Betsy has authored books that have been translated into 6 languages; ‘Teaching the Child on the Trauma Continuum’ (2015) and ‘The Simple Guide to Child Trauma’ (2016), ‘The Simple Guide to Sensitive Boys’ (2017), ‘The Simple Guide to Shame in Children’ (2108) with ‘The Simple Guide to Attachment Difficulties’ (2019) and ‘The Simple Guide to Complex Trauma and Dissociation’ (2020) and ‘The Simple Guide to Collective Trauma’ (2021). ‘The Simple Guide to Emotional Neglect’ (2023).
Organisations she started
She is the Director of Trauma Recovery Global which supports, trains and collaborates with professionals who work with traumatized children and families across 30 nations. She has trained over 30,000 professionals; for government ministers, education staff, police, violent reduction departments, multi -agency groups and conferences for specialist trauma professionals. She is a consultant for several government led projects who are using the BdT Trauma Recovery Focused Model, which involves training 100’s of staff and meeting with policy makers, including such roles as sitting on the Delivering The Vision Board alongside leading practitioners in Scotland: https://www.children1st.org.uk/help-for-families/bairns-hoose/delivering-the-vision-group/
The popularity of the training days then led to her pioneer a Certificate in Therapeutic Mentoring (a 12 day course over 6 months in Bath, Oxford and online) which has trained over 300 professionals to work to help children recover from trauma. The professionals include teachers, head teachers, pediatricians, educational psychologists, art therapists, health visitors, social workers, police, TA’s etc. The course has led to the development of Therapeutic Mentoring Rooms in schools which enable traumatised children to recover within the mainstream school setting with the support of a trauma trained psychotherapist.
Betsy is the Founder and Chair of the Trustees of the Trauma Recovery Centre (TRC), which is a charity that operates specialized trauma therapy centres, offering play, art, music and psychotherapy alongside group support for the parents who join in a course called ‘Parenting the traumatised child’ which she wrote. TRC also has a mentoring project and currently has three centres in Bath, Oxford and Guernsey.
Betsy founded the national organization The Childhood Trauma Recovery Network (CTRN) which is a network of professionals who work in a trauma informed approach who are on a map for people to find help. The associates are arguably some of the key leaders in the trauma recovery world within the UK.
The death threat and stalking and harassment chapter
2011 was a significant year for Betsy as she both founded the Trauma Recovery Centre and it’s first centre in Bath – but also received a death threat & was stalked and harassed for 5 years until the primary perpetrator was arrested. She talks about it more in her book ‘A Simple Guide to Understanding Shame in Children’.
“I was stalked and harassed for four years before an arrest was made, and in that time I was fascinated and saddened by how many people responded with shame to the assault on my personal reputation. I had threatening emails and many malicious messages along with seeing over 40 domain names bought up in my name, not being able to have access to emails in my name as they were in use by ‘someone else’ and finding out that malicious emails had been sent anonymously, lying about me to people I was contracted to work with. In this frightening time when I was constantly discovering new shocking cyber attacks aimed at harming my professional reputation, I noticed the shame that I had to cognitively fight because I knew I had done nothing wrong. These attacks were the result of a few people who felt shame and couldn’t bear the pain and turmoil, so had to use coping mechanisms that we explore in the middle chapters. That is how I became immensely familiar with the shame that I recognized in my work in the trauma centres, both in the victims who were totally not to blame and also in those who hurt others.
Thankfully, I have also seen the relief that results when shame is recognized and named, its role in causing problems is acknowledged and understood and thus, slowly, its impact is reduced.”
p10 Preface of The Simple Guide to Understanding Shame in Children
Betsy was one of few specialised professionals who contributed to the Young Minds ‘Addressing Adversity’ project which was launched in parliament and sent to every clinical commissioning group in the UK. https://issuu.com/youngmindsuk/docs/ym_addressing_adversity_book___web_
Her work in schools was explored for UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Case-study-School-based-therapeutic-support.pdf
She has had interviews in mainline journals including BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and Adoption UK.
She has chapters in a number of books such as:
Knightsmith. P. (2019). The Mentally Healthy Schools Workbook: Practical Tips, Ideas, Action Plans and Worksheets for Making Meaningful Change: Practical Tips, Ideas and Whole-School Strategies for Making Meaningful Change. London. Jessica Kingsley Publishing.
Colley. D & Cooper.P. (2017). Attachment and Emotional Development in the Classroom: Theory and Practice. London. Jessica Kingsley Publishing
Her psychotherapy and counselling pathway:
At 16 she completed her Introduction to Counselling skills with Relate in Exeter, having grown up visiting her mother in a psychiatric ward in hospital and supporting her daily with her challenges that had been caused by being in the Ikiza.
At 18- 22 she completed her degree in Education, English and Religious studies and gained a B.Ed (hons) whilst also gaining a Diploma in Counselling, specialising in crisis counselling. She continued training after having her four sons and completed a PG Diploma in Play Therapy and a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice.
Betsy is the 5th generation pioneer. Her great, great grandfather was a missionary to China; his daughter, Betsy’s great grandmother Mary Bazett went in her early 20’s to East Africa with only her sister in 1892. Julia Barham, Betsy’s grandmother was born in Kenya and went on to pioneer more schools, community projects and churches in different areas around central Africa. She married a Bishop and had five children who were also born there. Betsy was born in Burundi in 1972. She was born into the Ikiza (variously translated from Kirundi as the ‘Catastrophe’, the ‘Great Calamity’, and the ‘Scourge’), or the Ubwicanyi (Killings), which was a series of mass killings—often characterised as a genocide, which were committed in Burundi in 1972.