I didn't start out in this work, in fact I spent 20 years working in the area of drama and communications helping individuals become more confident, better communicators, great public speakers and competent stage performers. When I set up my business at 24, I knew I would change my career and so back in 2007, in preparation, I went back and did a degree in Literature and Sociology. I had a special interest in Attachment Theory, family dynamics and often combined my literature studies with research into the way literature and and society influence each other. My favourite period was Victorian & the exploration of identity in books like The Picture of Dorian Gray & the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as the influence of psychoanalysis & Sigmund Freud.
My degree changed the the direction of my work and I started to work with adults. Firstly in vocational training, teaching communications, then literacy services & eventually community education delivering courses in personal development. Towards the end of my degree an amazing thing happened, I re-met the man of my dreams. I had ended the second of two very dysfunctional relationships and for the first time in my life I finally knew what it felt like to feel safe. We were married after 10 months, having previously spent 18 years apart (that's a story for another day).
When you live with complex trauma you don't know you are not functioning in a healthy way. Every day is spent with a focus on getting by, sometimes even simply surviving. It wasn't until I felt safe with another person and in my own home that I realised how dysfunctional I was. I didn't know then about polyvagal theory or how your nervous system responds to threat or anything about hypervigilance. Feeling safe was a totally new experience and for the first time in my life I wanted to work on me. Not just the surface stuff of confidence or effective communication but they why, the how's and the what's.
I trained as a coach, then as a Master Practitioner of NLP, then as a mindfulness teacher. Each step brought me closer to homeostasis and a feeling of calm and a greater sense of connection. I set up my coaching business in 2015 and started teaching mindfulness. In 2016, after 20 years I closed my drama and communications business and focused on coaching, mindfulness and teaching personal development in FET.
I'm 2018 I went back to do a Master's in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology and graduated with a distinction in 2021. I 2021 I completed a certified training in Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy having trained as a trauma informed practitioner earlier that year. I love my work. I love hearing the extraordinary stories of triumph over adversity from clients and helping them to understand their own system and how to harness their strengths and self-awareness to live a happier, healthy life that is of their choosing.
I am incredibly lucky that I now have the safety and security in my life to be able to continue to work on myself. It's not always easy, there's a lot of stuff to unpack but I am determined to demonstrate that it is not where you start that matters but where you end up. Thanks for reading, Elfreda ❤️