Healing from Emotional Trauma is Possible – Some Tips

Emotional-Trauma

Every person these days is going through some trauma or the other. So many people are affected by emotional trauma around the globe. Usually in case of some stressful incident breaking apart the sense of security and when people start perceiving things as dangerous or simply being in a constant state of fear, emotional trauma sets in. there are various reasons through which this emotional trauma haunts a person, but then the person should be willing to get healed as well. He/she should accept the support of their loved ones. And also seek the help of trained professionals where he can get the therapy or other treatment which may deem fit as per their requirement. The best ways to heal is by avoiding the isolation part and have your close friends and family together.

 

Mind & Heart: A Mindful Path to Wholehearted Living

f7abac252ae5ed68121b92ba7a669d87_LThis workshop for professionals is a 3-day intensive for individuals who want to further their own healing and for those who assist others in the healing journey. This workshop acknowledges that many people have encountered difficult situations as children and as adults: trauma, abuse, neglect, break-ups, betrayal, disappointment, failures, illness, loss, and grief. Yet, humans are resilient creatures – they generally find ways to survive. However, surviving isn’t the same as thriving! Indeed, many times the very adaptations that helped people to survive get in the way of really living life wholeheartedly.

Psychiatrist, researcher, teacher, and workshop designer, Jon Caldwell, DO, PhD, will personally facilitate the workshop. The Mind & Heart workshop is a scientifically researched intervention that entails a mixture of highly informative material and experiential exercises using mindfulness and compassion. Because these ancient practices will be applied in unique ways to heal past wounds, people of various skill levels with mindfulness can benefit from the workshop. Also, the practice of mindfulness and compassion does not need to interfere with workshop participants’ spiritual beliefs, but can serve to deepen existing belief systems. All that is needed is a curious mind, a willing heart, and an intention to heal!

16.0 Continuing Education Credits or NBCC Clock Hours Available

Cost: $1500 per person, all inclusive of two meals on Friday, three meals Saturday, one meal Sunday, lodging at Rio Retreat Bunkhouse, and ground transportation from and back to the Phoenix Airport.

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New Focus on Childhood Trauma and Healing for Adults

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I recently came across a blog written by ACEs Connection member Elizabeth Prewitt titled, For the first time, SAMHSA’s annual children’s mental health event focuses on trauma.”  In the article, Ms. Prewitt writes, “It is both remarkable and natural that the theme of the 2018 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) May 10th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event was “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma”. It was remarkable to hear “ACEs” and “trauma-informed” roll off the tongues of all the federal officials (some seasoned, some new appointees in the Trump Administrsation). And natural as the awareness of ACEs science grows at lightning speed…at least it feels that way.”

It was certainly exciting to learn that the SAMHSA event aligned so closely with the mission of ACEs Connection: to accelerate the global ACEs science movement, to recognize the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in shaping adult behavior and health, and to promote trauma-informed and resilience-building practices and policies in all communities and institutions. Strategies for making child-serving systems more trauma-informed is a subject near and dear to my own heart.

Before coming to work for Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows as a Survivors Workshop facilitator, I worked with children and adolescents in residential treatment for seven years. The agency was amazing and provided consistent, compassionate, therapeutic and psychiatric long-term care for kids in the residential program. The agency also provided services for children and families in several equally effective programs. It was very rewarding and fun to work with the team, the children, and their families. Even though the children and adolescents returned to better home situations, I imagine that there are effects in their lives as adults because they had high ACEs scores (click here for your ACEs score).

Adults who have faced adverse childhood experiences such as physical, sexual and verbal abuse; physical and emotional neglect; a family member with addiction or mental illness; witnessing abuse; or losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reason can find help in The Meadows family of programs and services. Adults with a history of childhood trauma may be resilient and have learned to adapt but often times they have problems with health, relationships, addictions, anxiety, or mood disorders.

Specifically designed to address childhood trauma, The Meadows signature workshop, Survivors,  is a five-day experience conducted in a group format. Survivors has been in existence for over 30 years and has served many thousands of inpatients as well as outpatients.

Prior to attending Survivors, participants complete a questionnaire covering the basics of their family while growing up. On the first day of the workshop, participants learn about Pia Mellody’s Developmental Immaturity Model.  I think Pia’s model is genius, and like to call it “the guidebook for life that we never got.” Participants gain insight into how the relational trauma and abuse during childhood affect their relationship with themselves and others.

From a very young age, even before we acquired speech, we learned to take the energetic pulse of our home. We learned to be sensitive to the moods, desires, and expectations of those around us. Being dependent on our caregivers for our survival, we often developed more sensitivity to the feelings of others than to our own. We also took in the messages that were given to us about who we needed to be and who we could not be.

As adults, we can feel confused about who we are or believe that we need to have another’s approval to feel okay.  We can think and feel that our value and worth is based on looking pretty or being the highest achiever. We can think that we have to achieve in specific ways to have value, and if we don’t, then we feel worthless. We can even believe that nothing we do is ever good enough. These painful struggles are a result of relational trauma and abuse.

The healing recovery work done is Survivors is not about blaming or bashing parents or other caregivers. It is truly about healing from the past in order to be more balanced and functional. Often the parenting styles are generational. The definition of abuse we use is “anything less than nurturing or experienced as shaming.”

The Survivors workshop is popular because it is effective. People walk away feeling lighter, more open, and connected with themselves after releasing the energy surrounding the trauma experiences. We often have individuals come to the workshop who have been referred by a family member or friend after having noticed the changes. Frequently, we hear workshop participants say, “Everybody should do this! Everyone can benefit from this!” and “This should be taught in schools.” People walk away with a sense that they have made a difference, not only in their own lives but in the family legacy that they pass on to future generations.

All of The Meadows programs provide trauma-informed treatment specific to the specialized program. It is a privilege to be a part of this premier provider of leading-edge trauma treatment. I feel very hopeful knowing that SAMHSA’s annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day spotlighted the need for trauma-informed and resilience-building practices and policies for children. This is a great step forward for the field of trauma treatment and future generations of children will benefit from this increased focus and funding.

If you are interested in attending a Survivors workshop, please call our intake department at 1-866-457-3202.  For more information, click on the following link:

https://www.rioretreatcenter.com/workshops/emotional-trauma/survivors-i

By Nancy Minister, MC, Survivors Therapist

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Rio Retreat Center Adds Equine Exeriential to Our Evening Activities!

Along with other evening activities including Yoga, Acupuncture, Tai Chi, Music, and 12 Step Groups, our Rio Retreat Center workshop participants now have the opportunity to take part in an Equine Experiential. Jean Collins-Stuckert, Executive Director at Rio, had a plan to add this next piece into Rio’s evening activities, “we have access to these beautiful, healing horses at our Retreat Center and this experience fits right into the flow of what we do here at Rio, it can help to integrate the work our participants have been doing in group all week with a mindful self-awareness.”

Christie, equine specialists at The Meadows, spent Thursday evening with twelve of our Rio Retreat workshop participants. Working with Black Jack and Phantom, participants engaged in round pen activities building relationship, communication and trust with the horses. On the first evening, the feedback was phenomenal –

“This experience was amazing! My horse helped me to feel grounded in my Survivors workshop experience”

“I was so engaged with the horses, I loved the interaction with them, I had so much fun!”

“There’s a quote on the wall at the corrals – I may not speak your language, but when you spend time in my presence and listen with your heart – you will hear my voice. This rang so true for me.”

 

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Your Family Survived the Holidays…But Not Exactly Unscathed

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There is nothing quite like the holidays to bring a family closer together…or to drive them even further apart. Families and holidays can be wonderful.  However, they can also be painful and traumatic.  Even the best families can have some holiday drama.

Holiday family drama is so common that it is the storyline for many movies—most of them pretty entertaining.  In the movie, A Christmas Story Ralphie’s family shows us how they cope with a turkey disaster, the terrible leg lamp, and Ralphie almost shooting out his eye with his Red Ryder BB gun that he almost did not get.  Kevin gets forgotten and left behind for three days in Home Alone while his family struggles to organize themselves for their holiday vacation.  The Griswold family deals with annoying in-laws, unexpected guests, power outages, sewage issues, a visit from the SWAT team, and a fire in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  While these movies are funny and end well, not all of us experience such a nicely wrapped-up Hollywood ending.

My own family dealt with some holiday drama this past Christmas.  Due to a prior disagreement, I was not invited to the gathering at a family member’s home though everyone else was expected to attend.  I was hurt. While my family was attending that event, I decided to join a friend’s family dinner rather than sitting at home alone and upset.  My friend’s family also had some holiday chaos and tension.  Ultimately, at both family gatherings, someone ended up in tears on Christmas day.  While there were no beautiful endings, we all survived, but feelings were left hurt and relationships left damaged.

After the holidays, family members often take with them more than the gifts from under the Christmas tree.  When families find themselves dealing with hurt feelings, damaged relationships, guilt for behaviors or reactions, or shame brought up through family interactions, it may be time to seek some assistance.  There is help and healing available for families who find themselves in this situation.

Whether it is the holiday season or any other time of the year, families do matter and most people want to resolve family issues they experience.  Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows offers a customized workshop called Family Matters.  The Family Matters workshop offers a supportive and safe environment for family members to work through issues by encouraging them to be authentic, communicate productively, utilize boundaries, and function in a constructive fashion. The Family Matters workshop helps families identify and resolve conflicts and teaches them how to develop tools and healthy strategies to manage conflicts in the future that will improve a relational family system. The ultimate goal of this workshop is to help family members bridge the gaps that have plagued the family system.

If you or someone you know would like to enroll in the Family Matters workshop, please call our intake department at 866-441-0368 or click here to learn more.

Written by Dr. Georgia Fourlas, LCSW, LISAC, CSAT-S, Clinical Director of Workshops for Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

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