Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma

If you've been impacted by domestic abuse you may be experiencing symptoms of trauma. We've collected some resources and information that you can use them to help you with this. They can also help you understand the effects of whats happened to you better.

Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma

Understanding the day to day impact of whats happened to you

The good news is that there are lots of ways that we can learn to regulate our feelings and manage our symptoms of trauma. We can build resilience in order to heal and go on to find healthy, meaningful relationships.

Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma
"Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life. Unlike commonplace misfortunes, traumatic events generally involve threats to life or bodily integrity, or a close personal encounter with violence and death. They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe. According to the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, the common denominator of psychological trauma is a feeling of “intense fear, helplessness, loss of control, and threat of annihilation.” Judith Herman (1992) Trauma and Recovery

How an upsetting situation affects our brains, bodies and relationships

Managing and regulating our feelings

One of the symptoms of trauma is a difficulty in managing feelings that at times can be overwhelming. This may cause you to feel a range of emotions. You may feel; very anxious, angry, panicky ('hyper') or zoned out, numb or depressed ('hypo'). Sometimes you may feel both.

Here are some resources to help you understand and manage these feelings:

Understanding our 'window of tolerance'

Emotional first aid - stress regulation exercises

Exercises for overcoming hyper-arousal

Symptoms may include:

  • anxiety
  • feeling 'on guard' (hyper-vigilant)
  • finding it hard to focus
  • difficulty sleeping
  • heightened emotions, possibly quick to anger or be upset
  • muscle tension
  • sensitivity to pain
  • fast heart beat
  • feeling 'jumpy'

Grounding with "square breathing"

RISE service user Laura talks through some breathing exercises to help reduce anxiety and panic.

Exercises for supporting hypo-arousal


Symptoms may include:

  • feeling low
  • indifferent
  • feeling 'empty'
  • stuck
  • withdrawn
  • distant/ 'out of body'
  • lost for words
  • forgetful or confused
  • physically collapse

"5-4-3-2-1" Activating your senses

Touch and smell for stabilising

Three meanings of dissociation - Caroline Spring

Self-esteem and self-compassion

When you are in an abusive relationship it can chip away at your self-esteem. You may have internalised a harsh inner critic and be struggling to believe in your own self worth.

Here are some resources to help you start to take care of yourself and develop a healthy relationship with yourself and others.

At RISE we believe in you. We know you cannot only survive but will thrive.

The space between self-esteem and self compassion: Kristin Neff TEDx

Self-compassion part I with Dr Kristen Neff

Self compassion part II "self-kindness" with Dr Kristen Neff

Self compassion part III "common humanity" with Dr Kristen Neff

Self compassion part IV "mindfulness" with Dr Kristen Neff FOLLOW DR KRISTEN NEFF VIA https://self-compassion.org/videos/

Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma
Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma

Books and reading

Please be aware that these books talk directly about trauma and may trigger a range of responses. Use the resources above to support you, as and when you need them.

  • "Trauma and recovery" by Judith Herman
  • "Waking the tiger" by Peter Levine
  • "Healing the fragmented selves of trauma survivors" by Janina Fisher
  • "8 keys to trauma recovery" by Babette Rothschild
  • "The body keeps the score" by Bessel Van der Kolk
Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma
Wellbeing resources for adults | Domestic abuse and PTSD | Overcoming relationship trauma