Thursday, April 28, 2011

Courtney Armstrong’s Rapid Resolution Therapy Presentation is a Success for the 3rd time in a row at TLPCA Annual Conference

On Friday, April 22, Courtney Armstrong presented Rapid Resolution Therapy’s approach for clearing traumatic grief to a group of 40 participants at the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselor Association’s (TLPCA) annual conference. The presentation received rave reviews with requests for additional training. Courtney has presented for the past three years and has been invited back again next year by TLPCA!

One of TLPCA’s board members commented, “The fact that 40 people showed up for your workshop at 3 p.m. on Good Friday afternoon when it is beautiful outside tells you how much they enjoy learning about RRT.”

Several participants have written Courtney stating that they plan to come to the Atlanta Rapid Resolution Therapy training in September as a result of seeing Dr. Jon Connelly’s work. In addition to showing videos of Jon working with clients, Courtney’s presentations include information from recent neuroscience discoveries and other empirically validated methods that support Jon’s approach. For example, research now tells us that there are not five stages of grief as Jon has been saying all along. In addition, recent research supports the concept of facilitating ongoing connection with deceased loved ones as Jon encourages. In fact, other empirically validated methods such as Columbia University’s program on complicated grief now include processes for facilitating “imagined conversations and revisiting” with lost loved ones as a way to clear grief and guilt.

Along with the presentations on frozen grief, Courtney has written a book called Transforming Traumatic Grief that features much of Rapid Resolution Therapy’s approach as well as research that supports many of the concepts Jon teaches us. The book should be available in print this June 2011 through Amazon and other online booksellers.

Courtney will be doing a longer presentation on treating frozen grief in Chattanooga, TN on July 29, and she has been invited to speak at the American Psychotherapy Association’s Executive Summit in Branson, Missouri this October. For information on RRT and where Courtney is speaking next, please click here. To sign up for one of Dr. Connelly’s trainings, please visit

Let’s keep spreading the word, and put RRT on the map as a treatment of choice!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Additional Workshops Offered at the Level III Clinical Hypnosis with Rapid Trauma Resolution Training

During the Level III Training in Clinical Hypnosis with Rapid Trauma Resolution, you will have the opportunity to participate in two additional workshops - "Learning Hypnosis with Children" and "Marketing Your Rapid Resolution Therapy Practice."

Both workshops will be held on site at the Center for New Beginnings in Dahlonega Georgia and presented by Master Practitioners in RRT. Below is the information on what you can expect at the workshops, how to register for the workshops, and how to make reservations for your stay. We hope to see you there for a weekend full of learning new skills and honing those you already practice!

Learning Hypnosis with Children

Pre-Conference Workshop at the Level III Training

When: Thursday, August 4, 1 - 8 pm

Where: Center for New Beginnings, Dahlonega, GA

Presenter: Molly Sanford, LCSW CHt, Certified Rapid Resolution Therapy Master Practitioner

What you will learn:
•Review Ethical Considerations when using Hypnosis with children •Examine the role of parents and how to engage them in the healing process •Learn to identify children's own unique abilities and how to utilize their imagination for healing •Learn hypnotic techniques to eliminate effects of childhood trauma •Engage in highly experiential day of skill building

Cost: $150, includes workbook

Registration: Visit or call 1-800-587-2623. Click on "Upcoming Workshops" on the homepage.

*Please note that there are no CEU's offered at this workshop; it is for educational purpose only at the Level III training.

Marketing Your Rapid Resolution Therapy Practice

Pre-Conference Workshop at the Level III training

When: Friday, August 5, 9 am - Noon

Where: Center for New Beginnings, Dahlonega, GA

Presenter: Courtney Armstrong, LPC, Certified Rapid Resolution Therapy Master Practitioner

What you will learn: •How to create a niche market •Elements of an effective website and blog •How to build strong relationships with referral sources in your community •How to use social media marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn •How to coordinate with RRT's website, marketing materials, and peer relationships

Cost: $75, includes workbook

Registration: Visit or call 1-800-587-2623. Click on "Upcoming Workshops" on the homepage.

*Please note that there are no CEU's offered at this workshop; it is for educational purpose only at the Level III training.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

An Unexpected Result of Clearing Anxiety with Rapid Resolution Therapy

By Michele J Gustafson, LMSW, DCSW, Certified Practitioner

Because Rapid Resolution Therapy so quickly and thoroughly alleviates symptoms, several of my clients have had previously undiagnosed medical problems come to light. This has resulted from being able to rule out anxiety or panic as the cause of their symptoms. What follows is the experience of one of those clients.

"Well, I have asthma," the young woman seated across from me announced with a bit of a smile. I had seen Jennifer previously for panic attacks and anxiety, and we had successfully resolved her symptoms, going from daily attacks to no panic episodes in months and no longer experiencing anxiety symptoms.

"You do?" I responded, curious about her reason for announcing this to me.

"You won't believe how I found out," she continued. "I was still having the shortness of breath, e ven after being done with the anxiety." She explained that she had gone to see her primary care physician because of the shortness of breath. Her doctor had listened to her and basically dismissed her complaint, saying it was due to anxiety. She then described having told her doctor, "No, I no longer have anxiety, so that can't be what's causing the shortness of breath." Her doctor dismissed her complaint a second time, saying that since she had treated her for anxiety with medication for a year and had referred her to therapy for anxiety, the shortness of breath was almost certainly a symptom of anxiety.

Jennifer then declared to me, "So, I got a new doctor." She explained that she went to see her new primary care physician and told her in detail what had occurred. She informed her new physician that she had been experiencing panic and anxiety symptoms for over a year, had been treated with several medications with very limited results and had successfully resolved the symptoms with therapy, but that she was still having shortness of breath. She told me her new doctor listened to her carefully and then did an examination that included listening to her breathe with the stethoscope, a chest x-ray and a lung function test. The doctor then announced to her, "My dear, you have asthma." Jennifer said, in that moment, "it all made sense."

She knew why she was continuing to have the shortness of breath even after having resolved the anxiety. She said the breathing treatment her doctor gave her right then and there made a huge difference, and she breathed more easily than she had in weeks. She expressed how pleased she was to finally have her symptom diagnosed and treated effectively. Additionally, the diagnosis validated what she knew to be true; that is, that her anxiety was resolved and the shortness of breath was not a symptom of anxiety.

As noted in my introduction, this is one of several clients who have been able to clearly indicate to their physician that a physical symptom was not related to anxiety because their anxiety had been alleviated and was no longer a problem. In my more than 25 years of treating clients for panic and anxiety, no other therapy technique or medication has consistently yielded this level of symptom resolution and confidence in clients. I continue to be amazed and delighted with the results of Rapid Resolution Therapy.

Michele Gustafson, LMSW, DCSW, practices in Grand Blanc and Fenton, Michigan. She received her BA and MSW from the University of Michigan where she has taught Psychology and Social Work. You can visit her on her website at, or you can reach her at

Rapid Resolution Therapy Training Tidbits: In Honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Melinda Paige, Ed.S, LMHC, NCC, Master Practitioner, Rapid Resolution Therapy

Dr. Connelly's approach to trauma resolution, Clinical Hypnosis with Rapid Trauma Resolution, demonstrates the ways in which language, metaphor and connection create positive outcomes in therapy with those who have survived sexual assault.

One example of the way language can be disempowering is when it suggests that a person who has experienced sexual assault has somehow been essentially and indefinitely changed for the worst by the assault(s). Therapists commonly address this in therapy by working toward modifying this individual's perceived sense of self as damaged by the assault(s).

Instead, Connelly utilizes language which illustrates that she is not her body and that the assault(s) did not touch her essential self or personhood thereby separating perceived identity from the sexual assault. Connelly's use of language also celebrates the survivor and all he has accomplished prior to the trauma resolution session. Connelly states, "The hard work was completed before you got here. The hard work was surviving that experience. All we have to do is spread the good news that that has already been taken care of and that you're ok. The hard part was living through it. The easy part is getting mind cleared so that you fully get it that you have lived through it." ived through it and you've defeated it!

Connelly suggests that the participant "try on" a different perspective and then provides metaphors that reconstruct negative meaning while shifting perceived identity. For example, he might ask the participant to reflect on what people recall about a person that has passed away. He asks if people are likely to remark about the person's body or what the person's arm or leg looked like. Instead, he suggests, people are more likely to remember "the essence" of the person, the part of who we are that is indestructible, like a beam of light. Next, Connelly suggests "you have a body and it is absolutely yours, but you are not your body" therefore the perpetrator "never touched you." Finally, he says "he never touched you, he never touched your essence, your essence - who you actually are - can only be touched by love."

Excerpt from a session in which the participant is asked to repeat the words Dr. Connelly says:
Dr. Connelly: They messed with my body.
Client: They messed with my body.
Dr. Connelly: They never touched me.
Client: They never touched me.
Dr. Connelly: They never touched who I am.
Client: They never touched who I am.
Dr. Connelly: To touch where you are requires respect and your enlightened permission. They had neither. To touch YOU requires respect and enlightened permission. They never touched YOU. They absolutely touched what was yours, they never touched who you are.

A second metaphor created by Connelly to eliminate shame involves prisoner of war automobile license plates often displayed by war veterans. Connelly asks the participant if she has ever seen these license plates and if she knows why veterans who have been prisoners of war so proudly display them. He then asks the participant why women who survive a similar experience do not display similar automobile license plates that say "Survivor of Sexual Assault." He suggests that a woman who survived an equally horrific experience should also proudly display her accomplishment for all to appreciate.

A third metaphor Connelly created demonstrates the gift of trauma. He tells the following story: Two women are walking through the desert. The first woman has plenty of water with her to drink along her long journey. She arrives at the end of this journey and discovers a beautiful fountain overflowing with water with bottles of cold drinking water lining the fountain's edge. The second woman has no water with her to drink along the same journey through the desert. Her mouth is so dry as she walks that she can barely produce enough moisture to spit the sand from her mouth. She arrives at the same beautiful fountain overflowing with water with bottles of cold drinking water lining its edge. Connelly asks the participant what each woman is thinking and feeling as she sees the fountain brimming with water at the end of her journey. He suggests that the second woman can more deeply appreciate the water in ways that the first woman cannot because of the intense suffering she experienced on her journey.

According to Connelly, "Connection is a magnet the psychotherapist can use to affect the participant's energy level, mood, and outlook. In order to build connection, the psychotherapist should demonstrate her interest in understanding the participant's experience. In addition, she should clarify and demonstrate this understanding while being positive, interesting, appreciative, and incorporating appropriate humor." Finally, Connelly suggests that the psychotherapist "provide the experience of connection while staying in the light." His use of metaphor allows him to create an uplifting and transformative experience in session for the participant without minimizing her experience of the traumatic event.

The Domino Effect

By Tara S. Dickherber, LPC

I recently have become very aware of how when one person experiences a traumatic situation it can actually have a mildly traumatic domino effect on other family members. What's wonderful though is how there is a tight network of Certified Rapid Resolution therapists willing to help heal as many family members as possible, and that's what I would like to speak about today.

There is a teenage girl, here in Missouri, who was molested by an older cousin when they were both much younger. Her teen mind repressed those memories to protect her and allow her to continue on with her everyday life. In just the past few months those memories were slammed back into her awareness and greatly impacted other aspects of her life. She then told her mother. Mother, being unsure how to make things better for her daughter, took her to counseling. Unfortunately, the teenager left counseling feeling worse rather than better.

Mom, with the daughter's knowledge and agreement, spoke to her grandma in another state about her concerns for the teenager and how this was also affecting her. This in effect created some problematic emotions and behaviors for grandma. Grandma spoke to her family physician who referred her for counseling with Dr. Jason Quintal, Ph.D., LCSW, who also happens to be a Master Certified Rapid Resolution Therapist. After an initial phone consultation with grandma discussing the benefits of RRT versus other forms of counseling, Dr. Quintal agreed to speak to mom.

Dr. Quintal spoke with mom about her concerns for her daughter, counseling, and herself. Mom also had sought counseling and left feeling worse rather than better. Dr. Quintal noted where the daughter and mom lived and made a referral to me. I happen to be one of only two therapists in Missouri certified in RRT. Mom was given different websites to review so she could better understand RRT and its benefits. Later that very day she called and spoke to me personally.

As Dr. Quintal had done previously, I was very willing to provide a phone consultation to answer any questions she had, address any concerns, and calm the many fears she expressed for herself and her daughter. One of the biggest concerns was how this would impact their entire family.

Eventually mom scheduled an appointment for the teenage daughter. Both women came together and the teenager was very willing to let mom stay with her for the majority of the session. Daughter had many concerns about many things that linked back to the molestation she survived nearly 10 years previously. She came in with a lot of anxiety and anger and left with amazing clarity, understanding, and peace about the situation as a whole. This all happened in a relatively short period of time with little to no emotional discomfort for her.

Later mom contacted me with some family concerns. Again I offered up as much suggestions and knowledge as I was able, suggesting that she herself make an appointment. As I write this today, mom has already come in to see me. Very quickly I was able to clear out her anxiety, guilt, and sadness about the various problematic concerns she had expressed. And just like with her daughter, it was a fairly short and sweet session. She also excitedly informed me that grandma has an appointment scheduled with Dr. Quintal.

What's great about being a RRT therapist is the profound change that can be made within my clients in as little as one session and with virtually no emotional pain or discomfort. With so many of us working together, we are able to not only heal individuals but families as well!

Tara S. Dickherber, LPC, CertifiedIRRT Certified Practictioner Seal Rapid Resolution Therapist


2081 Collier Corporate Parkway

St. Charles, MO 63303

Clinical Hypnosis: A Natural Approach to Increasing Mind's Responsiveness

An Excerpt from Dr. Jon Connelly's Training

There are many myths or rumors about hypnosis. It is much easier for people to understand what hypnosis is when they are not confusing it with things that it is not. Hypnosis is not being asleep, unconscious, out of it or under it. It is not losing control, giving up control or being controlled. It has nothing to do with susceptibility or the power of suggestion. Hypnosis does not require concentration or relaxation.

Have you ever shed a tear at the sad part of a movie? Did you ever yawn after seeing someone else yawn? Did your mouth ever water when thinking about or seeing a particular food? Did you ever jump during the scary part of a movie?

Each of these is an example of a profound hypnotic response. You probably were not conscious of the increase of in salivation but you were conscious of jumping during the scary movie. You may or may not have been conscious of the tear during the sad part of the movie. Perhaps you were too much into the movie to notice. When you yawned you were probably conscious of that. The point though is not whether you were conscious of what you did but rather that you did not do what you did consciously. If your conscious mind did not direct an activity then it was directed by your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind responded. Hypnosis is simply about getting your subconscious to respond in the way that you want it to.

The most common misunderstanding about hypnosis is probably the idea that to learn from or influence the subconscious mind one would have to get rid of the conscious mind. That's why people think that someone who is hypnotized is unconscious. That is not the case at all. When you jumped during the movie or yawned you were certainly conscious and you will be conscious of everything that happens in an altered state of consciousness as well.

A hypnotic approach makes sense in dealing with the issue you have been concerned about. After all, you have not been deciding to have the problem so how could you possibly have decided not to? Clinical Hypnosis with Rapid Trauma Resolution is an approach responded to by all parts of your mind so the changes you desire take place naturally.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

IRRT April Newsletter - In Honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month

We have written our April Newsletter in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month and the amazing men and women who have triumphed over sexual assault! Thank you to our wonderful Master and Certified Practitioners who contributed - Melinda Paige, Ed.S, LMHC, NCC; Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, LPC; and Michele Gustafson, LMSW, DCSW.

To read April's newsletter, please click here!

If you would like to receive the newsletter each month, sign up here!