«Hi, my name is Katherine and I am delighted to be joining the team at SurvivorsUK as clinical supervisor, counsellor and groupwork co-ordinator. I have been interested in the work of Survivors for a long time and for the past eighteen months have been fortunate enough to do some supervision work and training for the team, so in some ways I feel already at home. At the same time, I have a lot to be getting on with and a lot to learn!
I have worked, first as a social worker and then as a therapist in several organisations including a hospice, an HIV support organisation in North Yorkshire, Terrence Higgins Trust and Body & Soul (a charity supporting families affected by HIV) as well as secondary schools. I have developed an enduring passion for working with people who have survived trauma and sexual trauma in particular, which is why working for SurvivorsUK is such an exciting opportunity.
Sexual abuse is an abuse of connection, of violent connection, toxic connection, a connection masquerading as love when it is something altogether destructive. I believe, and neuroscience can now evidence that such a belief is well founded, that the damage inflicted by such abuse can be repaired through connection, a healing reconnection with self and with others. Not easy when trust is destroyed and takes phenomenal courage on the part of survivors but courage which many show in spades. Albert Schweitzer writes: ‘sometimes our light goes out but it is blown again into flame with an encounter with another human being.’ And the novelist PD James puts it better than most:
‘The world is a beautiful and terrible place…If the screams of all earth’s living creatures were one scream of pain, surely it would shake the stars. But we have love…we must hold fast and believe in it, for it is all that we have.’
I do hold fast and believe in it.
I look forward to getting to know you all.