3rd Pocket Book of Hope in the KindaProud series is set for release on 10th Sept

Collating the KindaProud Pocket Books of Hope and Transformation has been such a journey of learning and growth… each one seems to get stronger and more profound.

Our 3rd book; #EmergingProud through Suicide will be available for pre-order on Monday, ahead of its official release on World Suicide Awareness day on 10th Sept. This is thanks to all of the brave contributors, our Rep Kelly, our team member Mandy who has painstakingly given her time to do the editing, and Seán’s team publishing magic.

All of this wouldn’t be happening without a huge amount of passionate collaborative effort and of course the kind financial foundation from the Missing Kind Charity. 

With the series growing in exposure and impact, we want to continue with another 4 books to expand the themes covered – we are seeking match funding in order to achieve this…

*SHOUT OUT TO POTENTIAL SPONSORS* Please get in touch if you’d like to be part of this amazing project

The Press Release is now ready thanks to the gem of a team at Media Jems…

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Theresa emerges through a childhood of adversity to set herself on an incredible journey of discovering what it means to be truly human

Theresa grew up believing she was “unwanted, unloveable, defective and worthless.”
Suffering her first nervous breakdown at the age of 23, turned out to be the start of a “recurring cycle of gradual unravelling” due to having lived in her threat system for so many years during childhood.
Find out through Theresa’s inspirational transformation story what helped her to
rebirth and comfort her inner child, teach her the skills she now knows and become her greatest advocate and ambassador… 

Theresa C

My Story by Theresa Casaccio
My early years were very unstable and frightening.  My mother carried me whilst in a psychiatric facility and my father was a violent alcoholic.  I remember little of my early years, though there are feelings of fear, confusion, sadness and pain connected to them and a few memories, especially that of the night that changed our lives forever. After a drunken, violent fight between our parents, our Mum, my brother, sister and I left home the next morning with only the clothes on our back, never to return.
We were taken to a women’s refuge, where we stayed, hidden for 6 months. Our mother didn’t cope well and in desperation we were handed over to social services and placed into an emergency foster placement, with a single mother who had 2 children of her own. It was to be the worst 2 years of my life.
These early experiences were spent in constant fear, where everything and anything I did received punishment and abuse. We were often treated like animals, I was neglected, emotionally, physically and sexually abused. There was no respite from it, no one to talk to and her sons took pleasure in making our lives a misery. When living there we never knew what awaited us and it was here I learnt to hide my personality, become invisible, subservient and to try to mold myself to what those around me needed and wanted. After 2 years, my brother broke down and told the truth about our abuse.  We were removed from that home in the middle of the night and placed in a second foster home which was little better. This placement broke down after 6 months, our female care giver was unstable and unable to cope with us. We were then placed into a children’s home, then 18 months later into a new family where we were eventually adopted.
The adoption wasn’t easy or a particularly happy one. Love and affection wasn’t encouraged and so much went unsaid, feelings buried, not expressed. Because we had suffered much trauma and abuse, we had attachment and psychological problems which were not addressed.  I felt lost and like I didn’t fit or belong. There was no help or support offered to us or our parents; thus our needs were not met. I suffered in silence and though there wasn’t abuse, I felt deeply and subtly that I wasn’t really what our parents wanted and struggled to feel accepted or a part the family. A distance between us grew, with so much not said, I grew up believing I was unwanted, unloveable, defective and worthless.
Looking back now I can say I was always frightened; awaiting something bad to happen, I was depressed and suffered severe anxiety in childhood with constant headaches, stomach aches and panic attacks started at around age 14.  I kept quiet, I had learnt to mask and hide my anxiety most adeptly. Growing up was uncomfortable and I never felt I fit in anywhere.
I suffered a severe and frightening nervous breakdown at the age of 23, which was the start in a recurring cycle of gradual unravelling. Throughout my adult life I would slowly come through breakdown after breakdown having therapy, which never seemed to get to the root of what was happening to me. I was never able to hold down a full-time job, or maintain healthy relationships and when things got tough I would retreat into myself and no longer feel able to cope or function in the world for fear of anything and everything. Many times I wanted the pain to go away, I wanted to die and couldn’t see a way out. Life was just too painful for me and I was just too sensitive.
Through time, much soul searching, various types of therapy, research and learning, I am now able to see that those experiences I had suffered through my childhood, the trauma, abuse, strain and constant fear I was functioning under, at breaking point had resulted in my suffering Complex PTSD.
Thank goodness for more recent brain imaging and neuroscience we now know what living in constant fear and trauma do to brain development and function. Discovering Complex Trauma as a condition has helped me make sense of how I am and why I have functioned through life in the way I have.
The last 3-4 years have been really defining for me. I accessed my care and adoption records as I needed to fully understand and make sense of my life. I have had to review my entire life through the eyes of an innocent child, because before now I viewed my life through the eyes of a child who believed she was to blame for everything that happened to her. This journey has enabled me to accept myself as I am both the good and bad. I have learned how vital having self compassion and learning to love myself are.
It has been a life long and painful recovery process, with many twists and turns and yet more trauma experienced in my adulthood. Stripping back layer upon layer of trauma and it’s effects and coming to terms with it all.
Still the impact of prolonged periods of trauma and abuse are rarely taken into account or understood by the mental health field when it comes to treatment or recovery and as such, I have found my own way out of despair, through numerous helpful resources, which have over time enabled and led me through a journey of coming home to myself.
Faith and spirituality have played a big part in my life, in my times of greatest need, when feeling completely alone and unable to go on with life, faith and spirit surrounded me, saving my life. Somewhere deep inside there must always been a small spark of hope for the future and a sense that all I have been through couldn’t have been for nothing.
The help and support offered by our NHS, though I am grateful for the times I have been treated, it just missed the mark and did little to help me feel safe enough to properly break through and face the raw guttural emotions or feel able to release the trauma stored in my body.
Counselling taught me to try and build self esteem and find ways to get over my experiences, but these strategies never really lasted. I now know why it never really resolved the inner turmoil. What was really needed, was to truly allow and feel that pain, let it flow through me, sit with it and nurture it as I would a child. How could I heal myself if I kept avoiding and running away from the feelings and pain? The treatment I received never took into account the devastation these experiences had to my heart and soul, nor was there ever a safe enough space to let go of all of the repressed emotions.
Through recent journeying,  reading, keeping up to date with and watching ground- breaking research about the hidden effects of trauma and persistent abuse, I have gained great insight and knowledge. I know more now of my own therapeutic needs, of how to journey through healing in a very gentle way and with great self compassion.
I was never taught how to regulate my emotions, how to self-sooth, or given the skills to be resilient in the face of adversity. On some level I have had to rebirth, comfort my inner child, teach her the skills I now know and be her greatest advocate and ambassador.
I have functioned in a way that my mind was totally separate from my body, I have learnt the importance of being more present in my body, more aware of my body, to a point where I am on a path to integrating my mind and body together.
The therapeutic and nourishing activities and experiences that are really helping me heal are at a soul level. I now feel able to truly connect to others, I understand the importance of our shared common humanity, to the world we live in and to the life force. I practice yoga, Qigong, meditation, mindfulness, I affirm my gratitude every day for all I have. I chose to connect with nature, to the beauty of the world we live in and I live strongly by the principles of compassion and loving kindness.
The journey is still difficult, life experiences have shaped me, my reactions and responses to difficult situations will probably stay as they always were. I will likely always want to retreat, fight, flight or freeze when triggers are set off. I now have the self awareness to recognise when it is happening, I realise my thoughts are trying to protect me, but they are just thoughts. I have the skills and understanding to sit with and allow the emotions to come, then to then let them go with compassion and understanding. Some days it is much easier than others. My scars are still there and always will be, but they have made me who I am.
I function now the best I ever have, I have a simple life, keep a small circle of people around me and have a wonderful and supportive husband and a dog I adore. Because of my sensitivity I put my time and energy into positive people and experiences, I refrain as much as possible from materialism, peer pressure or conformity.
I am on a journey of discovering what it is to be human, of finding as much joy and gratitude in the simple things in life and I find myself drawn to the ways of our ancestors, to human connection, a simple existence and the gratitude to world they held. I look towards a more simple and connected way of life, I sing, I dance, I chant, I share my feelings, I show vulnerability and I no longer allow shame to hold me back. What’s more I am proud of who I am, I am very happy to be alive and await each new day with hope.
The things that have helped Theresa along her healing journey, and continue to do so;
YouTube:  watching anything with or by Peter Levine, Paul Gilbert, Mate Gabor, Bessel Van Der Kolk
Complex PTSD: From surviving to thriving by Pete Walker
A Compassionate Mind Approach to Recovering from Trauma using Compassion Focused Therapy by Deborah Lee
Mindfulness a practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Helpful therapeutic practices:
Somatic Experincing
Embodied movement
Mindful Self Compassion course through MIND
Therapeutic yoga
Compassion Focused Therapy
We are all more than KindaProud of you too Theresa; what an inspiration you are ❤
We are still collecting stories for our 4th Pocket Book in the KindaProud series;
#Emerging Proud through Trauma and Abuse
If you have an inspiring story to share as a message of hope for others, please CONTACT US  HERE 
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Martha’s paradoxical healing journey through an unexpected traumatic initiation

Martha S
We are now collating stories for our next Pocketbook in the KindaProud series;
#Emerging Proud through Trauma and Abuse. Trauma has many guises, and can occur in the most unexpected ways…
We will hear more of Martha’s story for this next book very soon, but as an introduction here is her account in a brilliant interview with Will Hall…
This interview explores the complex relationship between psychedelics, psychosis and spiritual awakening, through the lens of Martha- who has lived through an intense ayahuasca journey that resulted in a series of manic episodes, sectioning and iatrogenic trauma, as well as a deepened sense of aliveness, divinity and peace in her everyday life.
Now working within the NHS as a mental health worker, she speaks with Will Hall about the dance between disclosure and safety at work; transpersonal and clinical psychology; and ‘madness’ and awakening.
Martha is doing a masters degree in transpersonal psychology, spirituality and consciousness studies, and is co-director of an interdisciplinary think tank for psychosis research in Bristol. Martha also has a keen interest in and love for Zen Buddhism and depth astrology.


Martha highlights the dark side of plant medicine ceremonies, in addition to their healing potential, iatrogenic trauma coupled with what she found to be some positive aspects of the health service – all paradoxical, just like life itself.
Martha now sees her experiences as a Hero(ine)’s journey….providing integration, learning, making sense of her life, validation and most importantly, connection.

Martha will be sharing her story in our #Emerging Proud through Trauma and Abuse Pocketbook of Hope and Transformation – find out when it’s released and how to get it onto your bookshelf HERE! 

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NDE’s and the Evolution of Consciousness event in Cambridge, UK

A day to explore NDE’s and other ‘Non-ordinary’ states of mind in relation to the nature of the evolution of consciousness


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Speakers: Dr Peter Fenwick (neuropsychiatrist, author and academic)

Dr Steve Taylor (author and lecturer in spirituality and psychology at Leeds Beckett University)

Iain Ball (will speak about his mystical experience during epilepsy)

The speakers will give their thoughts on the nature and evolution of consciousness with reference to Near Death Experiences (NDEs), experiences around the time of death, mystical experiences in epilepsy and other non-ordinary states of consciousness.

There will be opportunity for group sharing and discussion. The presenters will answer questions in a panel / Q&A format at the end of the day.


10.30 – 11.00 am – Registration and coffee / tea, etc.

11.00 – 12.00 am – Dr Peter Fenwick

12.00am – 13.00 pm – Dr Steve Taylor

13.00 – 14.00 pm – Lunch Break – teas, coffees etc. will be available, but please bring your own lunch or there is a local supermarket nearby.

14.00 – 15.30 pm – Iain Ball and group discussion / sharing

15.30 – 16.00 pm – Comfort break

16.00 – 17.00 pm – Panel and Q&A with Dr Peter Fenwick, Dr Steve Taylor and Iain Ball

17.00 pm – Close



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#Emerging Proud through Suicide set for release on 10th Sept

Our 3rd Pocketbook of Hope and Transformation in the KindaProud series has probably been the toughest yet; a hugely sensitive subject which is so prevalent in our society, and yet so little spoken about. All of the amazing 16 faces on this cover, and of course our passionate Rep Kelly, want to change the public perception of what it means to have been affected by suicide.

It’s with huge gratitude to everyone involved that we proudly announce;

#Emerging Proud through Suicide is set to publish on World Suicide Awareness day; 10th Sept 2019 


What are people saying about this book?


People contemplate suicide when they believe they have no hope left. These moving and powerful stories show that despair can be the beginning, not the end, and can open up the path to a new, meaningful and rewarding life. The evidence is in the words of these 16 courageous individuals. They have lessons for all of us, but particularly for those struggling with hopelessness and despair.

Dr Lucy Johnstone, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, author and the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and was the lead author of Good practice guidelines on the use of psychological formulation (Division of Clinical Psychology, 2011). She has worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years, most recently in a service in South Wales. She was lead author, along with Professor Mary Boyle, for the Power Threat Meaning Framework, a Division of Clinical Psychology-funded project to outline a conceptual alternative to psychiatric diagnosis, which was published in January 2018.

Sometimes, if we look hard enough amongst the barrage of biomedical model messages about ‘mental health’ and  human suffering that this society is swamped with, we find books like this. 

Books that give a voice to individuals, that celebrates the strength of the human spirit and our connection with each other.

These courageous testimonies remind us, unequivocally, that the route to ‘healing’ (or whatever word we choose to use), is in finding our own meaning, making our own sense and telling our own stories. 


Jo Watson, Psychotherapist and Activist. 

Founder of Drop the Disorder FaceBook group and Organiser of the ‘A Disorder for Everyone!’ events. www.adisorder4everyone.com


The incredible stories captured in the pages of this KindaProud Pocketbook of Hope remind us all what human beings have always known, but what over time has been forgotten; mental and emotional distress provides the crucible of transformation, always on our side and never against us. It is only by reaching their perceived rock bottom, that these 16 incredible souls are able to finally find their ground and a pathway leading them, not to the life that they had planned, but rather to the life they were always meant to be living.

Joanna, Phyllida & James, Co-Founders, Safely Held Spaces https://www.safelyheldspaces.org

Follow the blog or watch THIS PAGE to find out how to get hold of your copy from 10th Sept 2019…

These books are proving to be so popular that we don’t want to stop here; our intention is to continue the series with another 4 Pocketbooks. We have funding for half of the costs for this already pledged from the hugely supportive The Missing Kind Charity

We are seeking a match- funder; do YOU know of anyone (or organisation) who might sponsor us to get these inspiring messages out into the world? CONTACT US HERE

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7th British congress on Medicine and Spirituality

This congress may be of interest to proud #Emergees …

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For more information go to:



Hosted by BUSS 

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Our 3rd KindaProud Pocket Book of HOPE is complete and ready to publish on 10th September; World Suicide Awareness day

It’s with huge thanks to all involved; the brave story contributors, the Kinda Proud team who have given their time and enthusiasm voluntarily, and The Missing Kind Charity for their belief and backing, that we have made it this far… our 3rd manuscript;

#Emerging Proud through Suicide, is now complete and in the process of publication!

*trumpet sounds*

This really has been true heart- centred collaboration in action! ❤

We very much HOPE to continue this popular series with another 4 books in 2020… we have a match funder and are seeking a sponsor to fund half of the project to ensure we can continue – would you like your name or organisation to help us provide hope to those struggling all over the world? Please GET IN TOUCH 

Through eating disorder front cover v2


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