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SwanWaters Healing Podcast

Author: Mags Thomson

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Welcome to the SwanWaters Healing Podcast. Every episode I will share some of my ideas, tools, and skills about abuse and healing. Sometimes it will be a short practical tool, sometimes it will be a more in-depth exploration of your healing journey.

All the resources and ideas shared here and on the SwanWaters website are based on the team's and my personal experiences and learning. is a place where you can meet your peers for support and advice:
74 Episodes
 When we are addressing triggers and trying to heal from traumatic experiences, we need to change the stories we tell ourselves. Have you ever had an extremely emotional response to something that turned out to be pretty trivial? Well, looking back at that moment, you can probably reconstruct the story you told yourself. They often go something like this:Better not forget my bag on the bus Yeah, you're going to forget that bag, and it's going to cause problems You can't be trusted even to bring along your husband's thingsSee, you're a failure at EVERYTHING You are worthless!Or at least, that's how my brain would respond to such a thing happening. Of course, you won't forget the bag... but it's a rabbit hole.So, how do you stop that story of doom from running through your mind every time something unexpected happens? That's what today's podcast is about. Mags explains how you can change the stories that are triggered and create lasting change.Main Take-Aways:To change the stories, we have to address how we feel about our triggers. We cannot change from a place of fear.Desensitising is a great strategy, but we can't bully ourselves in that processEncouraging ourselves from a loving compassionate place means taking baby stepsIt also means celebrating all the progress we make --- Send in a voice message:
In the PTSD module in The Healing Academy, I share strategies Aubrey taught me for coping with my triggers. She based those strategies on the work she did in The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, a resource she still recommend to anyone dealing with PTSD and other high-stress situations.Here are five life-changing lessons Aubrey got from this book, and my (Mags) reaction and viewpoints on those.If you want to read along with Aubrey's writing, you can find it here: --- Send in a voice message:
In this podcast Aubrey and Mags (under her previous screen name Monkey) talk about everything from what it is, to how it can manifest.Links to Resources:Effects of Domestic Violence by the Joyful Heart Foundation.And also important to remember is that “violence” does not have to include a physical violence. Remind yourself again of the Definition of Domestic Violence.The Podcast episode that Aubrey refers to at the beginning of this episode is here: Do you want to learn more about PTSD, how it can affect you and how you can cope with triggers and flashbacks? Check out the PTSD module in The SwanWaters Healing Academy: Send in a voice message:
E73 - Building A New Life

E73 - Building A New Life


Note: This audio was recorded as a Facebook Live, and it's not the best I've ever recorded. However, I felt the message was worth sharing. When leaving abuse, we undoubtedly leave a whole life behind. We have to redefine so much of who we are and how we do things. It can be overwhelming. In today's episode I talk about how you can take charge of your transformation and healing.Main Take-Aways* Becoming self-aware helps us better manage our emotions* Taking charge of the things you control, will take away some of the fear and annoyance about the things you can't.* The more we feel we are responsive, rather than reactive, in our life, the more resilient we feel and the more positive choices we can make--- Send in a voice message:
However hard you try, however much you prepare and try to control your circumstances, even under the best of circumstances, your life is not going to be perfect. Main Take Away:* Just because things are not the way you'd dreamed, or wished, or imagined, doesn’t mean they are not enjoyable, and memorable.* Instead of focusing on the imperfection, focus on the unexpected fun that the solution created. Or how the mistake highlighted something great about your life.--- Send in a voice message:
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags discusses the way that we can be our own worst enemies (and that we need to be more compassionate toward ourselves in our healing journey).Many survivors find it easier to show compassion to other people than they do to show it to themselvesThe more we repeat loving messages to other people, the more we hear them and can apply them to ourselvesHelping others enables you to heal yourself--- Send in a voice message:
In this episode of The Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about making the escape from abuse. Learn how to make the transition from victim of abuse to survivor and overcomer.   Main Take-AwaysAs long as you hold onto the notion that life is happening to you (rather than believing you have the ability to take charge of IT), you won't ever feel empowered to change your situationIt's important to learn that you are WORTH making changes to your life and also that you CAN make changes to itLearning to react (rather than respond) is the first step to realizing that you have control of the outcome of the situations you faceThree ways to start empowering yourself are: creating boundaries, understanding that the abusive situation is an illusion (it is not happy or safe - despite what you want it to be), and strategizing your escapeResources mentioned:Prepare your escape from abuse--- Send in a voice message:
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks with fellow SwanWaters team member Aubrey Cole about her experience of living in an abusive relationship for 25 years, how she left, and what she has done to help other survivors since. Main Take-Aways• When you enter into an abusive relationship, it doesn't begin as obviously abusive. It generally begins as a subtle crossing of boundaries that eventually lead to more extreme abuse• Gaslighting (causing someone to doubt their own perception) makes a person easier to trick and control• Monopolizing someone's perception (when an abuser insists you see things the way you do) is a form of emotional abuse that makes the target feel they aren't entitled to their own opinions• Leaving a domestic abuse generally situation requires you to set up an exit strategy before trying to leave because it can take up to 7 attempts to leaveResources mentioned:• Bodies in the Basement• Preparing Your Escape from Abuse• The Beach, My Soul, and My Shame• Listening to Shame | Brené BrownListen To More Episodes Here--- Send in a voice message:
E68 - Focus On Yourself

E68 - Focus On Yourself


In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about how easy it is to fall into focusing all your energy on the person who abused you. While it's totally natural, it's not going to serve you in the long-run. Know that it IS possible to build a life where they're no longer the center of your thoughts.Main Take-Aways• You're allowed to be angry. But then it's important to move on to the next step• When you're in an abusive situation, the reality is that everything is about them. Your normal was that nothing was ever about you • In your healing process, it's important to gently say to yourself, "That was then and this is now. It's about me now." • After leaving abuse (and because it's about you now), you can focus on learning new skills about boundaries, self-care, and improving your self-talk  Listen to more episodes of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast here: --- Send in a voice message:
E67 - Having The Feels

E67 - Having The Feels


In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about the way we get too hard on ourselves when we're experiencing lots of emotion during the healing journey.Main Take-Aways:• You can feel conflicting emotions at the same time. joy at not being around toxic family members but ALSO feeling sadness because you love them. They're not mutually exclusive.• In the beginning of the healing journey, it's normal to get overwhelmed by your emotions to the point of not even recognizing what they are. But over time, you will recognise and process your emotions more quickly and with greater ease.• Self-awareness is a key part of developing the above skill. Check in with yourself by asking "What am I feeling and WHY am I feeling that?"Listen to the whole episode here: Send in a voice message:
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