Welcome to the Trauma Recovery Community

Training, resources and a peer community for counsellors/therapists working with complex trauma.

'We don't need grounding techniques so much as we need grounded relationships.'

Let me help you to help your clients to recover from trauma.

The Trauma Recovery Community provides training, live interactive Q&As, discussion groups, resources and a community of professionals dedicated to working compassionately, ethically and effectively with complex trauma survivors.

Who is this for?

Do you work with complex trauma survivors?

Are you a counsellor, psychotherapist, other mental health professional or training to become one?

Do you need further training, support and a place to belong?

Do you need bespoke guidance on how to work safely, ethically and effectively with clients with a history of complex trauma – without either retraumatising your clients, or becoming traumatised yourself?

Would you like to join a community of like-minded professionals supporting each other in this vital and challenging work, whilst receiving training and having access to resources developed by Carolyn Spring?

If so, join the ‘Trauma Recovery Community’.

Why the need for a Trauma Recovery Community?

Few core counselling and psychotherapy training courses prepare students for working with trauma, especially complex trauma. Although ‘trauma-informed’ has become a buzz word lately, apart from general helpful principles, it lacks the detail of how to actually work with your clients, what to actually do in sessions, and how to actually avoid the numerous pitfalls of working with complex trauma.

Why me?

For over a decade I’ve been providing training to counsellors and psychotherapists around trauma, dissociation, attachment, suicide/self-harm, child sexual abuse, and the mindbody connection. My live training pre-pandemic was attended by over 17,000 people, and over 40,000 people have to date enrolled on my online courses.

I bring together:

  • the latest neuroscience research and clinical literature from a broad theoretical base
  • my own experience as a survivor of extreme childhood abuse and sexual assault
  • 15 years' experience as a therapeutic foster carer working with complex manifestation of child abuse and trauma
  • over 14 years' experience as a consultant, speaker and trainer in the field of complex trauma and dissociative disorders

And I blend that into a compassionate, clear, client-centered way of working with the unhealed suffering of trauma which treats survivors with dignity and respect as unique individuals. I explain how trauma has impacted our brains and bodies, so that we can reverse those impacts and recover from even the most appalling suffering.

What can you expect from the Community?

There's three elements of the Community:

  • We're going to make the complex simple: training on working with trauma that makes sense of the latest neuroscience research, a breadth of clinical literature, and the direct experience of the survivor so that you understand what trauma is, how it affects the brain and body, why we get stuck in it, and what to do to recover from it. We'll look at the pitfalls of working with trauma, how it impacts upon and is impacted by attachment dynamics, as well as specialist subjects such as sexual assault, child sexual abuse, suicide and self-harm, dissociation, mental health, neurodiversity and much, much more.
  • We're going to connect the isolated: working with trauma can be incredibly lonely and isolating, so this Community will provide the professional and peer support and connection that is needed to weather the storm of trauma work so that you can stay regulated and in the green zone, whilst learning from others and in turn supporting others. In healing from trauma, we need the support and connection of other human beings – this Community will aim to provide that.
  • We're going to make the vague clear: we'll be answering the questions of 'What do you actually DO in the therapy room?', 'Which approach should you take?', 'Which interventions are helpful, which are unhelpful, when and why?', 'How do you work with trauma without retraumatising or being traumatised yourself?' We'll be putting the theory into practice, working through the real-life dilemmas and complexities of trauma work, and breaking it down so that it's not theoretical knowledge, but it's gritty and real and authentic and useful.

We'll do this through providing:

  • training and resources to make the complex simple – access to all of Carolyn's current courses and resources, plus immediate access to all new training as it's released on a monthly/bi-monthly basis
  • live Zoom sessions to implement the training, looking at how the theory gets applied in practice, with breakout and discussion rooms
  • live Q&A Zoom sessions where you can bring your questions on any aspect of trauma recovery, and Carolyn will do her best to answer
  • recordings of all live sessions in case you miss them
  • an 'Unshame' book club/training where we work through one chapter a week of Carolyn's book, discuss and it use it as a platform to further look at what actually goes on in a therapy session, the pitfalls to avoid and the interventions to use
  • networking and referral opportunities, where you can develop relationships and supportive networks with others
  • new resources, articles, podcasts etc being published on a regular basis
  • specific spaces and sessions for counsellors and psychotherapists; for students; and for other mental professionals
  • a safe, vetted environment
  • more features, groups, and opportunities as the Community develops (based on what YOU want and will find helpful) – possible options include:
    • training and input on the business side of a therapy practice (tech, websites, marketing, finance);
    • a public register of therapists with availability for clients;
    • in-person masterclasses and events;
    • 'cohort training' – small group opportunities for people who want to work through training material with a cohort of others.

What's my therapeutic approach?

I'm not looking to provide yet another type of 'therapeutic approach' for working with trauma. I'm looking to empower you with the knowledge, the confidence and the support to be able to develop your own style and approach to working therapeutically, and so in turn to support your clients on their individual journey of recovery.

In all likelihood that may involve elements of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy or Internal Family Systems or being person-centered or psychodynamic or Somatic Experiencing or Brainspotting or Transactional Analysis or Deep Brian Orienting or Comprehensive Resource Model or EMDR. I'm not replacing any of these techniques or approaches. I'll instead be providing a roadmap for recovery, clear directions along the way, and support from the passenger seat as you and your clients take the best path for both of YOU – based on where you're starting from, where the client wants to get to, and the vehicle and tools that you have at your disposal.

What do people say about my training?

"Carolyn's insight and the solid research that she does means that the training that she offers practitioners is both evidence-based and academic – but, uniquely, it is also based in the experience of someone who has sat in the client's seat and has experienced a journey of healing. Thank you Carolyn for providing such important training." — SC ('Dealing with Distress: Working with Suicide and Self-Harm')

"Another beautifully articulated course delivered with so much insight and truly inspiring knowledge and propelling me to go out and learn more. It was full of hope that there is more within the realms of control than what we may have historically anticipated. This will have a big impact on my client work and I thank you for creating this course as it will help me to be a better practitioner. I loved it and I would encourage anybody who is a therapist to undertake this, as it's liquid gold information!!" — PD ('Mental Health and the Body: Treating Trauma')

"I loved Carolyn's thorough, structured and congruent style of presenting, which captivated my focus and attention. Her voice is clear, pleasant and easy to listen too, and the clips and resources added to the academic and professional nature of the course.  Most of all I loved Carolyln's honest sharing and unyielding spirit." — MM ('Trauma and the Body: Dissociation and Somatisation)

"The training met all my expectations and more. Carolyn packed this session with learning, handouts, resources and her own personal experience of trauma and recovery. I found every part of the training very valuable. The Q&A really helped me to feel a huge part of the online training arena and it added so much value to the training session. Brilliant!" — TR ('Working with Trauma' webinar series)

"Excellent training. Really helped me in my clinical work as a psychotherapist. Carolyn is such a clear trainer and gives fantastic explanations to things which happen daily within my work. I also love the amount of resources and PDF's I have been able to download to use in my work. I would highly recommend this training to anyone working with trauma." — (LH, 'Working with Dissociative Disorders in Clinical Practice')

"I found this training completely engaging. It was so easy to understand and relatable and delivered by Carolyn with such heartfelt sincerity. I have understood so much more about attachment from this course than any book or CPD I have previously read and undertaken. Thank you so much for doing this course and for helping me as a therapist do the best job I can." — RM ('Working with Relational Trauma: Dealing with Disorganised Attachment')

"What a brilliant course! As a therapist, I have been struggling with how to help my clients dispel shame (even though I have been trained in trauma work) and this course has given me the tools to do that. Carolyn is such an engaging and effective communicator, I have already signed up to do another of her courses." — AR ('Working with Shame')

"I was looking for some training that would help me to better understand trauma and how to work with this. Carolyn's training is simple and clear, whilst still going into great depth, and it is all brought to life by her own personal experiences.  Plus lots of fabulous resources and handouts to download. I cannot recommend this highly enough." — LH ('Dissociation and DID: The Fundamentals'

"I am a trainee counsellor and have found this training to be excellent. It is jammed packed with lots of knowledge and theory on child sexual abusers and the impact on their victims. Carolyn's own personal experiences really help to tie the theory to the real experiences of those who have experienced this type of abuse. The resources are phenomenal and will be an invaluable resource to share with my clients, as part of their journey to recovery. The course has given me loads to think about in my practice and I hope to be able to help many survivors with the new insights and knowledge that I have gained. Thank you Carolyn!" — NL ('Child Sexual Abuse: Hope for Healing')

Why is support so essential when working with trauma?

No standalone course can cover the complexities and challenges faced when working with complex trauma. To be effective in this work, you need to be able to stay regulated (‘in the green zone’) – which is challenging given that complex trauma is intrinsically dysregulating. We know from the neurobiology of trauma that when our self-regulation strategies aren’t working (perhaps because they have been overwhelmed by the extent of the trauma we are facing), we need co-regulation (support from others). If we don’t receive it, we risk flying off into the dysregulation of trauma responses such as fight, flight and freeze. This can end up in ruptures with clients, feeling deskilled, losing control of the therapeutic frame, the slippage of boundaries, and feeling overwhelmed and perhaps even vicariously traumatised.

Why the Trauma Recovery Community?

Because counsellors and psychotherapists have consistently asked for it.

For over a decade I’ve worked one-to-one with trauma therapists all over the world, many of whom have faced the same challenges of profound stuckness in the work, serious challenges to the therapeutic frame, and secondary trauma. I’ve been struck at how so many have fallen into the same pitfalls, faced the same challenges, and made the same mistakes. What happened to one has happened to all of them. And what they all said was that they wished they had had the support and training earlier. 

That’s what the Trauma Recovery Community (TRC) is going to provide, just on a larger scale: a network and community of trauma-focused professionals where we take the training to a deeper level, provide support for one another, and really dig deep into how best to help people recover from trauma in a way that is ethical, effective, and safe for all involved.

Costs and Eligibility

The cost is £50.00 per month (inc VAT) for counsellors, psychotherapists and other mental health professionals. For students with validated status on a counselling course, the cost is reduced to £30.00 per month (inc VAT) for the duration of their course.

There are discounts available for groups and organisations – please get in touch.

There's no long-term commitment – if you don't find it useful, you can leave at the end of the month you've paid for. We believe that you'll find it incredible value for money once you see what's on offer and we hope to build a community of professionals committed to their personal and professional development and that of their peers.

To join, you must be a member of a professional organisation (e.g. BACP, UKCP, NCPS, BABCP) and committed to their ethical policy or registered with the PSA or HCPC. Students must be currently enrolled on a counselling or psychotherapy course. For overseas applicants, similar but locale-specific requirements will appear, e.g. licensing or professional membership. Please follow this link to submit your application with the information we require.

Will you join me?

If you've already submitted an application and have received an invitation to join, you're good to go and can go ahead and sign in.

If you want to apply for the first time, then please go here first.