For more information about IRRT research contact Research Director, Dr. Sharon Richie-Melvan at 352-476-5599.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Please tell Jon THANKS. I was already in awe. Now I am dumbfounded.
I will be signing up for Level III in Tampa immediately!
Thanks to all of you,
Amy Hudson, Jackson, MS
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
What you will learn:
- January 20, 2012 from 9 am - Noon (Followed by the Level III at 1 pm)
- Franciscan Retreat Center
- 3010 N Perry Ave., Tampa, FL 33603-5345
- Click here to register!
- June 1, 2012 from 9 am - Noon (Followed by the Level III at 1 pm)
- The Glen Ivy Center
- 25005 Glen Ivy Rd., Corona, CA 92888
- Click here to register!
Cost: $100; includes a workbook and presentation DVD.
There are no CEU's for this workshop. It is for educational purposes only.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Rapid Resolution Therapy is my treatment of choice when it comes to clearing the negative effect of traumatic memories. This innovative method was developed by Dr. Jon Connelly and often yields results in just 1-3 sessions.
Below are some of the elements of RRT that I love:
1. Start with the solution
In RRT, you start by creating a symbolic image of your desired way of thinking, feeling, and responding. We use elements of hypnosis to get your mind responding even more to this image and experience this desired response in a deep sensory way.
The above process has the effect of creating a positive space where you can feel okay staying connected to the present moment. Then, we use a process that will cause your mind to pinpoint the exact event to be cleared and reprocessed. You will be able to describe just the factual details of the event while remaining emotionally present to the current experience. You do not have to emotionally re-experience or relive the event. There are some neuroscience discoveries that suggest why this practice of staying present works so well to clear the emotional intensity of a traumatic memory. For more info, see my post on Neuroscience and RRT.
3. Use of playfulness and humor
Dr. Connelly is masterful at using play and humor to diffuse fear, anger, and shame. We make new associations through use of humor and games that reach the deeper level of the mind and create emotional shifts. Clients who came in crying, are able to laugh and find joy. Many clients tell me that they actually had "fun" during their RRT session and were so happy it was not a painful experience.
4. Use of metaphor and stories
In RRT we use lots of stories and metaphors to activate new ways of thinking about things and perceiving yourself.One of my favorite metaphors is to consider that who you are is not your body, your thoughts, or your beliefs. Let's think of who you really are is a being of Light at your center. A Light of peace, wisdom, and excitement. Nothing can harm a beam of light. Someone can shoot at a light beam, curse at a light beam, or try to chop it with an axe. Yet, that Light keeps on shining. It is resilient, clean, and clear. Someone may have messed with your body, but they didn't touch that Light. That "Light" can only be touched by love that you welcome.
If you want to learn more about RRT, you can visit Dr. Connelly's website at www.cleartrauma.com and check out our training video!
Courtney Armstrong is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in trauma therapy and has a practice in Chattanooga, TN. She leads workshops for mental health professions in Rapid Resolution Therapy and other creative therapeutic approaches. To contact Courtney, visit her website at http://www.courtneyarmstronglpc.com/. Visit Courtney's blog at http://traumatherapyalternatives.com/.
Friday, November 18, 2011
The National Institute of Mental Health (2011) estimated 7.7 million American adults 18 and older suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This number includes both active and retired military and civilian survivors. The survivors may have experienced acute stress reactions immediately following a traumatic event but, unlike most trauma victims, do not recover after a a few weeks following the traumatic event and have either an acute or chronic PTSD reaction. Another possibility is that the survivor may appear to recover and months or years later experience an acute or chronic reaction.
Why should primary care providers screen for PTSD in the patients they evaluate and treat. For military survivors, the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs are diligently attempting to identify and treat cases especially of acute stress reactions.
However, often active military members refuse to admit to their stress reactions believing it will harm their career. Also, their reactions may be delayed and not recognized until the member is back into the non-military primary care systems. Civilian survivors of such traumas as rape, natural disasters, and domestic violence usually are receiving their health care from community primary care providers.
Since primary care providers are so important in identifying cases of PTSD in the community, it is important for RRT practitioners to encourage and teach these providers to screen patients for PTSD. The two most commonly recommended screening tools are the Primary Care PTSD four item instrument (PC-PTSD) and the 17 item PTSD Checklist - Civilian (PCL-C). Both tools are used to identify the presence and intensity of the three or four major symptoms of PTSD - re-experiencing, avoiding, arousal, and numbness.
Once RRT practitioners help primary care practitioners identify PTSD victims, they can encourage these providers refer to the practitioners for RRT treatment of their reactions. So the encouragement and education of providers should pay off in additional persons experiencing the healing benefits of RRT.
Diane Vines, Ph.D., R.N., is a Certified Rapid Resolution Therapy and is currently the associate professor of nursing at the University of Portland. In addition, Diane is the Chair of the Board and Co-owner at Arnica Creative/Publishing. To connect with Diane, please click here.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
By Tara Dickherber, M.Ed, LPC
The Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence (ISSV) community is getting bigger! The ISSV now has a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page, and we even have our own blog. Soon, and I mean really soon - like so soon I can almost taste it (if a website had a taste), our website will be up and running!
The ISSV's mission is to train mental health professionals to utilize cutting edge methods of trauma treatment to eliminate the ongoing effects of trauma. In addition, our mission is to make sure that treatment is available to those with financial limitations. Finally, we are committed to continuing research and development of these therapeutic methods.
The institute must reach out to health and mental health professionals, law enforcement, clergy, hospitals, prisons, school systems, and social service agencies so that victims of sexual trauma can receive treatment from trained practitioners. Our main focus for the ISSV website is getting the word out to those survivors with financial limitations.
***CALL TO CERTIFIED PRACTITIONERS***
I am putting out a request to all our Certified Practitioners for any testimonials you may have from survivors. Whether they are written or video clips, we want to make our client testimonial page as powerful as possible! Also if you, as a Certified Practitioner, have a testimonial about treating survivors through Rapid Resolution Therapy I would like to add those to clinician's testimonial page as well. You can e-mail those testimonials to me at ISSVed@gmail.com.
If I haven't said it lately....THANKS for all the great work being done out there through RRT!
Be well, Be happy - Tara
Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, LPC
1360 S 5th St., Suite 394, St. Charles, MO 63301
Monday, November 14, 2011
Painful exposure techniques are not required to clear the emotional charge of a traumatic memory. All that is required is keeping the client "emotionally present" as she describes the details of the event. This concept was introduced by trauma clinician and founder of Rapid Resolution Therapy, Dr. Jon Connelly, Ph.D, LCSW. Current neuroscience and trauma research by Bessel van der Kolk, MD and Dan Siegel, MD have also reached similar conclusions.
Why does this work? According to Master Certified Practitioner Courtney Armstrong, LPC, it works because when we keep the client emotionally present, we are helping to prevent the amygdala from activating the fight/flight response. The problem is when the amygdala and fight/flight response go into high gear, the brain inhibits the function of the hippocampus and parts of the pre-frontal cortex. The hippocampus and certain aspects of the pre-frontal cortex are responsible for integrating memory and tempering emotional responses. If these parts of the brain are "off-line," then the memory stays seared into the deeper brain as a non-verbal, implicit, felt memory. When a memory stays in this implicit form, associated sensory details like smells, times of year, sounds, and visual images can trigger the same feelings of terror as the original event. However, these triggers are often "unconscious" to the client.
One goal of any trauma therapy is to integrate the traumatic memory into conscious, explicit memory. To do this, we have to keep the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex open and on-line. If you have the client emotionally re-live the event then you inadvertently activate the fight/flight response right there in the session and cause the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex to go offline again. According to Connelly (2011), in order to facilitate client recall of a traumatic event without abreaction, effective trauma therapists ground clients in the present by providing experiences in session that require them to respond emotionally to the present situation or "what is happening."
Connelly also suggests providing opportunities for clients to be in a "power position" while retelling the trauma narrative so that the client has a resolution experience which is the antithesis of the often disempowering traumatic event. This process allows the client's central nervous system to remain within the "window of tolerance" (van der Kolk, 2010) for reintegration of the previously traumatic memory within normal memory.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
My client was able to identify a specific incident from when she was 6-years old. She remembered being forced to perform oral sex on both her father and her uncle in the presence of her 3-year old sister. The threat was do it or she and her sister would be killed. Using Rapid Resolution Therapy I stepped her through the events that occurred and her symbol was the wind. The wind was able to blow the meaning her mind had placed on the event away. Her mind of course showed her the perfect symbol! At the end of the session she reported, "I don't feel anything about it now....my nightmare is over."
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sometimes people are so disturbed by the way someone died that they focus more on the deceased person's "dying story" than they do on the person's living stories. Yet reflecting on our living experiences with the deceased is an integral part of healing.
When I interviewed grievers for my book, they consistently stated one of the most healing experiences is hearing stories about their deceased loved one. Yet, people are often afraid to mention the name of the deceased to the bereaved. Please know that the majority of grievers enjoy reminiscing about their deceased loved one and want to remember their life, not their death. A reader recently wrote me about this stating:
"I read your book and thought it was fantastic! I have tons of memories [of my deceased mother], unfortunately all of the ones I remembered or chose to remember were painful. After reading your book, I started looking through my photos and videos and I found myself laughing and remembering how that laughter came about. My memories of my mom now have some laughter in them, and so do some of my dreams...You helped me to see a section that I have been missing, thank you."
Constructing stories is valuable for another reason. Frequently after a traumatic event, feelings, sensory information, and implicit memories of the event are typically left hanging in fragments that researchers believe are mostly processed and stored on the right side of the brain. Yet, the logical, linear-oriented left side of the brain has a drive to make sense of these fragments and put them into some kind of logical order. Building a coherent story based on your memories incorporates these fragments, bringing context and structure to them, which can help you heal.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
We recently piloted this process quite by accident! It started with a phone call from a potential student during our RRT August 2011 retreat. She had poured through the RRT website and just wanted to talk with someone about the training and treatment process ("Is all of this really true?"). She went through our list of certified therapists and contacted the one who lived closest to her; it turned out we are neighbors. We chatted just before her training weekend and I shared some of the above thoughts with her. She left me a telephone message the very first night after her training; she was flying high with excitement. We finally met face to face the next day and she shared that had I not "prepped" her, she might have left training the first day: "It was so different and I was so lost, I didn't know what I was doing. But I remember you said to hang in there and sure enough by Sunday I knew this is what I wanted to do." Personally I had been blessed to have had Dr. Jon as my RRT healer before I went to my Level 1 training. I had no problem staying in my seat during my first training; I just wanted to lean so I could give someone else the gift that I had received.
But, if you haven't experienced an RRT session, remember what it was like that first day of class. Remember those feelings and vow right now to help smooth the transition for an incoming Level 1 student. If you can spare a few minutes to call and welcome someone, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set it up. Thank you to those who have already volunteered to send in your experiences as an RRT healer and your RRT client stories. If you have not done so yet, it is not too late. Send me your thoughts and ideas for our Book of Hope so you can be listed as a book contributor (great marketing tool for you!). Another big thank you to our RRT volunteers who have offered to speak to military groups in their community. I just returned from the annual Wounded Warrior Symposium in Wash., DC and witnessed some powerful and profound speakers. The program title said it all, "The Journey Back: Helping Wounded Warriors and Their Families Transition [back to their communities]." Clearly they need our help to heal and get back to their communities. Again, email me if you want to join this growing military interest group of RRT healers and speakers. In next month's issue, look for new details about the completion of RRT Study I and preparation for RRT Study 2. Until then, know that I am so very proud to be taking this healing journey with each of you!