Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of our most frequently asked questions. If your question isn't covered, please get in touch via our contact form or email us at info@stormsedgetherapy.co.uk.

Therapy

Beyond Fight/Flight/Freeze

Threat Management (1)

We are generally quite familiar with descriptions of our Fight or Flight response to immediate danger; this is the up-regulation of our Central Nervous System, or a state of hyperarousal. In addition, people speak about a Freeze response; they do this implying that Freeze is the opposite response. Fight is the aggressive moving towards a physical threat with the goal of overpowering the situation. Flight is running away from danger in order to escape. While the Freeze response is seen as the involuntary shutting down of the nervous system. However, while this covers most of our reactions to immediate risk, there are a number of other ways that are as common within broader threat management but not as dramatic and easily recognised.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Now for a little theory, according to the current Polyvagal Theory of threat management Fight or Flight are seen as the responses of the evolutionary modern myelinated vagus nerve fibres. While the Freeze response is due to the activation of the evolutionary older unmyelinated fibres. So while we share the Fight and the Flight responses with our mammalian cousins; the Freeze response is far higher up the evolutionary tree, including all vertebrates: birds, reptiles and fishes.

However, this is not the whole picture of Threat Management in our daily lives. Firstly, human threat management responses are far more inclusive than only the immediate central nervous system reactions to immediate physical danger. Our modern lifestyles can open us to stresses and dangers that are ongoing, unavoidable and invisible. This can be from the daily commute jammed into a small train carriage, to mortgage payments, and job interviews to being trolled on social media where we don’t even know who or where in the world the threat is coming from. These are all dangers that cause a response within our bodies as well as mind that need to be managed, especially if the situation cannot be resolved.

A second limitation to the Fight/Flight/Freeze framework is that these are all automatic reactions of the nervous system becoming more aroused, “getting wound up”. The Freeze Response is misunderstood as a slowing down, but it is actually still a hyperarousal response. The nervous system is still regulating upward; however, the stress systems go up so high and/or so fast that there is an overload and then complete shutdown. Commonly this is due to feeling especially powerless or due to the shock of something happening so quickly or being completely unexpected.

We as sophisticated and civilised social beings have a number of other responses to manage threats, especially ones that are not immediate and physical. Threats can also be social, psychological and structural. Such daily experiences are racism, a toxic work environment, a hyper-competitive family system, underemployment, etc are all intangible hazards that can even go unnoticed.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Our responses go far beyond merely waiting for a trigger and then implementing an automated response. People anticipate, notice patterns and strategically plan ways to either avoid or minimise the chance of the threat developing or just reduce its intensity. Within this range of risks and responses, we probably find a greater part of our everyday lives.

We speak of Flight or Fight because it is easier to notice these situations as well as the responses within our own systems, both body and mind. This gives us the illusion that we are not under threat, if we are not in a wound-up, hyperaroused state. However, many of the threats in our daily lives are not as noticeable and we don’t have this intense fear reaction; but these threats are as real and have, at least, as much impact on our bodies and our psychology.

With this understanding of the immediate fight/flight/freeze response, now let’s look at how we cope with ongoing dangers that we don’t see – “Pleasing Others to Cope“.

.

> What therapies do you offer?

We work within a brief consultative model which is goal orientated, collaborative and bespoke. Together we will decide on which therapeutic modality will work best for your presenting need and for your personal approach to life.

A focused presenting problem usually response best to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) within a change cycle model which includes relapse prevention. Long-standing or complex needs may include some cognitive and/or behavioural elements, but are likely to need relational, interpersonal or systems approaches; Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT) or Schema Focused Therapy (SFT).

This is not a supportive therapy, but a place to change. The work is hard with the goal of being different, being more, being better. You will need courage for this journey together. Through the challenges your therapist will offer compassion and a carefully strategised approach built on psychological theory and practice.

What we do will be determined with what is working for you, in line with the stage of your progress, your personality, lifestyle as well as your way of learning.

> How long will I need therapy for?

This varies from one client to another, some might need a short series of sessions, and others long term work. You will agree this with your therapist at the beginning of your treatment.

> How often will I need to attend sessions?

Sessions can be weekly, or fortnightly, and will be agreed with your therapist. In some cases, more frequent sessions can be reduced later in the process to fortnightly or monthly sessions if this is appropriate. This will be agreed between you and your therapist.

> Do you offer therapy to couples and / or children?

We offer therapy for couples and for families using an integration of the Mentalization and Systemic approaches. We do not offer services for children on their own.

Please be specific about this need on application in order to ensure the venue is appropriate.

Please book here.

> Can I terminate therapy at any point?

Yes, you can choose to finish your therapy at any point. This is for you and you are in control of the process.

You and your therapist will have a dynamic plan designed around your needs. Therapy is a resource aimed at helping you with your struggles for as long as needed and no longer. Therefore, the ending will be planned according to treatment progression.

It is crucial to realise that change can be difficult; therefore, there can be phase of resisting. Even when we desperately want to grow or resolve a problem, change can be overwhelming and staying with what you know seems easier. This is a natural, and sometimes necessary, part of the change process.

Please discuss any changes in the plan with your therapist.


Costs

Beyond Fight/Flight/Freeze

Threat Management (1)

We are generally quite familiar with descriptions of our Fight or Flight response to immediate danger; this is the up-regulation of our Central Nervous System, or a state of hyperarousal. In addition, people speak about a Freeze response; they do this implying that Freeze is the opposite response. Fight is the aggressive moving towards a physical threat with the goal of overpowering the situation. Flight is running away from danger in order to escape. While the Freeze response is seen as the involuntary shutting down of the nervous system. However, while this covers most of our reactions to immediate risk, there are a number of other ways that are as common within broader threat management but not as dramatic and easily recognised.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Now for a little theory, according to the current Polyvagal Theory of threat management Fight or Flight are seen as the responses of the evolutionary modern myelinated vagus nerve fibres. While the Freeze response is due to the activation of the evolutionary older unmyelinated fibres. So while we share the Fight and the Flight responses with our mammalian cousins; the Freeze response is far higher up the evolutionary tree, including all vertebrates: birds, reptiles and fishes.

However, this is not the whole picture of Threat Management in our daily lives. Firstly, human threat management responses are far more inclusive than only the immediate central nervous system reactions to immediate physical danger. Our modern lifestyles can open us to stresses and dangers that are ongoing, unavoidable and invisible. This can be from the daily commute jammed into a small train carriage, to mortgage payments, and job interviews to being trolled on social media where we don’t even know who or where in the world the threat is coming from. These are all dangers that cause a response within our bodies as well as mind that need to be managed, especially if the situation cannot be resolved.

A second limitation to the Fight/Flight/Freeze framework is that these are all automatic reactions of the nervous system becoming more aroused, “getting wound up”. The Freeze Response is misunderstood as a slowing down, but it is actually still a hyperarousal response. The nervous system is still regulating upward; however, the stress systems go up so high and/or so fast that there is an overload and then complete shutdown. Commonly this is due to feeling especially powerless or due to the shock of something happening so quickly or being completely unexpected.

We as sophisticated and civilised social beings have a number of other responses to manage threats, especially ones that are not immediate and physical. Threats can also be social, psychological and structural. Such daily experiences are racism, a toxic work environment, a hyper-competitive family system, underemployment, etc are all intangible hazards that can even go unnoticed.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Our responses go far beyond merely waiting for a trigger and then implementing an automated response. People anticipate, notice patterns and strategically plan ways to either avoid or minimise the chance of the threat developing or just reduce its intensity. Within this range of risks and responses, we probably find a greater part of our everyday lives.

We speak of Flight or Fight because it is easier to notice these situations as well as the responses within our own systems, both body and mind. This gives us the illusion that we are not under threat, if we are not in a wound-up, hyperaroused state. However, many of the threats in our daily lives are not as noticeable and we don’t have this intense fear reaction; but these threats are as real and have, at least, as much impact on our bodies and our psychology.

With this understanding of the immediate fight/flight/freeze response, now let’s look at how we cope with ongoing dangers that we don’t see – “Pleasing Others to Cope“.

.

> How much do sessions cost?

A standard therapy session length is 50 minutes and costs £120.

We do not have concessions or a sliding scale.

> How can I pay?

When you book an appointment you can pay as part of the online booking system, or on the day of your session. If your therapist has booked your session, you will receive an email confirmation which will have a link to our secure payment portal, and you can also pay by bank transfer or cash on the day.

If you have created an account and saved your payment details to our secure portal, you can request charges are made automatically off your card 7 days prior to each appointment. This can be discussed with your therapist at your intake assessment.

> Why am I asked to pay in advance of my session?

We allow for online payment in advance as our sessions are limited, and our costs including therapist time and consulting rooms are committed in advance.

Sessions can be changed or canceled up to 7 days in advance, but after that full payment is due as the session cannot be re-allocated to another client on the waiting list.

If you prefer, you can also pay on the day of your session by debit or credit card, cash or bank transfer.

> Do you offer discounts / sliding scale?

No. Our prices are fixed but we can recommend other practitioners at different pricing scales.

> Can my health insurer cover the cost?

We accept patients from AXA PPP Healthcare, BUPA, Aviva, Vitality Health and Cigna Healthcare.

When booking an appointment please choose an intake assessment slot marked ‘Private Insurance Funded’, then in the booking form use the reference your insurer gave you and the session cost will be charged directly to them.

We ask for a card number to secure the appointment on our system but you will not be charged for the session.


Sessions

Beyond Fight/Flight/Freeze

Threat Management (1)

We are generally quite familiar with descriptions of our Fight or Flight response to immediate danger; this is the up-regulation of our Central Nervous System, or a state of hyperarousal. In addition, people speak about a Freeze response; they do this implying that Freeze is the opposite response. Fight is the aggressive moving towards a physical threat with the goal of overpowering the situation. Flight is running away from danger in order to escape. While the Freeze response is seen as the involuntary shutting down of the nervous system. However, while this covers most of our reactions to immediate risk, there are a number of other ways that are as common within broader threat management but not as dramatic and easily recognised.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Now for a little theory, according to the current Polyvagal Theory of threat management Fight or Flight are seen as the responses of the evolutionary modern myelinated vagus nerve fibres. While the Freeze response is due to the activation of the evolutionary older unmyelinated fibres. So while we share the Fight and the Flight responses with our mammalian cousins; the Freeze response is far higher up the evolutionary tree, including all vertebrates: birds, reptiles and fishes.

However, this is not the whole picture of Threat Management in our daily lives. Firstly, human threat management responses are far more inclusive than only the immediate central nervous system reactions to immediate physical danger. Our modern lifestyles can open us to stresses and dangers that are ongoing, unavoidable and invisible. This can be from the daily commute jammed into a small train carriage, to mortgage payments, and job interviews to being trolled on social media where we don’t even know who or where in the world the threat is coming from. These are all dangers that cause a response within our bodies as well as mind that need to be managed, especially if the situation cannot be resolved.

A second limitation to the Fight/Flight/Freeze framework is that these are all automatic reactions of the nervous system becoming more aroused, “getting wound up”. The Freeze Response is misunderstood as a slowing down, but it is actually still a hyperarousal response. The nervous system is still regulating upward; however, the stress systems go up so high and/or so fast that there is an overload and then complete shutdown. Commonly this is due to feeling especially powerless or due to the shock of something happening so quickly or being completely unexpected.

We as sophisticated and civilised social beings have a number of other responses to manage threats, especially ones that are not immediate and physical. Threats can also be social, psychological and structural. Such daily experiences are racism, a toxic work environment, a hyper-competitive family system, underemployment, etc are all intangible hazards that can even go unnoticed.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Our responses go far beyond merely waiting for a trigger and then implementing an automated response. People anticipate, notice patterns and strategically plan ways to either avoid or minimise the chance of the threat developing or just reduce its intensity. Within this range of risks and responses, we probably find a greater part of our everyday lives.

We speak of Flight or Fight because it is easier to notice these situations as well as the responses within our own systems, both body and mind. This gives us the illusion that we are not under threat, if we are not in a wound-up, hyperaroused state. However, many of the threats in our daily lives are not as noticeable and we don’t have this intense fear reaction; but these threats are as real and have, at least, as much impact on our bodies and our psychology.

With this understanding of the immediate fight/flight/freeze response, now let’s look at how we cope with ongoing dangers that we don’t see – “Pleasing Others to Cope“.

.

> What will be expected of me during a session?

Intake Session:

During this session you will need to inform your therapist of the issue that has brought you for help, answer some questions about yourself to build context around the issue and ask any questions you might have about therapy or working with Storm’s Edge.

By the end of the session you and your therapist will make a plan for future treatment, or an onward referral, as well as discuss the practicalities of treatment. Please bring any relevant documentation to be discussed (such as referral letters, medical records, previous treatment reports, or any personal documents you’d like to discuss such as diaries, artwork, photographs etc if you would like to share these).

Therapy Session:

After the initial consultation process we should have a treatment direction which is focused and dynamic. We will then progress through a collaborative process of finding greater clarity as well as investigating what helps and what doesn’t.

This can be a difficult process as the topics may be very sensitive and/or not easy to understand. It is normal to feel some reluctance taking some time to build trust in the therapy and to have the courage to engage with painful experiences. Your therapist is there to support you through the process and to keep your moving forward safely.

> How long is each session? What if I’m running late?

A therapy session in 50 minutes. Please arrive 5 minutes ahead of time and register with reception to ensure we can start on time.

If you arrive late the session may still need to finish at its scheduled time to ensure the next session is not affected.

> Is everything I say confidential?

The contents of sessions are confidential.

We have a duty to report when a client is considered to be a danger to themselves or to others. This will be done, whenever possible, in consultation with that client. We also have a duty to report when there is a suspicion that a child is being harmed or could be harmed; this includes emotional distress and neglect not only physical and sexual abuse.

If this should happen, all information shared will be subject to the The Data Protection Act; therefore, the principle of “Need to Know” applies. This means if there is a concern, only the information related directly to that particular issue can be shared and nothing more.

The content of sessions and any notes are kept confidential; aside from the above conditions.

All therapists a legally obliged to take part in supervision. Sessions maybe discussed in supervision making every effort to keep the client’s identity concealed and again only the information related to the issue at hand will be considered. Supervisors are bound by the same confidentially codes and standards as your therapist.

> What if I need help between sessions?

Storm’s Edge Therapy is not a crisis service, but rather the space to work on reducing the number of crises and impact these have in your life. We do not offer crisis interventions; nevertheless, we will make a Crisis Plan if needed. This involves identifying triggers, potential interventions and resources that may help.

Therapy itself can, from time to time, be unsettling so a plan for support is an important part of a successful process.

> Do you offer online or telephone consultations?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Statement

We have offered remote therapy for a number of years now, using both audio and video resources. There is a well established expertise in the developing field of virtual therapy with which we have been actively engaging.

We are following the British Psychological Society’s recent guidance on remote therapy published in response to the escalating need to avoid personal contact.

We do not offer therapy using online messaging tools.

The Virtual Therapy Clinic is conducted from Monday to Thursday between 1:30 and 8pm GMT. Sessions are a standard therapeutic 50 minutes and cost £100.

  • The following option are available:
    • Audio call: Phone or WhatsApp
    • Video call: WhatsApp Video, FaceTime, Google Duo, Skype or Zoom

About

Beyond Fight/Flight/Freeze

Threat Management (1)

We are generally quite familiar with descriptions of our Fight or Flight response to immediate danger; this is the up-regulation of our Central Nervous System, or a state of hyperarousal. In addition, people speak about a Freeze response; they do this implying that Freeze is the opposite response. Fight is the aggressive moving towards a physical threat with the goal of overpowering the situation. Flight is running away from danger in order to escape. While the Freeze response is seen as the involuntary shutting down of the nervous system. However, while this covers most of our reactions to immediate risk, there are a number of other ways that are as common within broader threat management but not as dramatic and easily recognised.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Now for a little theory, according to the current Polyvagal Theory of threat management Fight or Flight are seen as the responses of the evolutionary modern myelinated vagus nerve fibres. While the Freeze response is due to the activation of the evolutionary older unmyelinated fibres. So while we share the Fight and the Flight responses with our mammalian cousins; the Freeze response is far higher up the evolutionary tree, including all vertebrates: birds, reptiles and fishes.

However, this is not the whole picture of Threat Management in our daily lives. Firstly, human threat management responses are far more inclusive than only the immediate central nervous system reactions to immediate physical danger. Our modern lifestyles can open us to stresses and dangers that are ongoing, unavoidable and invisible. This can be from the daily commute jammed into a small train carriage, to mortgage payments, and job interviews to being trolled on social media where we don’t even know who or where in the world the threat is coming from. These are all dangers that cause a response within our bodies as well as mind that need to be managed, especially if the situation cannot be resolved.

A second limitation to the Fight/Flight/Freeze framework is that these are all automatic reactions of the nervous system becoming more aroused, “getting wound up”. The Freeze Response is misunderstood as a slowing down, but it is actually still a hyperarousal response. The nervous system is still regulating upward; however, the stress systems go up so high and/or so fast that there is an overload and then complete shutdown. Commonly this is due to feeling especially powerless or due to the shock of something happening so quickly or being completely unexpected.

We as sophisticated and civilised social beings have a number of other responses to manage threats, especially ones that are not immediate and physical. Threats can also be social, psychological and structural. Such daily experiences are racism, a toxic work environment, a hyper-competitive family system, underemployment, etc are all intangible hazards that can even go unnoticed.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Our responses go far beyond merely waiting for a trigger and then implementing an automated response. People anticipate, notice patterns and strategically plan ways to either avoid or minimise the chance of the threat developing or just reduce its intensity. Within this range of risks and responses, we probably find a greater part of our everyday lives.

We speak of Flight or Fight because it is easier to notice these situations as well as the responses within our own systems, both body and mind. This gives us the illusion that we are not under threat, if we are not in a wound-up, hyperaroused state. However, many of the threats in our daily lives are not as noticeable and we don’t have this intense fear reaction; but these threats are as real and have, at least, as much impact on our bodies and our psychology.

With this understanding of the immediate fight/flight/freeze response, now let’s look at how we cope with ongoing dangers that we don’t see – “Pleasing Others to Cope“.

.

> What are your qualifications?

All our therapists are fully qualified and registered with the necessary bodies for their professions. We insist on full registration, full professional indemnity insurance and exceptional clinical skills before considering anyone for our team.

Our founder, Kael Cockcroft, is an Associate Fellow and a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the British Psychological Society: Division of Clinical Psychology (BPS Membership: 407587), and a Registered Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC Registration: PYL26327).

He is a member of the following professional working groups:

BPS: Psychotherapy Section
BPS: Special Group in Coaching Psychology
BPS: Transpersonal Psychology Section
BPS Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP): Leadership and Management Faculty
BPS DCP: Psychosis & Complex Mental Health Faculty
BPS DCP: Holistic Faculty
BPS DCP: Faculty of Addictions
BPS DCP: Faculty for Eating Disorder

Full qualification for our associates can be supplied if needed.

> What bodies are you registered with?

All our therapists are fully qualified and registered with the necessary bodies for their professions. We insist on full registration, full professional indemnity insurance and exceptional clinical skills before considering anyone for our team. Current registrations:

British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK, responsible for the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good.

Our Founder, Kael Cockcroft is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Health & Care Professional Council (HCPC)

The HCPC regulates the following professions: arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists / podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists / orthotists, radiographers, social workers in England and speech and language therapists.

It is a criminal offence for someone to claim that they are registered with the HCPC or state they are a Practitioner Psychologist when they are not registered.

> What records do you keep?

All session notes are kept strictly in a secure environment, whether physical or digital. All material is kept in the strictest confidence according to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and The British Psychological Society (BPS) codes of conduct which are in line with The Data Protection Act.

We keep all financial and appointment details as per the HMRC requirements.

> Can you prescribe medication?

Yes. A psychologist or psychotherapist cannot prescribe medication; however, your therapist can facilitate a consultation with our psychiatrist. This would be a separate appointment with a fee dependent on the presenting concern and if there is a need for a comprehensive assessment.

> Are your rooms accessible?

Unfortunately, our rooms are not wheelchair accessible.


For Professionals

Beyond Fight/Flight/Freeze

Threat Management (1)

We are generally quite familiar with descriptions of our Fight or Flight response to immediate danger; this is the up-regulation of our Central Nervous System, or a state of hyperarousal. In addition, people speak about a Freeze response; they do this implying that Freeze is the opposite response. Fight is the aggressive moving towards a physical threat with the goal of overpowering the situation. Flight is running away from danger in order to escape. While the Freeze response is seen as the involuntary shutting down of the nervous system. However, while this covers most of our reactions to immediate risk, there are a number of other ways that are as common within broader threat management but not as dramatic and easily recognised.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Now for a little theory, according to the current Polyvagal Theory of threat management Fight or Flight are seen as the responses of the evolutionary modern myelinated vagus nerve fibres. While the Freeze response is due to the activation of the evolutionary older unmyelinated fibres. So while we share the Fight and the Flight responses with our mammalian cousins; the Freeze response is far higher up the evolutionary tree, including all vertebrates: birds, reptiles and fishes.

However, this is not the whole picture of Threat Management in our daily lives. Firstly, human threat management responses are far more inclusive than only the immediate central nervous system reactions to immediate physical danger. Our modern lifestyles can open us to stresses and dangers that are ongoing, unavoidable and invisible. This can be from the daily commute jammed into a small train carriage, to mortgage payments, and job interviews to being trolled on social media where we don’t even know who or where in the world the threat is coming from. These are all dangers that cause a response within our bodies as well as mind that need to be managed, especially if the situation cannot be resolved.

A second limitation to the Fight/Flight/Freeze framework is that these are all automatic reactions of the nervous system becoming more aroused, “getting wound up”. The Freeze Response is misunderstood as a slowing down, but it is actually still a hyperarousal response. The nervous system is still regulating upward; however, the stress systems go up so high and/or so fast that there is an overload and then complete shutdown. Commonly this is due to feeling especially powerless or due to the shock of something happening so quickly or being completely unexpected.

We as sophisticated and civilised social beings have a number of other responses to manage threats, especially ones that are not immediate and physical. Threats can also be social, psychological and structural. Such daily experiences are racism, a toxic work environment, a hyper-competitive family system, underemployment, etc are all intangible hazards that can even go unnoticed.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Our responses go far beyond merely waiting for a trigger and then implementing an automated response. People anticipate, notice patterns and strategically plan ways to either avoid or minimise the chance of the threat developing or just reduce its intensity. Within this range of risks and responses, we probably find a greater part of our everyday lives.

We speak of Flight or Fight because it is easier to notice these situations as well as the responses within our own systems, both body and mind. This gives us the illusion that we are not under threat, if we are not in a wound-up, hyperaroused state. However, many of the threats in our daily lives are not as noticeable and we don’t have this intense fear reaction; but these threats are as real and have, at least, as much impact on our bodies and our psychology.

With this understanding of the immediate fight/flight/freeze response, now let’s look at how we cope with ongoing dangers that we don’t see – “Pleasing Others to Cope“.

.

> I’d like to refer a client for therapy

We accept onward referrals from a range of professionals, ideally in consultation with the client’s GP.

Simply direct your client to our secure appointments portal to make an appointment or send your details through our contact page stating a preferred contact method and time.

> I’d like to get a legal assessment for a court case

This is not a service that we currently provide.

> Do you offer supervision?

Yes. We offer supervision in psychodynamic individual therapy and case management with a particular focus on working with the whole person, working with Personality Disorders, with psychosis and in supporting carers.

Supervision with Storm’s Edge Therapy will be most relevant for new therapists, clinical or forensic psychologists working in psychotherapy as well as those working with more extreme cases; especially those that are complex, enduring and treatment resistant.

Please get in touch through our contact form if you would like to discuss supervision options.

> Can I work with you?

We have associations with a range of professionals and are open to discussing a working relationship. Send an initial message through the contact page.


Our Site

Beyond Fight/Flight/Freeze

Threat Management (1)

We are generally quite familiar with descriptions of our Fight or Flight response to immediate danger; this is the up-regulation of our Central Nervous System, or a state of hyperarousal. In addition, people speak about a Freeze response; they do this implying that Freeze is the opposite response. Fight is the aggressive moving towards a physical threat with the goal of overpowering the situation. Flight is running away from danger in order to escape. While the Freeze response is seen as the involuntary shutting down of the nervous system. However, while this covers most of our reactions to immediate risk, there are a number of other ways that are as common within broader threat management but not as dramatic and easily recognised.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Now for a little theory, according to the current Polyvagal Theory of threat management Fight or Flight are seen as the responses of the evolutionary modern myelinated vagus nerve fibres. While the Freeze response is due to the activation of the evolutionary older unmyelinated fibres. So while we share the Fight and the Flight responses with our mammalian cousins; the Freeze response is far higher up the evolutionary tree, including all vertebrates: birds, reptiles and fishes.

However, this is not the whole picture of Threat Management in our daily lives. Firstly, human threat management responses are far more inclusive than only the immediate central nervous system reactions to immediate physical danger. Our modern lifestyles can open us to stresses and dangers that are ongoing, unavoidable and invisible. This can be from the daily commute jammed into a small train carriage, to mortgage payments, and job interviews to being trolled on social media where we don’t even know who or where in the world the threat is coming from. These are all dangers that cause a response within our bodies as well as mind that need to be managed, especially if the situation cannot be resolved.

A second limitation to the Fight/Flight/Freeze framework is that these are all automatic reactions of the nervous system becoming more aroused, “getting wound up”. The Freeze Response is misunderstood as a slowing down, but it is actually still a hyperarousal response. The nervous system is still regulating upward; however, the stress systems go up so high and/or so fast that there is an overload and then complete shutdown. Commonly this is due to feeling especially powerless or due to the shock of something happening so quickly or being completely unexpected.

We as sophisticated and civilised social beings have a number of other responses to manage threats, especially ones that are not immediate and physical. Threats can also be social, psychological and structural. Such daily experiences are racism, a toxic work environment, a hyper-competitive family system, underemployment, etc are all intangible hazards that can even go unnoticed.

> Can I suggest topics for your blog? Storm's Edge Therapy

Our responses go far beyond merely waiting for a trigger and then implementing an automated response. People anticipate, notice patterns and strategically plan ways to either avoid or minimise the chance of the threat developing or just reduce its intensity. Within this range of risks and responses, we probably find a greater part of our everyday lives.

We speak of Flight or Fight because it is easier to notice these situations as well as the responses within our own systems, both body and mind. This gives us the illusion that we are not under threat, if we are not in a wound-up, hyperaroused state. However, many of the threats in our daily lives are not as noticeable and we don’t have this intense fear reaction; but these threats are as real and have, at least, as much impact on our bodies and our psychology.

With this understanding of the immediate fight/flight/freeze response, now let’s look at how we cope with ongoing dangers that we don’t see – “Pleasing Others to Cope“.

.

> No appointments available on the booking system

If you’ve gone through our appointments portal calendar and there are no appointments to book this means that all of our slots are currently full.

New appointments become available following cancellations and completion of client treatment. If you’d like to be added to our waiting list, and be alerted when an appointment becomes available, please use our contact form and tick the box relating to our waiting list.

> A feature on this site isn’t working

If you’ve found an error on the site, a certain functionality not working well on your device, or anything else which needs our attention, please tell us by emailing info@stormsedgetherapy.co.uk. Thank you.

> Subscribing & unsubscribing to our blog

Our blog is intended to provide advice, stories and tools to help anyone affected by the difficulties discussed.

If you would like to subscribe to blog alerts you can do this through the form on the bottom right of each page on this site. You will receive an email with the content of a new blog post, when these are released (usually several times a month).

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> Can I suggest topics for your blog?

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