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“Recover Me” training for those recovering from trauma and PTSD

The Lismore App

Lara Leahy

10 June 2024, 9:00 PM

“Recover Me” training for those recovering from trauma and PTSDLearn how to find the way to heal from trauma

A new course has started up in Lismore to assist people dealing with trauma and PTSD by learning how to self-administer psychological first aid. And it is being offered for free.

Paul Dodd has recently retired from the DPI (Department of Primary Industries), where he was a Flood Recovery Officer. He has worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor and certified mental health worker as well as neuro linguistic programming.

Paul identified a gap in assistance for people who have undergone trauma. 

“I discovered there was a service gap between when people seek assistance from a helpline, where people who are taught to talk to and listen to somebody who they suspect is having trouble and maybe even thinking suicidal thoughts. They then suggest, if it's appropriate, how they seek further help. 

“I saw that and thought, it’s not giving anybody who's struggling something to help them feel better right here, right now. I couldn’t find a course that taught participants how to provide themselves and others with self-care techniques for a psychological wound inflicted by disaster.” 

Paul is now a mental health coach who has been speaking at Flood Recovery Events and is being supported by the council as they recognise the importance of what he is offering. The premise of where he comes from uses powerful language and concepts to rework the effects of trauma and how to cope with it.

“It's good to be conscious that everything you do, you choose to do it because the traumatic event wasn't a choice - it is something that happened to you. And so every time that we get to choose a decision and action in life, consciously, we're helping empower ourselves. It’s about recognising that the majority of your life you are in control of.”

Paul teaches you the skills to overcome blocks that trauma can set up. “People will learn the skills to help themselves feel better, but then it takes practice, practice, practice to heal properly.”

Those taking the course will consider goals and learn powerful breathing techniques and movements to help physically release internal blocks.  

“We start with mindset, setting intentions and choosing positive language. I talk about our subconscious being like a board of directors: we're going to get the memo through to them to take action.

“Then we look at breathing techniques, ones that have been developed by leaders in the field of trauma recovery and other mental health work. It’s described as a type of mindful breathing technique.

“The breathing technique gets people down into their body, which is where I believe all the answers really are. It's where we hold the effects of trauma - stored in the nervous system. 

“Then I've got a couple of movement exercises that come from different specialists in the field. Because the trauma is stored in the body, we need to have a movement that helps release it.”  


Paul gives a powerful example using wildlife and how they cope with near death experiences as a basis for how important movement is to overcome a traumatic experience.

Paul does not bring up specifics of trauma in his class; it is not about reliving an experience.

“A lot of people have suppressed things, especially things that have come up for them from a disaster. And yet they're still walking around being affected by it. I am going to invite you to be feeling. You need to feel it to heal it.”

But it isn’t about pushing people beyond their comfort zones.

“I invite people to dive in as much as they're comfortable with. Everything that I suggest or advise trying is always just literally that - a suggestion or an invitation.”

Three classes are currently on offer in Lismore on June 12 (5.30pm), 15 (1pm) and a tentative class for June 20 (5.30pm). You will need to register, as numbers are strictly limited.  

Contact Paul Dodd by Phone on: 0481 415 135 Or email [email protected].

Keep an eye out for future events on their Facebook page: Recover Me Facebook page.

If you are interested in seeing the videos of wild animals dealing with heightened stressful situations using movement (they will be discussed in the class), please refer to the following videos: Gazelle and Leopard and Polar Bear.

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