to write about Aurora, and if you live in London and feel that you’d need to access their services, please get in touch with them!
I really wish there was an Aurora here in Miami, but until that happens, I will keep the place close to my heart and hope they do well as they deserve to get all the help they can, for them to be able to help others.
(very appropriate, we’re having torrential rain in Miami right now)