With over 25 years of experience as a mental health professional specializing in trauma and PTSD recovery, licensed professional mental health counselor Susan Pollard decided to pass what she'd learned in the field onto the next generation. Pollard shared that early in her career, clients who had suffered severe trauma started coming to her for sessions. Some of them were so negatively affected that they weren't able to access their memories or talk about their experiences without going into a worse state than before. Wanting to provide as much assistance to her clients as possible, she began delving into different modalities in complimentary, aka alternative medicine, for answers, becoming an early adopter of CAM therapies.
From Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to Reiki, EMDR to Bach Flower Remedies, Pollard and others like her have found ways to help their clients in the best and quickest ways possible. She found that long-term therapy wasn't for everyone. Some people lacked the resources to spend years in therapy and their insurance would only cover eight to ten visits. First working for agencies and later in her private practice, Susan's resourcefulness led her down new paths (new at the time), exploring little-traversed terrain in her efforts to provide the best therapies for her clients.
She found that conventional talk therapy wasn't making a dent in improving their states of mind or ability to function in their daily lives. Sometimes, talking about their experiences seemed to reactivate the trauma. She knew she had to find another way to help them recover, and started exploring the mind-body connection and holistic approaches to healing mind-body and spirit over 25 years ago and began incorporating what she learned into her sessions whenever possible. There weren't many conventionally trained psychologists or therapists studying or researching the field at that time. The workshops and trainings weren't offered for continuing education at that time, as they are today.
Over time she's developed a unique understanding of how to work with people who've suffered from trauma and PTSD that she'd like to pass on so others don't have to keep reinventing the wheel.
As a result, like many professionals, Susan is seeking funding to get her manuscript published without depleting all her personal resources. "I'd like to pass my experience on to therapists, psychologists, counselors, holistic practitioners and individuals struggling to help themselves through trauma, PTSD and Complex PTSD," she said in a recent interview. The working title for her book is "Unlocking the Puzzle of PTSD, A Holistic Guide to Restoring Inner Peace."
The topic is so timely, she doesn't want to risk waiting to find a traditional publisher who could take years to get the book to press. Susan isn't the only one who feels this way. More and more professionals are turning to self-publishing or collaborative publishing to get their message out.
Crowdfunding is a new idea to many people. But, for entrepreneurs and artists, it is a tried and true solution.
Crowdfunding is when many people, just like you see a worthy cause and donate. Nonprofits, businesses, and people who need help or want to help someone in need use crowdfunding to raise money.
You can create a free campaign through YouHelp, and raise funds from family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, clients or the general public.
According to the Nonfiction Authors Association, contributions range from small ($20) to larger contributions of $1,000 or more. With crowdfunding, contributors aren't just making a donation – they generally expect to receive something in return. “The strategy here is to pre-sell copies of your book before it is published, as well as offer other items or services based on different investment levels. For example, you could offer a t-shirt based on the theme of your book or consulting time with you."
They recommend that would-be authors study completed campaigns to see how the most successful ones were designed. Most funds seem to come from people the author knows directly, so don't be shy about asking or posting about it across social media.
Enlist a corporate or nonprofit organizational sponsor to back your book. For instance, for a book like Pollard's some organizations that might be interested in sponsoring her work are the VA or domestic violence advocacy groups. Others could be the member organizations for Energy Psychology or individual practitioners of EFT, EMDR or other CAM therapies and modalities.
Some sponsors will be happy with an acknowledgment, but others might want to see their name on the book, so be sure if that's something you're comfortable with before accepting their assistance. Some might want some free copies to give out as gifts to their members, which could be a great win-win all around.
Enlist the Assistance of Nonprofits
Sometimes a nonprofit might help you promote your project. Be open to whatever assistance they might be willing to give. Get creative and don't be afraid to ask. They might even have a budget for projects such as yours and be willing to fund it, if it closely aligns with their mission. For Pollard's book, it would be worth a scan of GrantWatch.com and MWBEzone.com under the mental health category, as they add new grants daily.
Invest in Yourself
When the time comes to publish, don't cut corners. Calculate in costs such as getting your book professionally edited and typeset and having a professional cover design. Don't despair if you don't get all the funding you're looking for in advance of publication. Treat your project in a professional manner, it's not just a hobby or a pipe-dream. Consult your accountant as to which expenses can be deducted from your taxes at the end of the year, so you may have some extra funds to reinvest into a cause you believe in.
Now more than ever, opportunities abound, so good luck pursuing your dream and making it a reality.
Susan Pollard can be reached through her website: senseiservices.com or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
YouHelp is a crowdfunding site where you can set up a fundraiser for free. Sign up today to help fund your project.