Last month a group of Savera UK clients participated in a pilot wellbeing session delivered by Malminder Gill, a London-based hypnotherapist and coach working in private practice, who provided her time for the activity for free. The session was designed to help a group of survivors of harmful practices, to develop tools to manage stress and promote better relaxation.
Following the session, we spoke to Malminder to find out more about her experience and why she decided to support Savera UK.
Why did you decide to become a hypnotherapist and coach?
“I have always been a big fan of personal development, therapy and staying true to oneself, and this led to an increasing interest in emotions, thoughts, behaviours and how they shape our life. It became obvious to me that it was more than just a passion or interest of mine and I found myself studying it increasingly until I decided to embark and complete professional courses, which I have done with teachers from across the world and coming different paths of life.”
Where did you first learn about ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices?
“Through my work I have met many people who’ve experienced trauma and a number of them – especially young girls – have experienced some forms of ‘honour’-based abuse. This made me reflect on the issue, which is clearly bigger than we might think. With the help of my PR agency we found out about Savera UK and its mission to tackle ‘honour’-based abuse and immediately wanted to collaborate.”
Have you worked with survivors of harmful practices prior to connecting with Savera UK?
“Yes, I have and I continue to work with those women and men who are struggling, particularly with forced marriage and HBA as a result of sexual orientation.”
Why have you chosen to support Savera UK’s work?
“Because the work Savera UK is doing is phenomenal and very much needed, as HBA so often goes unnoticed or is accepted as ‘the norm’ within certain cultures and environments. Savera UK is thankfully a voice for many people, calling out such wrongdoings and providing a service for people who are at risk or caught up in these terrible circumstances.”
Why did you want to offer your services/expertise to the charity’s clients?
“Coming from an ethnic background myself, I have heard of many cases of forced marriage. When I was growing up it was the norm. I have fortunately not been in that situation but genuinely feel for those in such circumstances and want to help where I can.”
How can mindfulness and wellbeing tactics help those at risk and survivors of harmful practices?
“Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that operates on a subconscious level helping the patients overcome traumas while inducing a sense of calm. Both these things are certainly important for subjects at risk and survivors that might be trapped in negative spiralling thoughts. During my hypnotherapy sessions, I equip my clients with the tools they need to ensure they can respond healthily to situations of stress. From relaxation meditation, breathing techniques and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) activities, I can help to strike the balance to achieve the ideal equilibrium between stress and relaxation.”
You recently led a pilot session with some of our clients, how did it go?
“I really enjoyed it and I was pleased to hear everyone managed to reach a state of relaxation, which is something we shouldn’t be taking for granted.”
For people reading this now, who may be dealing with trauma or anxiety linked to exposure to or the threat of harmful practices, are there any simple exercises they can undertake alone?
“I always suggest to my clients to work on their breathing, as this will improve their control over their bodies and minds. It’s good to get into the habit of the 7/11 breathing technique. The 7/11 breathing technique is a simple exercise, you just have to breathe in for a count of seven and breathe out for a count of eleven with closed eyes. Imagining you are breathing out stress and tension whilst breathing in calm and serenity. Do this for five minutes.”
To find out more about Malminder and her work, visit her website.