Survivor activist wisdom for those supporting survivors of sexual abuse


Sophie Olson, CSA survivor, activist and founder of The Flying Child was told by a Psychiatrist at the age of 30 that she had a ‘mental illness’ that was ‘severe and enduring’, and that she would never live without community support and medication.

Sophie’s experiences in a mental health system that was unable to support her needs, compounded her trauma and blocked her healing for a decade.

After leaving the mental health system, Sophie sought an alternative approach: a peer group environment, creative outlets and specialist counselling for CSA with a therapist who was human first and practitioner second, all of this changed the way she viewed her own trauma, and it became clear to her that her “diagnosis” not only incorrect but a dangerous block to her healing.

The tragic truth is that an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of survivors of child sexual abuse are labelled with so-called ‘mental illnesses’ by mental health services. And now, many survivors are speaking out about how being labelled and medicated caused them further trauma, and further harm.

In this lived-experienced based workshop, Sophie will share her story and wisdom about how we can best support survivors without pathologising and re-traumatising them. It is suitable for Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Peer support workers, others working in a therapeutic/ support setting and those supporting family and friends. It will suit those who are concerned about the pathologising of survivors and who are willing to consider a non-pathologising, trauma-informed approach.

Date and time: Wed, 13 Dec 2023 17:30 – 20:00 GMT