The Aurora Foundation for People Abused in Childhood (Aurora) is a specialist therapy centre and therapeutic community founded in late 2006 by Susannah Faithfull (pictured right as a 5 year old) to help people like herself whose lives have been blighted by childhood abuse. Aurora was created from her experiences as a survivor of childhood abuse and her professional work with other adult victims. We were registered as a charity in 2007 and started supporting survivors the same year.
From Susannah’s personal recovery and later as a therapist she developed an approach for her own practice which is now utilised in Aurora – this is called the “Aurora Approach”. This unique approach combines specialist therapeutic and social intervention to effectively help adult men and women heal from all forms of childhood abuse and trauma - especially sexual abuse.
Susannah Faithfull - CEO Aurora as a 5 year old
Aurora Approach (see COVID restrictions below)
Aurora’s approach is unique as we use a "therapeutic community" style of service delivery where personal therapy is provided in a confidential and protected setting where clients can feel safe and secure. We also occasionally provide group activities such as workshops, classes and social activities. It is the combination of therapies and the environment that help clients with the many emotional and psychological problems they experience as a result of their abuse, and also offset social isolation and build confidence.
To try and capture the “essence” of Aurora, one client has said:
“I believe what was fundamental to my healing at Aurora was the compassion, love and understanding I experienced from all its staff and volunteers and from the place itself. What also supported my healing at Aurora was the very non-clinical setting. I experienced at Aurora a very comfortable, homely, safe and cosy environment with still the appropriate boundaries in place; it was just the right balance which created a safe and welcoming platform where I had the opportunity to just be myself and work on my healing.”
How Aurora helps
We constantly ask clients for feedback on the Aurora service and some of this feedback is on our Client Testimonials page. During a Crowdfunding Campaign in 2015 we also produced a video that captures two clients' views on how Aurora has helped them.
Therapeutic Community (see COVID restrictions below)
Many adult victims of abuse appear to function well in their daily working lives however they may experience social isolation and/or difficulties in their intimate personal relationships. Aurora’s therapeutic community environment helps to reduce social isolation by providing a safe, confidential space where clients can meet other victims/survivors in a respectful and relaxing atmosphere. Indeed, Aurora clients continue to describe the Therapy Centre as an invaluable sanctuary providing solace from their stressful, busy and often painful lives, a place where they are warmly welcomed, respected and understood – where they can be themselves. Clients appreciate the option to arrive earlier to prepare for their appointments and stay afterwards to fully prepare for their journey home. Aurora is also open outside of appointments should clients wish to relax and unwind in the centre, either in the sitting room or the beautiful Aurora garden.
Aurora Therapy Team
One of the important aspects of the Aurora Team is that - as well as being highly experienced, sensitive and dedicated health professionals who genuinely wish to make a positive difference to clients - many of them are also survivors or supporters of survivors of childhood abuse themselves. The Aurora Team work together to provide clients with unique, specialised counselling/psychotherapy for aiding recovery within a warm, caring and nurturing environment.
The COVID pandemic has forced us to work remotely for the foreseeable future and so the therapeutic community environment described above is not currently available. However, we are providing online group activities such as monthly Zoom "meet-ups".