Giving people a voice with Christiane Sanderson
Christiane Sanderson BSc., MSc. is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton. With 26 years’ experience working with survivors of child sexual abuse, sexual violence, complex trauma and domestic abuse she has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, and many more.
In her capacity as a sexual violence and child sexual abuse consultant Christiane has contributed to news coverage on BBC TV and BBC Radio, and Sky News, as well as being featured in a number of documentaries involving sexual violence, most recently Fred and Rose (West): The Untold Story (Channel 5, 2014); ‘Hotel of Horrors’ (2014) and The Cul-de-Sac Cult (2015) on the Crime and Investigation Network (Sky Channel 553).
Christiane is the author of The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence as well as many other works (see below).
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?
Christiane left school at the age of 15 and went on to start her own business. She then had a child and began at night school. It was there she began to take psychology classes and became interested in giving voice to individuals who had experienced sexual abuse.
A Crucial Early Mistake
In the beginning of my work there was a strong emphasis on the answers, and needing to know the answers.
Accompanying my clients on their journey is transformative for me. The power and the resilience of the human spirit is what keeps me going, and I feel privileged to be asked to accompany someone on their journey.
- Read as many case vignettes as possible (check out Irv Yalom, Jeffery Koppler)
- Watch movies around the subject of child sexual abuse; read true life stories of survivors of sexual abuse. These allow you to develop curiosity about your clients without being judgemental.
Christiane’s Go-To Books
- Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, Judith Herman
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
- Irv Yalom