Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The IRRT joined our nation in honoring our Veterans in November 2011 with participation in the Military Officers Association of America's (MOAA) salute to Veteran Caregivers in San Antonio, Texas. It is clear that more help is needed for our men and women returning from the today's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and those who fought in previous wars).
Look for more timely information about our troops at our upcoming "Veteran Care" button at our cleartrauma.com website. This new button will serve as a resource for you and a central place for us to disseminate all new information coming out from the VA and the Department of Defense. It also has a recently published article about my military career and work with IRRT entitled "Leading from the Rear...A Retired Army Colonel Still Serves." There, you also will find a soon to be published case study about a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot treated by Dr. Jon Connelly.
Look to hear from various MOAA chapter presidents in January 2012 to request speakers for their upcoming monthly chapter meetings. I will be presenting the list of volunteer speakers from the IRRT Military Interest group at the Winter MOAA meeting on January 14th. If you have not signed up yet and want to be included in the list of potential RRT speakers please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The results of our 2011 IRRT Pilot study were presented at the 24th Annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress Poster Session, Venetian Hotel on November 8, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The RRT poster elements and the accompanying white paper "An Evaluation of Rapid Resolution Therapy for Post-Trauma Survivors" can be found under our new "Research" button at www.cleartrauma.com. The conference participants included 75% psychiatrists/other physicians and 14 percent nurse practitioners/psychiatric nurses; with 45% office based, 25% community based and 18 percent hospital based. We had brisk traffic by our poster table and it generated much interest our RRT treatment and training throughout the day.
The pilot study validated the PCL-C (17 item PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version) as a quick, efficient and reliable tool to measure the degree of PTSD in our RRT clients and in the control group of clients treated at Manatee Glens. A comparison of pre and post treatment scores demonstrated a clinically significant improvement in the trauma scores after one session of RRT treatment for four of five RRT clients (one client's scores did not change). Of the two Manatee Glens clients who returned their post treatment PCL-C, one demonstrated a reliable improvement (not by chance) and the other had no change after eight weeks of CBT treatment. We extend our sincere thanks to our volunteer RRT therapists who helped with the study and to our research partners Manatee Glens Non-Profit Behavioral Health Hospital & Out-Patient Practice, the University of Portland and Georgia State University.
With our lessons learned, the IRRT is now ready to move forward with an expanded study in January 2012. RRT Study 2 will include 60 RRT clients and qualified volunteer certified RRT therapists (professional degree with minimum of 100 RRT training hours). We are identifying a second assessment tool (in addition to the PCL-C) for Study 2 which will enhance our ability to publish our findings in several professional journals. All study documents (ie., welcome letter, invitation flyers, consent forms, assessment tools, data sheets and stamped/addressed envelopes) will be provided to the RRT therapists. Stay tuned at the research button for updates and be ready for our announcements and invitations to participate in Study 2.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
PTSD can occur after someone has witnessed or been involved in an event that was life threatening or was an extremely disturbing event out of the realm of normal human experience. Symptoms include reexperiencing the event in the form of nightmares or flashbacks; feeling easily startled, anxious, or irritable and on edge most days; avoidance of anything that reminds you of the event; and/or feeling numb and detached from things.
Fortunately there are better treatments available for PTSD than there were 20 years ago, and the majority of these treatments can bring relief in as few as one to ten sessions. Treatments usually involve training you in effective ways to calm your emotions and bodily responses, reprocessing the traumatic memory (or memories) so they do not replay or haunt you, and creating new meaning in your life in spite of the trauma.
I use a method called Rapid Resolution Therapy that has been very effective in clearing PTSD. RRT differs from other methods in that the person does not have to relive the painful emotions associated with the event in order to clear it. In addition, this approach seems to shorten the time needed in therapy with many of my clients reporting complete relief from PTSD symptoms within 1-6 sessions.
Other treatments for PTSD include Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. SSRI antidepressants like Paxil, Zoloft, or Lexapro have also been shown to reduce symptoms, but work best if the person is also involved in trauma-focused therapy of some sort.
Many Vets don't seek treatment for PTSD because there is still a stigma attached to going to a "shrink" and frankly, they don't want to discuss what happened. I understand- the horror many Vets have witnessed and experienced is beyond human imagination. Some Vets are also haunted by the missions they had to carry out that harmed or killed others in order to protect democracy. They often do not feel a therapist could understand or be able to relate to these experiences, unless the therapist has also had experience in combat. However, what is most important is that you find a therapist who has the capacity to understand what the experience was like for YOU, knows how to assist you in reprocessing the memory, and collaborates with you to access your resilience and reconnect with life.
PTSD is treatable. Sometimes symptoms clear on their own, but the earlier you seek treatment, the better. If symptoms go on for a year or longer, the less likely they will subside without treatment. For more information on combat related PTSD, visit the National Center for PTSD. Click here for more information about Rapid Resolution Therapy.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
So consider this my ISSV holiday wish list, Santa! I'm looking for Certified and Master Certified Rapid Resolution Therapy Practitioners to volunteer their time to be on a committee to help make our 10th anniversary a big bang. Let's get the word out locally and nationally that trauma treatment need not be painful; that in fact trauma treatment can be painless, effective, and long lasting. As well, we are reaching out to survivors of sexual violence to let them know that this cutting edge treatment is available to those without the financial resources. If you're up for volunteering, please drop me an e-mail at ISSVed@gmail.com. (E-mail is the best; I have a bit of an addiction to my e-mails!)
Last but not least I hope your Thanksgiving was delightful, and the rest of your holiday season is filled with joy and love!
1360 S 5th St., Suite 394, St. Charles, MO 63301
Friday, December 9, 2011
Hello fellow RRT Practitioners! I am so grateful to be part of this community of healers and to have the opportunity to serve as IRRT's Training Director. So much has changed in the past year--the Institute is growing stronger, word is getting out about RRT, and the demand for therapists skilled in this approach continues to grow. Just as Jon continues to refine and improve his approach, we are working together to make our training program even more effective, and to support you as you keep building your skills. This column is a place for me to share some recent updates with you, including Jon's newest refinements to the RRT process.
For those of you who haven't been to a training recently, I'm going to share a new addition to the RRT way of thinking about how our minds work and why we experience painful emotions. If you are familiar with goat and snowflake, this gives us some new language, and adds the concept of "out of range."
When mother bear sees a crazy guy smacking her cub with a broomstick, she gets angry. Why is mother bear angry? Most people would say that the guy is making her angry, but we're going to think of it this way: when mother bear sees what's happening, her mind causes her to become alert, motivated, and strong--what we call angry--in order to get her to do something to make it stop. Every time an animal experiences a painful emotion, it's designed to get the animal to do something in order to make something in the world stop. Every time a person experiences a painful emotion, it's coming from the primitive part of the mind, and it's designed to get the person to do something in order to make something in the world stop.
How long would the mother bear be feeling a painful emotion before doing something? You don't see a bear just sitting there feeling resentful. The mind of an animal causes the feeling to get the animal to do something, and it only causes the feeling when the thing is happening, and if it is within range. This is why we don't see dogs jumping into the air trying to catch eagles. Your primitive mind will only generate an emotion to cause you to do something if it believes the thing is happening, and that it is within range.
"Out of Range"
Here's an example to illustrate "out of range." The door behind you opens, and somebody screams "there's a little girl choking!" What happens in your body? You become alert, and your heart's beating faster. You're ready to take action. And you say "Where?" And he says "Idaho." Immediately, your heart slows back down, shoulders drop, breath returns to normal, and you calmly get back to what you were doing. Not because you don't believe that a little girl is choking in Idaho, and not because it's fine with you if people choke as long as it's in Idaho, but because it's out of range.
The Snowflake and Goat
The intellect (snowflake) can access data about things that aren't happening and can think about things that aren't within range. No other animal's mind is flashing information about a thing if the thing doesn't exist. If a rabbit sees a wolf, it means there is a wolf--not just data about a wolf. Primitive mind (goat) misreads the data about the thing as the thing; it misreads it as being within range when it isn't, and then it causes an emotion in order to get us to take action. As soon as goat gets that whatever it's jazzing us up about is out of range, it stops jazzing us up.
Things can be out of range geographically, but they can also be out of range for other reasons--an action might be out of range because it isn't possible, or because it isn't possible at this moment, under current circumstances. If a potentially useful action hasn't yet come to mind, then right now, it's out of range. If you are already familiar with the process for eliminating guilt and anger, you'll find that the responses "it's out of range" and "there's nothing that needs to be done" are extremely effective and can be applied in a variety of situations.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
What you will learn:
- Tampa, Florida
- 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!
- Cost: $100; includes a workbook and presentation DVD.
There are no CEU's for this workshop. It is for educational purposes only.