Renaissance Wellbeing Services is an online space run by myself, Renée. I am a community mental health practitioner with experience in counselling, art therapy, psychology, education, and Art. I am passionate about sharing information with others to help improve wellbeing and overcome life challenges.
- Discussions and articles can be found here.
My key area of interest is trauma-informed approaches to mental health. Trauma is not an event that happens to us, rather, it is the impact left in the body and mind following adverse experiences. Specific events like sexual abuse, war, domestic violence, natural disasters, and so forth can leave lasting effects on the nervous system which, if left unresolved, can interfere with day to day living and finding joy. “Smaller” traumas like harassment, covert insults, oppression, relational conflicts, and other ongoing stresses can also place undue strain on wellness. Many incidents can seem insignificant in themselves, however, collectively impact wellbeing as much (or more) as bigger traumas.
Alongside my interest in trauma, I’m passionate about neuroscience, Art, history, and religion. My research has lead me to the conclusion that humans’ innate impulse to be creative is sometimes misunderstood. For the better part of last century, neuroscience focused on trying to find a specific region or hemisphere of the brain dedicated to thinking “creatively” (thinking in original or novel ways). It is only in recent years that psychological sciences have begun to recognise creativity is a whole-brain activity. Moreover, it is a process in which imagination, prior life experiences, knowledge, skills, and abilities, blend together to make new thoughts, products, or just about anything!
Creativity has a correlation to well being by the fact that a healthy mental state is one in which the whole brain is functioning efficiently. In other words, the creative process and a healthy mental state are one and the same: a whole brain activity.
Trauma responses often result in parts of the brain going “off line”, therefore, encouraging creativity, in any form, can help re-build the neurological networks required to recover from stressful experiences. Understanding the significance of creativity can also build up resilience and create the capacity to deal with future traumas; trauma and/or stress are an unavoidable realities of being human.
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Presently, my interest is largely focused religious trauma and culturally approved behaviours that allow abuse to continue. Research in this area has lead me to investigating how our ancestors used mythology and religion as a means of explaining the nature of human beings and our relationship to the world. Historically, some psychological approaches, namely psychoanalysis, have misrepresented the nature of creativity resulting in biased interpretations of symbolism in Art, mythology, and religion. Such misconceptions can hinder wellbeing instead of improving it. Therefore, many of my blogs are intended as an opportunity for me to share alternative perspectives in the hope they may help put contemporary cultures in perspective, thus enabling social change that prohibits religious and cultural abuse.
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A full listing of my blogs can be found here. Please have a look and leave a comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Online counselling sessions can be booked here. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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