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We write to you today with a *very* exciting special edition of the Bloom newsletter… our 2021 course bookings are now live! 🎉
We are so excited to be able to tell you about this launch. We’ve been working for months to reflect, refine, and improve Bloom - using our 2020 vision to sow the seeds for a fertile year of growing, learning, and connecting with you.
If you’re just joining the Bloom community, Bloom is our programme of free, online mental health courses designed for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual trauma. Each course offers tailored tools, guidance, information, and support for your journey of recovery. You receive our content through a secure messaging group - so participation is totally anonymous, but you’re working alongside other survivors. For more information on how Bloom runs, watch the video on our YouTube channel!
So head over to our website! We’re re-launching the same 5 courses - still free, still online, but edited, revised, and updated. For our new friends, we’ve described our courses further down in this newsletter (and on our website - check it out, really!), but for our old Bloom-ers here’s a summary of what we’ve improved since last year.
What has changed?
Names: you may have noticed if you were with us last year - we got creative and changed the names of some of our courses. These changes reflect our shifts in content and direction; each course explores a variety of experiences across the complex spectra of abuse, violence, and trauma. Plus, all the course titles now begin with verbs - highlighting how Bloom is both a skill set and a call to action.
Content: we have been hard at work since last October researching new material for our courses. Our reading has been far-ranging - from Mukhtar Mai’s inspiring account of surviving honour-based sexual violence to found a girls’ school in her hometown in In the Name of Honour, to Sonya Renee Taylor’s empowering and educational call to radical body love in The Body is Not An Apology, to Laura Bates’ brilliant dissection of anger, patriarchy, and violence in Men Who Hate Women. Through all this research, we have been inspired to learn from scholars, activists, and survivors alike.
Schedule: we heard your feedback that Bloom 2020 was time-intensive - and believe us, we felt it too. In our new programme, courses are no longer simultaneous but spread out, allowing you to participate in as many as you want, over a breathable length of time. We’ve also shortened our longer courses: Healing from Sexual Trauma, Reclaiming Resilience in Your Trauma Story, and Recovering from Toxic and Abusive Relationships, so that you get the same impactful course, in a more practical timeframe.
Features: we’ve got a password-protected webpage that you’ll get access to when the course starts. Here, we’ll house all our course videos, video transcripts, extra content, and messages - meaning you can access all our material however and whenever you want, even after the course has finished. We strive always for accessibility, so providing our content in multimedia formats is a must.
So, whether you’ve learned with us before or not, take a look at our course schedule and content below! Head to our website for more details - and to sign up.
Starts: 3 May
Length: 4 weeks
Content: Healthy boundaries allow us to have relationships that are emotionally intimate and mature, where we are supported, respected, and loved. Here, we’ll learn about different types of boundaries - emotional, sexual, digital, and more - people’s boundary-setting styles, and how setting boundaries can reveal who in our lives really respects us.
Healing from Sexual Trauma (formerly Recovery from Sexual Violence)
Starts: 7 June
Length: 7 weeks
Content: Sexual harassment, abuse, and violence are an attack not only on the mind and body but also the self. With this course, we embark on a recovery wherein we rediscover our sense of self - from knowing that it wasn’t our fault and our understanding of ourselves as survivors of society’s normalised sexual violence, to our relationship with our body, our coping mechanisms, and our sexuality. Healing is not a fixed endpoint, but a complex and fulfilling journey - one we undertake alongside each other.
Starts: 2 August
Length: 4 weeks
Content: Identify the layers of anxiety in our bodies, minds, and behaviours, including anxious avoidance, automatic anxious thoughts, and the stress response. Learn strategies to manage this anxiety through combined practices including journaling and somatic care.
Recovering from Abusive and Toxic Relationships (formerly Coping with Domestic Abuse)
Starts: 6 September
Length: 7 weeks
Content: Abuse minimises and erodes our very sense of self, making it difficult to form and rebuild healthy relationships. Learn about the trauma response to toxic and abusive relationships and how the cycle of coercive control reflects larger systems of patriarchal power and violence - and find practical recovery tools to find peace, wellness, and fulfillment.
Reclaiming Resilience in Your Trauma Story (formerly Trauma Resilience)
Starts: 1 November
Length: 5 weeks
Content: Recovering from trauma is rarely a straight line. In our recovery work, we strive to centre the ways in which we have already been resilient, and reclaim our personal narrative as one of resilience and hope. With this course, learn about the trauma response to varied types of trauma, and identify ways to foster resilience and rebuild connection with ourselves and our sense of purpose.
We cannot wait to see you all - we are so excited to show you what we’ve been working on, and to work on healing and recovery with our wonderful community. We are not alone: we’re in this together.
We’ll see you soon,
Hera, Zoë, Beatriz, & Alyson