In this section, you can learn more about the impact of Beyond Recovery’s work on its beneficiaries. You can watch a case study about our work with John which enabled him to turn his life around and focus on helping others. You can also watch a short testimonial from a partner organisation which has been closely involved with our work in HMP Onley. Some people are inspired simply by coming to one of our founder’s Jacqueline’s talks, you can find testimonials about the impact of being introduced to the Three Principles and receiving informal support from Beyond Recovery. Soon this page will host many more video testimonies about the impact of Beyond Recovery’s work.
JOHN, IN HIS OWN WORDS
Many of the people we work with at Beyond Recovery are still in custody and so it is not possible to film them or take pictures. This video was made following a testimonial from ‘John’ using his own words.
John was in custody with a long prison sentence for a violent crime. Following his attendance on our introduction programme, John decided that he would like to learn more. He had a profound insight into the nature of humanity and realised that hurting one person is the same as hurting yourself. He felt great remorse and love for the people he had hurt and realised that he could start making a difference whilst still in custody by helping others.
PHOENIX FUTURES TESTIMONIAL
In this video the testimonial given by Scott Davidson is read out during a short video that was shared at a mental health conference. Scott, the manager of Phoenix Futures championed the introduction of Beyond Recovery as an innovative part of his service provision at HMP Onley. Scott was impressed by the results of the programme, described as ‘phenomenal’. Scott became intrigued by the paradigm being taught and following his own explorations was personally impacted and his life affected.
I met Jacqueline from Beyond Recovery just over a year ago when she came to my hometown, Edinburgh, to give a talk about her work. I’d seen the talk advertised the night before on Facebook and I was intrigued by the title – “A Fresh Look at Thought”.
At that time I’d come to a point in my life where I knew my thinking hadn’t been very helpful or healthy throughout my life. I’d already learned about the connection between thinking/feeling/behaviour as I’d tried quite a lot of different therapies over the years along with lots of coping skills (many unhealthy) and medications (again, many unhealthy and even self-medicating with drugs and alcohol at times). I’d spent 4 weeks in a psychiatric hospital and 3 months in residential rehab, 1 year in supported accommodation and been in and out of various 12 step programmes, diagnosed with depression, PSTD, anxiety, ADHD and borderline personality disorder. I’d spent all of my life, from birth, in abusive environments, first with my birth family in Manchester and then with 2 long term partners with whom I have 6 children.
12 months prior to attending Jacqueline’s talk I had regained custody of my 5 youngest children, they had been placed in the care of their father for 18 months when I was assessed as being no longer able to cope with life’s challenges. Throughout that time I felt very distressed about being separated from my children and fought hard to prove that I was and am a capable mother, I just needed some support. When I finally got the kids back I was overjoyed and felt ready to begin a new life with them.
So, I’d done lots of therapy, stayed clean and sober, ended my abusive relationships and gotten my kids back. We were given temporary accommodation in a really good part of town, I settled the kids into the lovely local school and things seemed somewhat stable and secure. Before long my anxiety and depression returned. I began comparing myself to the people around me and kept my guard up, I felt inferior and found it difficult to connect with anyone. The days began to seem longer and harder but I was afraid to tell anyone that I was struggling, afraid that my children would be removed again. I was constantly living in my head, going over the past and blaming everyone and everything for my state of being, reliving painful memories, or, I would be worrying about the future, the next 5 minutes, the next day, weeks and so on.
That night, during Jacqueline’s talk, my life changed forever. I understand that I’ve just made a big statement but it is the truth. I listened that night as Jacqueline and her colleagues explained in very simple terms how we as human beings experience our lives through our own thinking, from the inside out. To be honest, I didn’t ‘get it’ immediately, but so much of what was being said really resonated within me. Jacqueline spoke of the transformational power within all of us which comes from an understanding of the nature of our experience, realising who we are and letting go of who we ‘think’ we are.
Although I heard these words, I wasn’t completely understanding at first. My mind – my own personal thinking, began questioning what was being said. Could this help ME though? This stressed out, strung out, single mother with more issues than Vogue? I’m extremely happy to report that yes, it can. This understanding can help anyone and everyone. After the talk I chatted briefly with Jacqueline and she gave me her contact details and encouraged me to get in touch with her if I wanted more information. I left feeling much more energetic than when I had arrived, energised with hope.
I stayed in contact with Jacqueline and her colleagues and learned more about their work. They suggested books and other resources and my understanding of the nature of my experiences, past and present became deeper and clearer. My mind felt lighter and life suddenly felt a lot less serious and stressful, even though nothing had changed for me environmentally or circumstantially. In fact, a couple of weeks later I was faced with the challenge of my lifetime when my 10 year old son was seriously hurt in a mountain biking accident. He suffered severe, life threatening head injuries and was in hospital for 4 months, having 2 major brain surgeries and suffering complications including meningitis and sepsis. This was obviously stressful and upsetting to say the least, but my new understanding gifted me the grace of knowing that unhelpful, catastrophic thinking wasn’t going to do me or my son any favours during this time. The hospital staff remarked often on how good and beneficial it was for my son that I was able to remain calm and present even when things were very rough. I was able to fully experience human resilience, my son’s and my own and this too, reinforced my understanding.
A year on and I am no longer riddled with anxiety and depression. Yes, I sometimes get a little anxious or a bit low but I’m always aware that these feelings will pass. I no longer analyse and examine these feelings and give added meaning to them. I’ve made lots of lovely connections and friendships with the people around me (the people I was afraid of connecting with last year, those I felt inferior to and avoided like the plague!) My son returned to school in the new year and I began volunteering in a community women’s project, offering peer support to women affected by trauma, addiction, abuse etc. My focus is on sharing the knowledge and understanding that was given to me by Jacqueline and her colleagues, it’s transformed my life profoundly and I wholeheartedly believe it can be the same for all.
Founded in 2015, Beyond Recovery is a social enterprise whose mission is to revolutionise the way addiction and mental health are viewed and treated. Our timeline shows the key milestones in the Beyond Recovery journey so far.
Jacqueline talks about why she started Beyond Recovery; how everything gets created from nothing and how once we get out of our own way, we see we are always in the flow of life.
See the difference Beyond Recovery has made to a number of our beneficiaries. A series of case studies, with more testimonies in beneficiaries’ own words in preparation.
What I love most about Jacqueline is her unwavering passion and enthusiasm for the work she does and the people she works with. Jacqueline is dedicated to supporting not just the vulnerable but anyone who walks into her life. She’s a very genuine, very warm lovely woman and I’ve learnt so much about myself, about business and about working with others through working with Jacqueline.
I have worked with Jacqueline as a facilitator on the training we do in Prison in Onley, Rugby. I have loved working alongside Jacqueline, she has a wonderful ‘can-do’ attitude which is infectious. She encourages and develops us. Her work has had amazing effects on the prisoners and the staff and many of the staff already comment how much positive effect the work has had on the prisoners and their attitude day to day.
Beyond Recovery are revolutionising the way we understand and treat addiction and mental health. I can’t say enough good things about the incredible work they are doing, and this is just the beginning! Jacqueline is an inspiration. I am proud to be associated with Beyond Recovery and it is a delight and a privilege to work with her.