Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Presenting at the 2012 AMHCA Conference

 By Mark Chidley, LMHC, CAP
Certified Practitioner, Rapid Resolution Therapy

I was privileged to present RRT to a break out session of 24 clinicians at the annual meeting of the American Mental Health Counselor Association held this year at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa in Orlando. The conference was packed and there were plenty of interesting topics offered by speakers from nearly every area within mental health. Scanning the program, I noted the interest shown in reaching kids whoʼd suffered trauma, helping the returning Vet with TBI or PTSD, and couples whoʼd experienced domestic violence. To the best of my knowledge, this was their first ever preview of RRT.

I followed a format that I had tweaked, fine-tuned, and timed to fit into the one hour and fifty minute slot. I went through the DVD version of the hour presentation thatʼs on the CP website, Jonʼs work with Leah. This is so well done that it could work well as a stand-alone, but certainly was a natural to lead off with and provided a solid introduction to some of RRTʼs main concepts and terrain. As a testimony to the methodʼs effectiveness, I also injected the beautiful testimony provided by one of my clients, a survivor of a horrific plane crash whom I cleared in early 2011. 

Her photos of flying in an old-fashioned open cockpit biplane over Sanibel Island was proof positive that the crash that had so dominated her life for 26 years was now in the category of mere data and therefore no longer had a grip on her joie de vivre. She had won with the help of RRT and her victory caught the audienceʼs interest. 

I briefly touched on other philosophies and perspectives on treating trauma to show how RRT stands out as such a game changer and departure from the conventional wisdom in the field. And then I did a live demonstration. This is the part I had devoted the most preparation to, but to be honest, there were still some butterflies. But I offered to work with anyone from the audience who might be dealing with a pain issue. I figured that was a sure bet because most of them had journeyed there in narrow airline seats, were sleeping in strange hotel beds, and had been sitting all day on those hard, aluminum frame conference chairs! Sure enough, one gal came forward who had back and knee issues and a current pain level of six.

For her, I used a condensed version of our pain protocol, represented for those not yet familiar, by Jonʼs recorded session with Danielle, which we reviewed last time on the teleconference. I note this is just another reason it pays to attend the twice a month teleconferences and hear the commentary and questions of colleagues. We know what learning is about--with each round of practice and discussion we get more familiar with Jonʼs methods and more adept ourselves. You never know when someone might ask you to speak on RRT. By doing this you can feel more confident by having a few representative samples of the work fresh in your mind, ready to go.

It all worked out well. The womanʼs pain level came right down and she along with the audience was astonished at the speed and effectiveness of the method. What touched me most, however, was at the back of the room was a girl in a wheelchair, a person paralyzed from a high spinal injury breathing with an air tube. She had waited patiently to talk to me while her dad was still arriving to pick her up. She asked if we ever saw people like her and wondered if her atypical pain patterns from dysregulated muscles and nerve damage could benefit from such an approach. She represented a whole application of RRT I had never considered. I talked with her for a long time and gave her my card. She came from the Altamonte Springs area, so my hope is she does contact me or one of our other clinicians in that part of Florida. I was deeply humbled and awed by the thought driving home that she came out to this event and couldnʼt have known I was going to go over the pain protocol when she decided to attend. Thereʼs a mystery to this work that canʼt be put into words. I am glad I reaffirmed to her the power of the inner mind and itʼs elegant ability to take care of our best interests, no matter what our condition.

I hope everyone reading this gives some thought to spreading the word in your local communities and beyond. You can never know whose life youʼre going to touch, or who, by their showing up, will touch yours.

Mark A. Chidley, LMHC, CAP, a fully licensed mental health counselor and certified addictions professional, offers counseling services at his office Kelly San Carlos Executive Center in Fort Myers, Florida.He has been in private practice since 1997. He holds certifications in Rapid Trauma Resolution (2010), Imago Relationship therapy (2001), and now specializes in the treatment of couples as well as individual trauma recovery and anxiety issues. He brings rich experience from a combined 26 years of hospital work and mental health counseling.

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