About Us

Learn more about FD Consultants, our history, and our approach to
delivering a bespoke support system in the workplace.

Our Story

FD Consultants was born out of growing frustration with the way individuals and organisations were supported during difficult times. A lack of quality care was shown in many places where staff were exposed to traumatising or stressful experiences. After witnessing humanitarian staff suffering from burnout, medical workers and police officers struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a variety of other struggles within work environments, FD Consultants was founded.

Set up by Fiona Dunkley, a specialist in trauma care, FD Consultants was built upon the belief that anybody can recover from mental health struggles if provided with the appropriate care. The goal of this global psychosocial health consultancy was to become a trusted support system that specialises in trauma care and critical incident response. Not only is the overall aim to offer the support Fiona saw missing from many workplaces, but to effectively streamline the referral process, provide access to specialist therapists, and improve overall recovery rates.

FD Consultants supports the humanitarian sector, mental health charities, emergency first responders, journalists, and anyone else whose work exposes them to traumatic material. The team of therapists and specialists that have steadily joined the consultancy each come with their own wealth of wisdom and experience, creating a global and multi-lingual community of people who care about guiding others through recovery. 

Every year, we celebrate the successes of FD Consultants by offering

‘Acts of Kindness’. Over the last few years we’ve:

 

  • raised money for charities
  • provided books for schools
  • delivered pamper packages
  • offered free wellbeing plans 

FD Consultants has grown considerably since its initial creation, but our core values and aims have remained the same. We help people recover, create supportive work environments, and actively work to destigmatise the discussion of mental health and trauma. Working in the forefront of trauma care, FD Consultants has recently been spending time supporting people impacted by the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine.

Meet Fiona Dunkley

Fiona Dunkley, founder of FD Consultants, is a published author and has presented on TV and radio as a mental health specialist. Fiona has spent most of her career working within large organisations that demonstrated a need for greater care and support for individuals and teams. Working within forensic sexual assault and supporting individuals impacted by trauma such as, terrorism, natural disasters and civil unrest showed Fiona the importance of offering specialist psychosocial support for people whose work exposes them to traumatic material, whether directly or indirectly. Burnout, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and mental health struggles were abundantly prevalent – and Fiona sought to offer a solution to support the workers.

Fiona has trained staff in critical incident response in Kenya, supported Syrian refugees based in Gaziantep, and offered trauma support in Myanmar. Through her work with FD Consultants, established in the UK and Europe, Fiona has also helped to set up Psychological First Aid (PFA) peer support programs in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Myanmar.

Our Values

Compassion

Across all our support services, we seek to be relational above all else. Our team of specialists is trained to be empathic and compassionate throughout every step of their work, supporting individuals and organisations through everything we do. We believe that people can find endless resilience within themselves when placed in a supportive environment, and we achieve this by building mental health awareness, embedding best practice wellbeing services, and offering preventative treatments. We pride ourselves on walking alongside individuals through every step of their recovery whilst improving recovery rates and promoting resilience.

Creativity

Throughout our years of work within this sector and region, the FD Consultants team understands the impact of living and working in high-stress environments. These industries are naturally associated with a higher prevalence of stress, burnout, and trauma. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this, and that’s why creativity and flexibility are the foundation of all our services. We offer a holistic and bespoke package of care for organisations and individuals, utilising our team of cross-cultural therapists to work with you in an integrative and flexible manner.

Collaboration

We prioritise the building of strong, lasting relationships with clients and client organisations. Working with FD Consultants is not a one-off service – we don’t approach our work as a single transaction. Our services include ongoing monitoring, using data to improve service provision, and providing further recommendations. We work collaboratively with other service providers and communities, priding ourselves on offering a high-quality, evidence-based psychological support service for all our clients.

Our Clients

Resources and Support

Work with FD Consultants

At FD Consultants, we aim to be a beacon of hope and endurance when others feel as though they have none left. We’re here to help individuals and organisations recover from stress, burnout, and trauma. We believe anyone can recover from a challenging experience with the right support behind them. Offer your staff the psychological support they need, and reach out to our team of specialists today.

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Revive Your Mind!

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Want to take control of your stress and learn to prioritise your mental wellbeing? Revive Your Mind is a comprehensive course designed to give you the tools to live the happy life you deserve.
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Molly and the Two Pigeons (Audiobook ver)

Molly and the Two Pigeons is a short story for upper primary and lower secondary school children to teach them about Coronavirus in a fun and light-hearted way, and records a significant period of time in history. It could also be used as a teaching tool for parents or teachers.

A loveable puppy called Molly forms a friendship with two racing pigeons, Destiny and Grace, who live in a wooden hut in the adjacent garden. Grace is kind-hearted and takes a liking to Molly, Destiny is arrogant and is known as the fastest pigeon in the South, proven by his collection of medals. Their circle of friends expands to include Marv the wise Mandarin Duck, Flash Gordon the Goose, and Merlin the Mosquito.

This strange group of friends become united through one cause, to find a cure for the Coronavirus and help the people. Their adventures take them far and wide. They travel to China and learn about the origins of Coronavirus. They explore the Yangtze River, where they learn about the legend of the mountain peaks. They head to South Korea, where they learn about “Track and Trace” to prevent the spread of the virus. They also visit Oxford, England, where they explore how a vaccine is made. Their trip to Oxford coincides with a visit from Prince William, who Molly takes a great liking to and manages to get a royal stroke from.

Proceeds will be gifted to a charity to support the NHS and all those needing additional support from the impact of Coronavirus.

Trauma and counselling interview (Flirt Radio)

Mindfulness Exercise Series: Breathing & Relaxation

More than ever, people are talking about mindfulness. But what is it and how could it help you? Mindfulness can help you manage your wellbeing and mental health. It can enable you to:

✓ feel less overwhelmed
✓ improve your sleep quality
✓ positively change the way you think and feel about your experiences (especially stressful experiences)
✓ increase your ability to manage difficult situations
✓ make wiser choices
✓ reduce levels of anxiety
✓ reduce levels of depression
✓ reduce levels of stress
✓ reduce the amount you chew things over in your mind
✓ have greater self-compassion

Mindfulness is not fluffy nonsense nor is it a passing fad, there is a great deal of research evidencing that mindfulness changes the plasticity of our brain. But, it does take effort and work to develop mindfulness skills and time to practice them.

In this, the first series of mindfulness exercises I share some simple breathing and relaxation techniques to help you unwind and take some time for yourself.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

The Role of Community in Trauma Therapy Podcast

FIONA DUNKLEY is a trauma therapist and counsellor who has helped people and communities affected by war, terrorism and sexual violence. Drawing on experiences described in her new book – Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers – in these podcasts she tells us about the importance of community and its values in helping people overcome trauma.

Mindfulness Exercise 6: Mountain Meditation

Meditation is the collective term for a number of techniques used to still the mind, relax the body and produce a state of inner harmony. It differs from sleep, hypnosis or other types of relaxation simply because your mind remains alert.

There are many ways to meditate. You can meditate while sitting, walking, or practising yoga, but it is easiest to learn by sitting comfortably in a quiet room for several minutes twice a day, every day. There are 2 basic steps: to focus on a single word or phrase (of your choice – perhaps “peace” or “one”, or a religious word) or simply to focus on your breath; and to ignore or disregard all other thoughts.

When we focus on a single word, thought or image, we produce a state of calm that increases mental alertness, while relaxing other body systems.

Meditating twice a day for 15-20 minutes has been shown to be the most effective. Make an effort to practice every day, even if it’s initially only for 5 minutes. You may find it’s easiest to meditate first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

One of our favourite meditations is “The Mountain Meditation” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It encourages us to seek inner stability and peace, even in the face unpredictable change and chaos. Here is an adaptation of Kabat-Zinn’s classic guided meditation, we hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

Mindfulness Exercise 5:Healing Light Meditation

Healing Light meditation is a popular practice. You can use it almost anywhere to lift your mood. If you’ve got a few moments free throughout the day, I highly recommend learning this practice to fill some of those extra minutes with guided white light meditation.

Many people who meditate have had unusual encounters with healing light. They find the experience perplexing. There’s no logical source for this light; so where does it originate? Individuals experience this light in different ways. One meditator might see giant glowing white balls, while another one might see tiny comet-streaked white sparkles. Experiencing a light during meditation is common, but subjective. There are many benefits to following this healing light meditation, such as enhancing overall wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and feelings of connectedness and it can be used to help “clear” any painful emotions you may be experiencing.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

Mindfulness Exercise 4: Body Scan Meditation

When you’re feeling stressed, it’s common to “carry stress in your body” in the form of tense shoulders, a stomach “in knots,” through shallow breathing, or in other ways. When people carry stress in their bodies, they’re often not even aware of it! When we’re really stressed, we may be feeling physical discomfort but not connect it with our emotions. A body scan meditation is a practice that can be performed daily or even several times a day and can help you learn to identify what you are feeling and where you’re feeling it, and learn to release the stress in your body and mind.

The body scan meditation is effective in relieving stress not only because of the mind-clearing aspects present in all forms of meditation but because of the physical component as well. Research shows that there are physical and psychological benefits to relaxing the body and relieving tension. Relieving physical tension, for example, has been shown to lead to a decrease in psychological stress, even when no psychologically-based stress relief efforts are made. Tension relieved in the body can lead to lower stress levels and lower reactivity to future stress, which can, in turn, lead to less physical tension as a result of stress.

In this way, this meditation works to break the cycle of physical and psychological tension that can feed on itself. Because of this, the body scan meditation is a very useful and effective meditation that can help you to stay relaxed mentally and physically, and return to a relaxed state when you become too tense. You can try a body scan meditation right now by following this simple video exercise.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

Mindfulness Exercise 3: Compassionate Mindfulness

This is an exercise in feeling compassion towards yourself. Self compassion often doesn’t come naturally – it is a skill you need to learn, practice and consciously engage in. Research has shown that these techniques can help improve our emotional well-being, improve our ability to cope with life’s challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, promote healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and lead to more satisfying personal relationships.

Cultivating self-compassion in this way can fundamentally shift how we relate to ourselves. Instead of meeting our imperfections and challenges with self-blame and criticism, we can bring a kind and mindful attention to our experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations) and a sense of love and care to ourselves, right in the midst of difficult situations. With practice, we can strengthen this inner quality of presence, connectedness, and kindness to improve emotional well-being and build resilience.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

Mindfulness Exercise 2: Releasing Negative Energy

On a regular basis, we encounter a wide range of energies, both positive and negative, and since the negative energies we come in contact with have the power to drain, and make us feel tired and exhausted, it is very important to remove these energies.

Negative energy can be anger, anxiety, depression, resentment, jealousy, or any negative feeling and emotions that you have been holding on to. This guided meditation will help you remove any form of psychic attack or negative energies from your life and shield you from negativity.

Before you begin, remember to first, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for the next 15 minutes. Second, find a comfortable position to sit – it can be in a chair, crossed legged or on your knees, or lay down and when you’re ready, press play.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

Mindfulness Exercise Series 1: 4-Step Breathing

4-Step breathing (also called square, tactical or Box breathing) is a simple and highly effective technique that you can practice for a few minutes anytime you need to boost your creativity or concentration, break free from scattered thinking, or interrupt an intense “fight or flight” response and return to a state of healing and peace. It is also an effective breath to use at the beginning of your mindfulness practice.

This centuries old breathing technique for meditation has re-surfaced in the past few years and is being used by athletes, performers, doctors, and even navy seals, as their most effective strategy for quickly entering a calm, centered state of mind and body; especially when they are in an intense situation where they need to be fully present and directly connected to their best self/highest self. Many people report that when breathing is used as part of their meditation it has a dramatic, positive impact on their inner and outer wellbeing.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.

Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers:
A Roadmap of Trauma and Critical Incident Care

Get your copy of Fiona’s book, Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers. It will appeal to all those working in the field of humanitarian aid, counsellors and psychotherapists, emergency first responders, as well as those who are looking to support themselves after surviving trauma.

Molly and the Two Pigeons

Molly and the Two Pigeons is a short story for upper primary and lower secondary school children to teach them about Coronavirus in a fun and light-hearted way, and records a significant period of time in history. It could also be used as a teaching tool for parents or teachers.

A loveable puppy called Molly forms a friendship with two racing pigeons, Destiny and Grace, who live in a wooden hut in the adjacent garden. Grace is kind-hearted and takes a liking to Molly, Destiny is arrogant and is known as the fastest pigeon in the South, proven by his collection of medals. Their circle of friends expands to include Marv the wise Mandarin Duck, Flash Gordon the Goose, and Merlin the Mosquito.

This strange group of friends become united through one cause, to find a cure for the Coronavirus and help the people. Their adventures take them far and wide. They travel to China and learn about the origins of Coronavirus. They explore the Yangtze River, where they learn about the legend of the mountain peaks. They head to South Korea, where they learn about “Track and Trace” to prevent the spread of the virus. They also visit Oxford, England, where they explore how a vaccine is made. Their trip to Oxford coincides with a visit from Prince William, who Molly takes a great liking to and manages to get a royal stroke from.

Proceeds will be gifted to a charity to support the NHS and all those needing additional support from the impact of Coronavirus.

Download the first chapter of the audiobook for free – click here