*Trigger warning: Sexual assault, harassment and rape*
The following story has been shared with permission by RR.
I have been a patient of Dr Claire Parkes since mid 2020. I would like to share with you how much Claire has helped me change my life for the better.
I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, an attempted rape as a teenager and sexual harassment. I suffer from PTSD and major clinical depression. At the beginning of my treatment, I experienced numerous graphic flashbacks and was suicidal. I also suffered from claustrophobia and agoraphobia and couldn’t leave my house, or even my bed for that matter.
I could never have imagined the speed and extent of progress we made. Prior to my treatment with Claire, I was unable to go into a lift by myself, or use a public toilet. I had to leave the door unlocked out of fear of being trapped as numerous instances of my abuse happened in a locked bathroom.
Now I am able to use a lift by myself without a panic attack, use a public toilet with no fear. These small instances of success mean that I can lead a more independent life. I have no daily flashbacks or instances of self-harm. I am able to go out of my house by myself. I am able to interact with my husband and take care of my young child. I even had a career change and am making good progress in that as well. I am taking part in creative pursuits I never thought possible. I look forward to my day when I wake up and am incredibly motivated. I also feel more self confident and have better self-esteem.
Claire made me feel validated and empowered me to feel part of the team. It made me feel invested in getting better and importantly, made me take ownership of my health. She listened to me with deep empathy and I felt she truly understood the scale of my problems. I felt I could open to her quickly.
Claire also acted as a good check and balance system. When I wanted to go full speed on EMDR and have EMDR sessions every week, she paced me. She knew what I could and could not take better than me. I trust her judgment implicitly. She used a variety of therapy treatments with me including schema therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, EMDR, and at my request, we looked into some DBT and visualisation. As a result, the quality of my life, and the enjoyment I take in of my activities has improved beyond measure.
I simply think I would not be alive today without Claire’s support.
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- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
- Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Schema therapy
Dr Claire Parkes
Consultant chartered clinical psychologist