Hi,  I’m Sue Smith, a director at Specialist Support Solutions.

I am a qualified counsellor and a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

My specialist interest is the impact of traumatic memories on people who have experienced traumatic incidents and I have worked predominantly with clients experiencing trauma symptoms including PTSD and complex trauma since the 1990’s. My interest was triggered when I began to work with a Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS) and has developed year on year since then.

My experience includes work with victims of knife crimes, witnesses to murder and fatal road accidents, as well as victims of offences that in the criminal justice world would be considered less serious. My personal belief is that the seriousness of an event should be measured by the impact on the individual(s) involved, which may not fit with societies belief around what is or is not serious.

From early in the 2000’s I began to specialise in working with individuals and managing teams who were working with domestic abuse and sexual violence. This work includes recent and historic sexual offences and domestic violence.  I am considered to be an expert on coercive control and helping people to rebuild lives following a damaging relationship.

I qualified as an IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) in 2005 and an advanced ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) in 2012. In 2012 I also achieved a masters degree (MSc Integrated Service Improvement) from the school of Health and Social Care at Teesside University.  In 2017 I received a Special Community Safety Award from the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland in recognition for outstanding commitment to supporting victims of sexual abuse.

I have experience of, (and am available for), public speaking at regional and national conferences and training events. I love to educate and have vast experience of devising and delivering training and information packages.

Stewart Smith is my husband and joint director of Specialist Support Solutions.

Stewart is a chartered engineer his specialisms in systems engineering, quality control and lean techniques have been a great support to me, keeping me on the straight and narrow every time I go off on tangents!

Stew has embraced the SSS world of mental health awareness and knowledge of abuse and harm that individuals experience and is now a trained Mental Health First Aid practitioner with a thorough understanding of triggers that could lead to poor mental health along with the ability to spot the signs of deteriorating mental health.

In respect of abuse and harmful relationships Stew is also a trained White Ribbon Ambassador and passionate Agent of Change. Both roles challenging myths, stereotypes and behaviours that endorse or glorify abuse and control.