|| POST ABORTION TRAUMA HEALING SERVICE
Breaking the silence - information, hope and healing after abortion
Welcome to our blog spot where Carolina will post updates, events of interest and thoughts.
If you would like to comment or respond to this blog email Carolina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your comments are confidential unless you express otherwise, and comments will not automatically be published.
You may also be interested in upcoming events (click here for more details)
22 May 2013
Autumn is nearly over and already we are experiencing touches of winter with the rain and cold. Seasons come and go and so too with P.A.T.H.S. This year has brought more change, but there is hope also more stability and opportunity for growth. You will see from our newsletter that we are in good heart and active in trying to raise awareness and reach out to those struggling after their abortions or terminations. Although we are primarily available for those who have had abortions, increasingly people with other pregnancy-baby losses are being referred and our counsellors are happy to help them as well. The 10 Step Programme we use is versatile and the process is helpful in working through any grief and trauma issues.
I am especially grateful to have Maree Stace assisting with co-ordination, and know you will appreciate her too. She has great empathy, sensitivity, professionalism and responsiveness. I am looking forward to taking a few months off - the first real downing of tools for me in 13 years and know you will encourage and support her too in her role. Other changes on our Trust and team are mentioned in the newsletter so have a read.
We had a great seminar in Auckland a few weeks ago and this week Maree and I are heading up to Napier for the NZAC Conference to offer a workshop around abortion secrets and the family. Looking forward to our seminar in Christchurch in September!
Ah well, that's enough from me. Stay warm this winter and go well.
23 December 2012
Don't know where the year has gone. Last entry was in September at the beginning of Spring and now we are into Summer. So far it has been lovely down here in Christchurch with lots of sun and quite warm. The earthquakes appear to have settled down so hopefully it will be a quiet Christmas. It has been a busy few months with seminars and conferences and more changes are afoot for us with some people leaving and new people coming on board. The rest of the update is in the newsletter. Everything has a season and looking ahead I sense there will be some new directions and growth for our outreach and work.
The response from those who have accessed help is positive so we know that what we offer is worthwhile and helpful. At the end of the day that is what we are here for. For all those who have lost little ones through abortion and termination, go gently and be kind to yourself. Do what you need to to remember and honour your beloved little ones and take care of yourself too.
So I wish you a peaceful Christmas on behalf of myself, the Trust and all out team. May the new year be filled with new hope and promise. Carolina
1 September 2012
It's the first day of Spring. The weather has certainly been lovely the last few days and it is heartening to see the daffodils and blossoms coming into bloom.
I wandered around the centre city last Monday for the first time in ages and it was an emotional experience to say the least. And talking with people is a reminder that for many things are far from settled. The trauma of what has happened and events that have changed lives is incredible.
Post abortive parents who contact us also have their grief and trauma, which for many has affected them and changed their lives.
The seminars are attracting counsellors/social workers and others working in the abortion and related areas or in their professional spheres. Opening up dialogue between people and discussing the deeper issues is really worthwhile. Trying to focus and avoiding the politics of it all, will hopefully generate more awareness and sensitivity, normalising abortion loss and trauma and validating people's experiences.
I will be offering a presentation Ethical Sensitivities Counselling Pregnant Teenagers at the School Guidance Counsellors Conference. This is a difficult area to work in, and as with everything to do with abortion and termination, it is all very complex. But we need to talk about it more openly. Else more people who are struggling after their abortions or terminations will suffer in silence and unsupported. For those who are not affected that is fine, but there are many who aren't. You are not alone!
Take care one and all.
24 July 2012
We are well into the second half of the year and there is quite a bit of change afoot. Talk about transitions. It feels like we are preparing for another stage in the life of P.A.T.H.S.
In brief we have a number of seminars coming up which is rather exciting:
Christchurch this week 26-27 July
Napier 13-14 September
Auckand 6-7 October
We are in good heart. Spring is just around the corner and with it new life will abound once more. Meantime hibernating as it were.
Warm thoughts and take care one and all
12 June 2012
We have had the first winter snow in Christchurch which was received with mixed feelings by some especially those in our Eastern suburbs and those who lost power! For others it meant a holiday and time to enjoy the winter wonderland.
Am attending and representing P.A.T.H.S. at the Perinatal Maternal Mortality Review Committee workshop day this Thursday in Wellington. Then am spending some time in Auckland and hoping to meet up with FRIENDS and PCPs there and do some networking. Then it is back to Wellington to help on team with the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat Weekend.
There are also two seminars in the offing - one in Christchurch 26-27 July and one in Napier 13-14 September.
Am intending to submit an abstract to the School Guidance Counsellors Conference happening in Palmerston North in November.
Do take time to read our latest newsletter and see what's what, and pause and think around the issues for yourself, wherever you and whatever is your experience or role. Things are still slow here in Christchurch. It is taking a long time for things to start picking up again. However we are around.
Take care and go gently
5 May 2012
Another few months have passed. Nothing is happening fast. The staffing issue is still be to resolved. In thinking around that, following our strategic planning meeting, we are needing to contract an admininstrator and probably looking at a new co-ordinator later as well (these positions may carry some remuneration). Looking to the future succession planning is an important step for the ongoing viability of P.A.T.H.S.. I am aware that I am unable to maintain my current roles for much longer and need to be able to step back from some. Ideally too we are needing to recruit a prayer network co-ordinator and someone or a team to help with outreach (these would be voluntary positions). This heralds another new era for P.A.T.H.S. as an organisation.
Meantime our server upgrade is creating issues affecting our mailouts and communications, so there is a holdup sending out our newsletter and prayer requests. So yes we are facing mini-crisis and it is taking time to sort through everything and reorganise ourselves. It will happen.
The Abortions Providers' Conference and Psychologists' Conferences have happened, and I did an oral presentation at each. Mixed response at the first one and poor turnout at the second - however still worthwhile, particularly with networking opportunities, and who knows what the sharing may do for people and help people find P.A.T.H.S..
We're hopeful there may be a training happening in the North Island sometime this year, and curiously, following small attendance at our Christchurch Seminar there have been a number of queries of interest. As the seminar ran at a loss for P.A.T.H.S. if there was another to happen in Christchurch this year, it would take someone else to organise and host it. Ideally it would need around 12 paying people. Just putting it out there.
We've also been asked about Remembrance Services, which we put on hold again as it was a lot of work on our part and only seemed to appeal to a small group of people. We know it is not about the numbers, as for those who attend they are really powerful and helpful. This is an idea that we might run one annually as part of our Support Group, and open it out. In that way there is little to organise and it is an integral part of the support group experience. Speaking about the Support Group, Karen and Maree are leading it this year and we are trying to promote it. How does one attract more people to the group? The sensitivity and taboo around the issues I fear still holds people back. Yet the benefits could be huge. Getting over the fear of exposure, or telling oneself I'm okay but holding onto pain and mixed feelings around what happened. It is hard to make the initial step and overcome the uncertainty and fear, but for those who do, they experience a solidarity with others who have had similar experiences, and being able to share their story in a place that is safe and where people won't judge is very special.
Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know where things are at. A newsletter will follow, hopefully by the end of the month. Watch this space.
Cheers and warm peace
17 February 2012
Well here we are well into another year. Hope it has started well for you.
We are going through another transition with some changes of people in the Trust and are adjusting slowly. Still looking for more people to help on the Trust.
So what's happening?
Of note is the Christchurch Support Group starting up again. It will be facilitated by two of our team - Karen and Maree.
Also 9-10 March will be the first P.A.T.H.S. Post Abortion Seminar of the year, and it is being held in Christchurch.
I will be doing an oral presentation at the Abortion Providers' Conference in March in Rotorua, and one at the combined NZ Psychological Society and NZ College of Clinical Psychologists' Conference in April in Wellington, so will be representing P.A.T.H.S. there. We also have an abstract submitted for the NZ College of Midwives Conference later in the year. We did a poster presentation at last year's conference and it was well received.
We are still hoping to expand our counselling service, and are looking for counselling, psychotherapist or psychologist groups to possibly organise and host a training event in their area. I am happy to come and facilitate a P.A.T.H.S. seminar at a cost. It is our vision to have trained help in all the main centres and grow the number of people available to help people affected by abortion or struggling after a termination of pregnancy. If you are interested or know anyone who may be interested contact us.
Am very aware that the 22nd February is coming up fast. Remembering all the loss of life and those affected badly by our earthquakes! Still no end in sight. We take pause to reflect on the hearts and lives of all for whom there has been stress, trauma and heartbreak, and whose inner cracks will take time to recover from just as the outer cracks have left their mark. May we all find the strength and hope we need to ride this through. The grief is real, the struggle ongoing. This is life here and now.
One of the remembrance actitivities around Christchurch on that day is The River of Flowers project is being lead by Healthy Christchurch and the Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON). On 22 February 2012 from 8am to 8pm, people will be able to drop a flower in the River and write a message for a Tree of Hope. Local community groups will host the sites and at 12:51 two minutes silence will be held, followed by the release of red helium-filled biodegradable balloons. To find your closest River of Flowers site and learn how you can contribute, go to: www.healthychristchurch.org.nz
Take care, kia kaha and go gently one and all.
30 December 2011
The year is drawing to a close. And just when we thought things were settling down Christchurch here was rocked again by earthquakes. Quite unnerving. Still we hope people managed to come together for Christmas. There are certainly things to be thankful for even amidst all the calamity of the year. And we look ahead to next year, hopeful that things will improve, be restored enough that people can move on with their lives without fear.
Since the last blog we have loaded our latest newsletter up on this site for you to view at your leisure. As a charitable organisation we are mindful of costs in producing and distributing newsletters. A decision was made to email the newsletter to people and make it available on line to provide easy access. Change is in the air and it all takes some adjusting to. For my part, I get rather bamboozled with computers, and still am rather technophobic so this is a big challenge. But am slowly getting my head around the website and suchlike. Hope it works!
Enough ramblling. Wishing you all good things in the year ahead.
22 December 2011
Christmas is here. It means different things to different people!
For many it is a time of celebration for sure, but for others less so.
For some it is about the holiday, for others it is a holy day.
For some it is a time of family coming together, for others a reminder of family loss or rupture.
For some it is about the gifts, for others it is about the giving.
What does it mean for you this year?
Wherever you are and whatever it means take care and be gentle with yourself and others.
May it be a time of peace, a time of reflection, a time of gathering hope.
15 November 2011
Here we are in November. I have just returned from assisting with the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat in Wellington. It was a good weekend in tranquil surroundings. The process of the retreat never ceases to amaze me. It is intense and beautiful, challenging and uplifting. For post abortive participants it is a step on the journey of healing. The experience of a being in the loving safe space has hopefully been helpful and special. There is invariably ongoing work that needs to happen, however for most it is an opportunity to pause and reflect on their abortions, what it has meant for them personally and in their lives and relationships. There is a deep desire for peace and connection with the loved little ones lost in the abortion. These little ones are named and their lives remembered and honoured. The reflections and rituals used are richly symbolic and powerful. The next Retreat will be in February. For more information goto http://rachelsvineyard.org.nz/
11 October 2011
A few more shakes for Christchurch to keep us on edge. And coping with the stress and worry of the rebuild is affecting different people in different ways. Waiting, a sense of limbo, uncertainty the order of the day. And meantime for all intents and purposes life goes on. For us new grandchildren are a delight and we are planting the garden in hope. On another front I feel frustration, as we have people needing post abortion help in areas where we do not yet have counselling partners available. We are needing opportunities to recruit and train people who can journey with those affected by abortion through the programme. How can we generate more interest in churches and counselling agencies, with those working with women and families who will encounter people directly or indirectly affected and who may be in a position to respond? Ideally we need people in various centres to organise and host post abortion seminars and invite people to come. Help put the word out there if you can and direct people to us who may be able to help in providing opportunities for training. Thanks in anticipation.
29 September 2011
Recently as I was driving family to the airport my car was
rear-ended. In the moments before the crash as I heard the bang and saw
the van behind me keep coming I had a sense of helplessness and
powerlessness and inevitability... and there was nothing I could do
about it. I wake with images and sensations from that experience.
Fortunately no-one was hurt, but it was still a shock and trauma and
I am aware that those kind of feelings sometimes accompany
someone facing a pregnancy-abortion decision and they can feel
overwhelmed and disempowered in their situation. I know it is not the
same thing as a car accident, but nor is it often a matter of being a
well considered or real choice in that situation - it is not something
wanted. There is often a sense of "it's the only option" really. I hear
these feelings often in the stories of women, and men, who come for
help - it can be hard to really understand what that is like unless you
have yourself experienced something that produces similar types of
feelings. And then my sense of the feelings or what it might
mean, though described in similar words, may be quite different from
yours. We are so complex and different.
On another note I am thinking it would be good to have an events of interest section on this website to highlight healing services, trainings and provide links?! Mmmmm will think on it - watch this space!
19 September 2011
Taking time and space to reflect on an abortion experience,
one's own or someone else's close, can help you to get in touch with
some of the deeper feelings, make sense of and find meaning in and
through the experience. It may assist with starting the healing process
or it may be a way to find closure. This event in the south of the
South Island may be of interest to those in the area or even others who
may wish to travel specially for it. Although it may feel difficult and
painful to front up, the hope is that within a supportive place like
this one might find help and support to allow grief to surface and be a
way of acknowledging the personal loss(es) and change abortion has
A Reflection and Healing Day - Friday 28 October 2011 - Winton - Southland
You are invited by Voice for Life Winton to this day for anyone touched or affected by abortion.
Marina Young (Buttons Project) will share her story "What happened matters".
Also Dr Normal MacLean will share from his years of experience as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.Contact Liz 03 248 5084 or 027 818 7984 for more information
13 September 2011
There has been much in
the news about the devastation and loss from 9/11 - the terrorist
attack of 2001 in the USA. Who can forget?
The loss and devastation for many post abortive parents has happened, but it is not public, and in many cases there is no acknowledgement. There is an empty space where their children once were! Their loss of life does not make headline news but is no less significant. There is so much in and around those who have lost children through abortion or termination of pregnancy that downplays and causes them to hide their pain.
Last night I facilitated a meeting on the subject of Early
Medical Abortions (EMAs), which are set to become the new method of
terminating pregnancy for many in NZ. It is the way to have an abortion
In reality EMAs are still the intentional termination of a
pregnancy by an induced miscarriage. Although presented as a simple
solution, I wonder if it too is complex. The perception of its
advantages such as privacy, early action, being less invasive and more
cost effective may appeal. However the reality of what actually happens
remains and the effects ought not be underestimated. This is of
particular concern where a person experiences more than one
pregnancy-baby loss, as the grief and issues may be compounded.
Read more about Early Medical Abortions in our newsletter article and online on the Abortion Services NZ website http://www.abortion.gen.nz/procedures/medical.html
What are your thoughts? Carolina
4 September 2011
This is the first entry into our P.A.T.H.S. blog - another step forward as we grow the organisation and our outreach.
Firstly I would like to remember all fathers on this Fathers' Day. Whatever your situation, remember the dignity of who you are and the important role you have. Special thoughts for those who have lost children through abortion. Warm thoughts, wishes and blessings for you.
I am mindful too that today marks the beginning of earthquakes for our fair city of Christchurch one year ago. Though the events of the past year are very real it still feels surreal, as people are dealing with the various impacts in their sphere. Loss, trauma, damage, collapse, destruction, death, fear, uncertainty, safety, cracks, being prepared, rebuild... are some of the words in common usage as a result. Outer earthquakes are matched with inner earthquakes for many, but certainly for all at some level there has been significant disruption to the normal flow of life. Recovery is ongoing and is happening though we are living on shaky ground even now. Someone mentioned the number of over 8,000 quakes over this period - that is mind boggling.
Numbers of our team have been affected by changed circumstances which has meant limitations, e.g. fewer counsellors available. The Support Group has also been on hold, as participants and team members have had other things to deal with from the earthquake. The prospect of less funding available this year may mean rationalising activities e.g.fewer newsletters and fewer away events to promote P.A.T.H.S..But we are still here and our service continues. People are beginning to surface it seems and even over the past few weeks we have had more inquiries, and there is a need to be available. We will be as proactive as we can in responding to those seeking our help.
A really lovely note is noticing how the spring is springing. Amidst calamity and so much pain the seasons continue in their usual cycle. There are blossoms on some trees and spring bulbs in flower in many gardens. This is heartening. Incredible how the colour and new life of this season inspire and give hope. The sun is shining today and it so lifts people's spirits.
Go gently everyone.
If you would like to comment or respond to this blog
feel free to email Carolina at email@example.com
N.B. Your comments are confidential unless you express otherwise, and comments will not automatically published.
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