I’ve been a Paramedic for 20 years and have always thought of myself as pretty resilient. Over a six month period I attended an unprecedented number of traumatic incidents which resulted in a diagnosis of PTSD. I had heard of colleagues who had been for counselling and ended up consoling the counsellor after opening up about jobs they had been to. Warily, I went to see Dr Kingston with that in mind but need not have been worried. I was able to discuss these incidents in a safe and confidential environment.
I had been experiencing flashbacks which were reprocessed by using EMDR which, whilst unpleasant, were short lived and easily filed away. Debs explained the scientific process in a layman terms which helped me by understanding the theory behind the science.
During one of the incidents I had attended I’d been assaulted, this was more difficult to process as it linked back to a previous assault, something I hadn’t connected at the time. With Debs guidance, EMDR light bar and a lot of patience we finally put that one back in its box. For those of you in the emergency services you’ll understand the significance of that statement.
I can’t recommend Dr Kingston highly enough. She has a calm, slightly crazy approach, but she gets it. Her knowledge in her field is second to none but more importantly she empathises without patronising. A genuine thank you for literally saving my life.
Work Related Stress and Trauma
I sought help from Dr. Deborah Kingston during a very distressing period in my life. I had been exposed to significant trauma in my job over a number of years and was suffering and struggling to cope to the extent that it was having a negative and debilitating impact on my every area of my life. Deborah was recommended by a friend and although it took a huge amount of courage for me to make the first appointment, it was the best decision I made. I was diagnosed with PTSD which really helped me to make sense of my symptoms. Deborah has so much knowledge and skills, whilst attending regular sessions she provided me with a confidential and trusting environment where I was able to talk about my feelings and experiences which i had never been able to do before. I received treatment that enabled me to deal with some of those difficult experiences. Deborah provided me with valuable guidance and advice on what I needed to do to recover and get better, how to make important changes which then enabled me to make decisions regarding my future so that I could also then reconnect with important relationships in my life Therapy is and was not always an easy process but seeing Deborah gave me my life back where I am now able to live a happy, joyful life again. I would encourage anyone who is suffering from mental health problems to reach out and get help from Dr. Deborah Kinsgston.
THANK YOU Deborah.
I left the Royal Marines in 2019 and on leaving began to struggle with my mental health. Although I assumed the transition was going to be relatively easy it became apparent really quite quickly it was not. I eventually found the strength to admit I was suffering and decided to seek professional help.
Initially I was referred to a Consultant Psychotherapist who made a diagnosis of PTSD.
Unfortunately I believe my initial treatment was somewhat perfunctory; I really didn’t feel as though the treatment was working and, therefore- I was referred to Dr. Kingston. Being former military, Deborah immediately empathised and I was reassured that there really was some hope of a more optimistic outlook.
It was during these sessions that Deborah introduced me to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Clearly- speaking from an unqualified laymen in such a field I can only comment on the results for me personally: the results were tangible, rapid and effective. Admittedly, although the sessions were sometimes extremely uncomfortable, I was reassured that they seemed to be of enormous benefit. The act of reprocessing difficult memories, which sat in my conscious and subconscious memory, assembling them into some kind of order and then “storing” them was an incredibly effective treatment that has undoubtedly changed my life.
Dr. Kingston was incredibly supportive throughout the sessions; always careful about the care and preservation of my mental state, ever considerate of how far to push, when to push a little further and indeed when to retract. I cannot thank her enough for her incredibly sensitive approach; she manages to find an incredible balance of empathy, understanding and professionalism clearly borne out of an innate passion for her field of study.
To conclude (as a veteran) I would wholeheartedly endorse EMDR as a force for good in such a sensitive and unfortunately prevalent subject. We not only have a duty to care for our veterans after their selfless service; but moreover- we are morally obligated to do so.
My mum found me another therapist! I knew I wasn’t doing well but why would this therapy be any different from the others? Having to get ready to go meet another stranger who may or may not help was exhausting. But it was better than I had imagined and oh how I wish I could go back and tell a younger me how much this was going to help me.
So why was this time any different? It was still a room where I was sat across from a stranger and it still involved me talking about all the things which I had hidden in the depths of my brain. However, this time she actually understood what I was going through. After fighting her and trying to prevent her getting in to any part of my brain, especially the very traumatised parts, she gave me a sense of safety and I no longer saw her as a threat. She never compared me to a textbook or made to follow a specific concrete plan. I would destroy the plan EVERY week and have it remade and tailored to my needs. I could swear, go silent, and literally hide in the chair without fear of any judgment or backlash. Finally I was getting an answer to how I had felt for many years, and I had never been able to put any words to how I was feeling and now we had a common language which I could understand. Don’t get me wrong it was a painful process that definitely tested me and our therapeutic relationship which we built throughout the process.
Being introduced to EMDR was extremely weird to begin with but actually ended up being one of the key features of my recovery. This weird hammerhead shark looking light bar was going to bounce back and forwards helping me to unlock all the feelings I had buried so deep. It may have been emotionally painful, but I was able to stop whenever I wanted. The entire process has enabled me to finally see that light at the end of the tunnel which I thought was a load of rubbish and didn’t exist. I am now able to live the rest of my life being free from my past and I’m not allowing it or anyone else to hold me back anymore. I’m bossing my life, and this is all thanks to the treatment I received from Dr Kingston.
Understanding Mental Health, Trauma, PTSD, Complex PTSD and how best to treat
For me this was an excellent day. Debs is a great teacher making things interesting and real.
Making the connection between the high number of clients with conditions such as fibromyalgia and previous trauma really connected the 2 and made me understand why people are not in control of their pain.
Understanding the level of therapy that can be provided made me realise how many people would benefit from this being available via the NHS.
I have never really understood the different levels of treatment / therapy. There are a large amount of our workforce that will not be referred by work and cannot afford private so will continue to experience lapses in their mental health due to poor service provision.
I found the training informative and engaging, the active approach in getting people involved really was attuned to my way of learning and has given me more confidence. I found that the energy Dr Kingston brought to the training was contagious and had a positive influence on me. I would most certainly engage in any training provided in the future. She made talking about trauma interesting and gave great tools to help people navigate it safely.
I found the day thoroughly enjoyable and informative. I was able to link prior knowledge to new learning and deepen my understanding. I particularly enjoyed the activity points which really illustrated the point of movement. Debs’ animated delivery was engaging and certainly kept my interest. Lots to mull over and consolidate. I found it difficult to read some of the power point slides and the handouts. It would be helpful if I could have a copy emailed to me so I could go through these please. A very enjoyable day with input from 2 knowledgeable trauma specialists which I really appreciate being able to attend.
Thank you, Dr Kingston, on a very insightful and interesting training day. It was very well presented, and I was thoroughly engaged throughout the whole day. It was well presented and it has raised my awareness on the impact of trauma on individuals and the support for their recovery.
There were lots of opportunities to ask questions and have discussions. I would love to hear more.