Laura’s Story - Surviving abuse, helping others and discovering your own power

Hey there. My name is Laura. I’m a positive psychologist (in training), a life coach, and an integrative holistic health coach. Lots of fancy wellbeing titles there, but essentially what I do is help women rediscover who they are by letting go of limiting beliefs and creating a healthy lifestyle, unique for them.

I got into helping women by wanting to help myself. I usually caveat my story with a warning about how full-on it is, so it’s nice to share with this wonderful supportive community who “get it”. It starts when I was around 11 years old when I was sexually abused for around 4 years. It stopped when my “train track” braces were put on, apparently, they were a turn-off. Most young teenagers hated those things, but for me, mine were my ticket out of hell. After that, I had a lot of anxiety, PTSD, and trust issues with guys in general. I went to counselling a couple of times, which helped with some of my problems, but not all.

A few years later, I got into my first “long term” relationship, if you can call 2 years at the age of 18 that. As I’m sure a lot of this community can relate too, the guy I was with wasn’t the guy I thought I was with. I was constantly told I wasn’t good enough, didn’t look the right way, was separated from friendship groups, and to top it off was lied too for the entire time. It added to the trust issues I had not only with men but now with myself.

Fast forward 8 months, through a breakup, a lot of wine, and a new relationship, I was sexually harassed at a Christmas work do by people I thought were my “friends'. So, by the age of 21, I was a pretty anxious woman, with self-esteem at rock bottom, trust issues through the roof, and to top it off, blaming myself for all of it. What’s meant to be fun carefree early 20s, was spent crying either in the shower or in a chair at my counsellors’ house.

I decided I needed to change something when I was offered antidepressants in a doctors’ surgery. I know that they work a lot for people but it wasn’t something I wanted to try. I wanted to fix the issues and for once and for all fix my brain, my mindset which was always so worried and negative.

I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. They had this concept of healing from the inside out, something I hadn’t heard of before. I studied how food and nutrition can help support your mental health. I realised how it isn’t just what you put on your plate but what you surround it with that matters. I slowly started to create a healthy lifestyle that worked for me, and what I was going through and found my feet again. I created a blog for women like me, who wanted the same thing and created content to support them on their journey. When I graduated from nutrition school, I wanted to understand more about mindset. I was living a healthy balanced lifestyle but I still had anxiety breakdowns now and again and wanted to work out how I could rewire them. So, I signed up to study an MSc in Positive Psychology. I’m halfway through my studies at the moment and loving every moment of it. Every tool, technique, intervention, model that I’ve learned has helped me reduce automatic negative thoughts, quieten my imposter syndrome, and helped me live with a healthier mental attitude.

So that’s now what I help women around the world with now by doing the same. Finding a unique balance of health, one that supports you as an individual. Overcome limiting beliefs and mindset. And discovering your own power to go after a life you love, no matter what life has thrown at you.

When I discovered I AM ARLA I realised it was the community I so badly wanted when I was at my lowest point. A safe space to talk openly, to uplift each other and to overcome our barriers safely. A place where women understood my trauma and where I can be myself. I’m so excited to see this space grow and flourish, and to be able to contribute to it with my holistic health coaching and positive psychology training!

Thank you Laura for sharing your powerful story! We are so happy to welcome you to the team 🤍 Look out for more blog posts and collaborations with Laura very soon!

Also check our Laura's socials and website:

Instagram: positivenutritionist Website:

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