top of page
Karen website consultancy banner.png

Looking for a highly experienced, award-nominated, trauma-informed Consultant & Social Worker to help support your team?

Karen Marie Johnston

Hi I’m Karen Marie Johnston and I bring with me a wealth of knowledge, expertise and skills from over 20 years of frontline social work and hands-on research to deliver tailor-made training directly to you.

 

With a demonstrated history of working in all areas of Adult Social Work, I’m highly skilled in Safeguarding, Assertive Outreach Models, Risk Management, Crisis Intervention, and Case Management. I was also Strategic Lead for Adult Sexual Exploitation, Wiltshire & Gloucestershire, 2016/2017. 

 

My range of professional expertise is vast but my life’s passion is to promote health, recovery, trauma-informed and nervous system care to women in the UK who have experienced complex trauma, including domestic and sexual violence, addiction, alcoholism, disordered eating, poverty, physical and mental ill-health.

 

The focus of my consultancy work is on Violence Against Women and Girls and Advocacy. And I’m one of the go-to experts nationally in creating packages of support at strategic level for ASE (Adult Sexual Exploitation) I have been working with people in the sex industry since 2002, creating fast-track pathways into residential drug treatment and advocating for the development of high-quality services to support people throughout the “Cycle of Change”.

Training + Impact = Lasting Change

You don’t book training for the sake of ticking boxes, you want training that actually makes an impact. 

 

And that’s what I do best. 

 

I have unique insight and understanding of complex social worlds including the sex industry, women’s prisons, county lines and the distribution and sale of Class A drugs, criminality, the interplay between sex and drug markets.

I have undertaken research using an ethnographic observation approach, which means that I became immersed in the social world that I was researching, in both on and off street sex markets.

People want my help because they do not have access to these environments and they do not fully understand the dynamics and interplay within them.

 

I create bespoke training for local authorities, police and the charity sector. 

I am available to speak at strategic level at conferences and influence systemic changes in social policy.

I have also been approached to work with teams who are experiencing the impact of vicarious trauma.

People who work in high-risk settings are at huge risk of adrenal fatigue and burn-out.

This is not OK!

The impact of my work

  • Professionals understand what it means to be trauma-informed in high risk settings.

  • They understand how to protect themselves emotionally during high risk work.

  • They understand the role the nervous system plays in their own health and well-being.

  • They can understand and assess the impact of vicarious trauma and take steps to prevent burn-out.

  • They begin to truly understand the ‘trigger’s that take them into survival physiology and seek to regain regulation within their own systems.

  • They begin to implement self-care practices that actually work in the real world!

  • New pathways and ways of working have been piloted as a result of this insight, adapting to the real needs of clients.

  • Improved outcomes for vulnerable adults and children as a result of a fuller understanding of the impact of trauma.

  • Improved outcomes for women and children – a huge reduction in harm in the lives of women involved in the sex industry, who have exited. 

Karen on the beach
Beach huts

Who am I to deliver training?

📄 A highly experienced, award-nominated, trauma-informed Consultant, Accredited Coach & Social Worker (registered since 2006). 

📄 Director at Self-Love Recovery Hub - an online community supporting women to access high quality, low-cost, trauma-informed interventions, modalities and holistic therapy.

📄 A “She Recovers” Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher.

📄 An ICF certified Coach with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. 

📄 Creator of “The Co-dependency Code”, a group work programme for recovering women and “The Self-Love Retreat” an award nominated residential event that runs seven times a year and is always fully booked. 

📄 2021-2022 Shine Award Winner - International Coaching Award 

📄 Finalist in the 2020 National Diversity Awards for Positive Role Model for Gender (Women).

📄 First-Class Honours Degree in Social Policy BSc from University of Bristol.

📄 An MSc Social Work from University of Bristol.

Who am I to deliver training?

📄 A highly experienced, award-nominated, trauma-informed Consultant, Accredited Coach & Social Worker (registered since 2006). 

📄 Director at Self-Love Recovery Hub - an online community supporting women to access high quality, low-cost, trauma-informed interventions, modalities and holistic therapy.

📄 A “She Recovers” Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher.

📄 An ICF certified Coach with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. 

📄 Creator of “The Co-dependency Code”, a group work programme for recovering women and “The Self-Love Retreat” an award nominated residential event that runs X times a year and is always fully booked. 

📄 2021-2022 Shine Award Winner - International Coaching Award 

📄 Finalist in the 2020 National Diversity Awards for Positive Role Model for Gender (Women).

📄 First-Class Honours Degree in Social Policy BSc from University of Bristol.

📄 An MSc Social Work from University of Bristol.

Here are some examples of bespoke training and consultancy I have delivered for local authorities, charities, and statutory services:

Case Study 1: ‘Understanding Risk Management of Sex Workers and their Children’.

Objective:

 

  • To provide practitioners with information about the sex industry

  • To provide practitioners with information about those who work within the industry

  • To provide practitioners with information about clients of sex workers

 

Delivery:

An in-depth presentation and additional resources.

75 local authority social workers, teachers, commissioners, and the Head of The Safeguarding Children’s Board. Serious Case Review Learning Event.

Researched and designed a bespoke training package following a serious case review in which a sex working woman and her child were tortured in their home during lockdown, by a

known violent perp. He is now serving a life sentence for attempted murder.

Impact:

LA teams can now offer risk management and robust safeguarding and increased protection, where appropriate, for local adults & children.

Greenery

Areas of expertise and potential topics I can support your team with:

  • Working with women in the sex industry

 

  • Risk management and safeguarding for women and their children

  • Needs assessment and analysis of local context

  • Street sex markets and off-street sex markets

  • Links between substance misuse and sexual exploitation

  • Trauma-informed practice with society’s most marginalised women

  • Nervous-system informed practitioner

  • Links between mental health, trauma and substance misuse

  • Victim-blaming

  • Sexual and domestic violence

  • Coercion and control

  • Reducing the impact of vicarious trauma

Speech Marks Sage.png

“Karen’s dedication is astounding and infectious, to be so passionate in what she does makes me strive to help myself and others. And having lived experience of trauma and addiction and then using her own experience to help other women is so important.” 

If your team need support to deliver impactful services that will change the lives of vulnerable women in your community, whilst also protecting your team or local authority, I am here to help. 

How can we work together?

If you’re looking for outstanding training from a highly experienced, award-nominated, trauma-informed Consultant, Accredited Coach & Social Worker then reach out via the form below and I’ll get in touch to discuss your needs.

Karen Headshot

About Karen Marie Johnston

Karen Marie Johnston is an ICF Certified Coach, social worker as well as a trauma and nervous system-informed teacher for addiction and mental health recovery. She organises beautiful retreats and works 1:1 with women who are ready to truly thrive and learn how to be kinder to themselves, so that their dream life & recovery can actually become a reality. Karen is an inspirational speaker and expert offering consultancy to professionals working with women in the sex industry and those with complex trauma. She recently won a prestigious International Coaching Award and was a finalist in the 2020 National Diversity Awards for Positive Role Model for Gender. Her work has been featured on BBC Radio 4's 'Woman's Hour' and Channel 4's 'The Secret Millionaire'.

bottom of page