RESEARCH PROTOCOL: I am conducting clinical research with military veterans, police officers, fire fighters and first responders with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I am actively seeking 60 research participants and their therapists.
The research protocol method is called Senticon Therapy, a new mental imagery treatment.
It appears to allow the patient to relieve stressful signs and symptoms of PTSD without the need for medication.
It will be explained in greater detail in the section entitled Senticon Therapy later in this PTSD clinical trials research call for participation.
The PTSD clinical trials study will gather statistical data on the clinical observation that Senticon Therapy can significantly reduce if not put into remission the natural course of PTSD in sufferers.
Police Officers or Veterans
Between the ages of 18 and 65
In good physical health
Active or Inactive Duty
Willing and able to provide informed consent
Diagnosis of PTSD from combat or civilian trauma by a licensed mental health professional
Exhibit clinically significant trauma-related symptoms
Inability to comply with study procedures or assessments
Head trauma to include, loss of consciousness or amnesia greater then 24 hours
High risk for homicide or suicide
Patients that are doing well on medication; on or seeking disability benefits from the VA or privately
Suffering from other Axis I Disorders
INFORMATION FOR PROFESSIONALS:
Mental health professionals are encouraged to collaborate in PTSD research at this challenging time in America. Let us work together so it may lead to significant breakthroughs in the war on PTSD.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.
I welcome your inquiries and look forward to your participation.
SENTICON THERAPY: Senticon-from
the Latin sentire (to discern or perceive by the senses and mind, to
feel, to think) and the Latin and Greek icon (an image or
representation). This new term for
mental imagery has the advantage of not limiting this internal representation
to visual perception or what one can imagine as a picture in the mind.
Sensory input appears to be encoded into mental imagery if it involves a significant emotional experience which will be stored in memory.
When a person experiences a new life event with a similar emotional perception, the mental image may be decoded, providing a replay of the original life event and original emotions experienced.
What Senticon Therapy appears to do is process the emotional trauma of PTSD.
Initial results show significant clinical improvement using this treatment, from CAPS rated severe PTSD to mild or moderate severity pre and post research intervention, respectively.
60 research participants are needed to complete the study.
Robert M. Roerich, M.D.
820 N. 4th Street, Suite 2
Steubenville, OH 43952
Office phone: 740-283-4520 (Answered by Epicenter)
St. Theresa's Prayer
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.
Peace Pilgrim's Beatitudes by Mildred Norman
Blessed are they who give without expecting even thanks in return, for they shall be abundantly rewarded.
Blessed are they who translate every good thing they know into action, for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.
Blessed are they who do God's will without asking to see results, for great shall be their recompense.
Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings, for they shall reach the good in people and receive a loving response.
Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know that not the garment of clay but that which activates the garment of clay is real and indestructible.
Blessed are they who see the change we call death as a liberation from the limitation of this earth-life, for they shall rejoice with their loved ones who make the glorious transition.
Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead, for they shall receive a second blessing.
Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace, for they shall find it.
Blessed are they who instead of trying to batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven approach them humbly and lovingly and purified, for they shall pass right through.
What Is Trauma?
- A Tutorial Before Proceeding Further
By Monica King
October 17, 2005
1. What is trauma?
The psychiatric definition of "trauma" is "an event outside normal human experience." Trauma generally leaves you feeling powerless, helpless, paralyzed. It tends to be sudden and overwhelming; it "owns" you. You cannot think clearly during and after a severe trauma; at the same time, you are forced to focus your consciousness in an attempt to deal. One author defines trauma as "any sudden and potentially life-threatening event."
This refers to one-time traumatic events, but most of it applies to prolonged, repeated trauma as well.
2. Some instances of one-time trauma.
natural disasters (earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc)
accidents (automobile, airplane, train, etc)
3. Some instances of prolonged trauma.
physical or sexual abuse as a child or spouse
life in a prison camp
life as a refugee
life in a concentration camp
life in some religious cults
4. What are the immediate effects of single-instance trauma?
Shock, including numbed emotions, questioning of perceptions, memory disturbances
Denial, which helps reduce terror, helplessness, and fear of dying or being abandoned to manageable levels
Confusion and disorientation
Extreme anxiety and insecurity
Dissociation, feelings of unreality
Disbelief, another protective device
Disorientation and confusion
Difficulty thinking and concentrating
Unwanted thoughts -- traumatic memories may intrude on everyday living and in dreams, leaving you feeling out of control.
The world may seem unsafe, unsteady, unpredictable, and unfair
Traumatic memories -- intense, clear, vivid images
Sudden tears or anger or panic
Increased alertness and anxiety
The inevitable review
Trauma survivors spend a lot of time thinking about what they could have done differently. Truth is, they couldn't have done it differently -- the body takes over. And the important thing is not what you did -- it's that you survived.
5. What are the effects (immediate and long-term) of prolonged, repeated trauma?
The immediate effects of prolonged trauma are the same as for one-time trauma, only they recurs with each new wave of traumatic experience. The long-term effects include Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and a variety of mental and physical illnesses.
6. What can be done to help survivors immediately after a trauma?
Crucial to helping someone survive trauma is realizing that you, too, are affected by the trauma, that deciding to help is a big commitment, and that you need helpers, too.
One of the best ways to help a traumatized person is simply to listen compassionately and actively, and make the person aware that you are willing to listen. Reassure the person that there are realistic ways to make it okay, that s/he can survive, that you are willing to help.
Offer practical assistance -- running errands, cooking, whatever needs to be done. Don't just ask; if you see that something needs doing, suggest that you do it. This is much more effective than simply saying, "If there's anything I can do..."
DO NOT criticize the person's reaction, minimize the trauma, suggest it was fate or God's doing, minimize the person's feelings, or say you know exactly how they feel (a very subtle way of minimizing feelings. Do not interfere with actions the person has chosen to take unless they are endangering self or others. If you think an action is too extreme, encourage the person to slow down and talk it through.
7. What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the name given to a cluster of symptoms often seen in trauma survivors. The more severe the trauma, the longer these symptoms will persist. In cases of major and/or repeated trauma, strong reactions may continue for years.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
Hypervigilance and scanning
Elevated startle response
Blunted affect, psychic numbing
Aggressive, controlling behavior (a high degree of insistence on getting your way)
Interruption of memory and concentration
Violent eruptions of rage
Intrusive recall -- different from normal memory in that it brings with it stress and anxiety
Dissociative experiences, including dissociative flashbacks
8. What causes PTSD to develop?
The simple answer, of course, is trauma. But it's more complicated than that. During a traumatic experience, you adapt and choose new approaches that are survival-oriented for the situation you're in. The problem comes after the trauma, when those approaches and response are no longer functional. Recovery involves recognizing what responses are and aren't functional, and getting rid of the ones that hurt you. In effect, trauma reprograms your reactions very quickly; recovery is a kind of process of deprogramming.
Some practitioners believe that trauma causes changes in brain chemistry, changes that are helpful in the short term by reducing the level of emotion to something bearable but that are harmful in the long term because they reinforce the PTSD symptoms.
9. What can be done for PTSD?
Healing begins when the survivor realizes that the trauma was real and had real effects on his/her life, not all of which are adaptive in terms of "ordinary" living.
Trauma creates overwhelming fear and leaves in its wake a feeling that the world is not a safe place. Many practitioners (Herman, Colodzin, Miller, Hybels-Steer, Dee) thus believe recovery begins with establishing a safe place, a situation within which the survivor can feel some sense of safety and predictability. This usually involves developing an honesty about and awareness of the fear. As the fear subsides, the survivor is able to focus on other feelings and symptoms, to recognize them, search them for meaning, and decide whether or not to act on them.
10. What is CPTSD?
Recommended DSM diagnostic criteria, per Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman, c1992 by Basic Books.
A history of subjection to totalitarian control over a prolonged period (months to years). Examples include hostages, prisoners of war, concentration-camp survivors, and survivors of some religious cults. Examples also include those subjected to totalitarian systems in sexual and domestic life, including survivors of domestic battering, childhood physical or sexual abuse, and organized sexual exploitation.
Alterations in affect regulation, including:
chronic suicidal preoccupation
explosive or extremely inhibited anger (may alternate)
compulsive or extremely inhibited sexuality (may alternate)
Alterations in consciousness, including:
amnesia or hypermnesia for traumatic events
transient dissociative episodes
reliving experiences, either in the form of intrusive post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms or in the form of ruminative preoccupation
Alterations in self-perception, including:
sense of helplessness or paralysis of initiative
shame, guilt, and self-blame
sense of defilement or stigma
sense of complete difference from others (may include sense of specialness, utter aloneness, belief no other person can understand, or nonhuman identity)
Alterations in perception of perpetrator, including:
preoccupation with relationship with perpetrator (includes preoccupation with revenge)
unrealistic attribution of total power to perpetrator (caution: victim's assessment of power realities may be more realistic than clinician's)
idealization or paradoxical gratitude
sense of special or supernatural relationship
acceptance of belief system or rationalizations of perpetrator
Alterations in relations with others, including:
isolation and withdrawal
disruption in intimate relationships
repeated search for rescuer (may alternate with isolation and withdrawal)
repeated failures of self-protection
Alterations in systems of meaning:
loss of sustaining faith
sense of hopelessness and despair
11. What are the steps to recovery from prolonged trauma?
According to Herman and Miller, survivors of prolonged trauma must first create a safe place. Herman considers the remaining steps to be remembrance and mourning and reconnecting with the world, accepting the changes that the trauma has made in your life. Remembrance and mourning involves grieving both actualities and potentials that were lost; reconnection is a time of "I know I have myself" -- a time for seeing the positive changes wrought by the traumas, celebrating the survivor self, and reconnecting/deepening intimacy with others in ways that were not possible before.
Miller sees recovery in three stages, too: the outer, middle, and inner circles. The outer circle is a time for building safety and rapport and gathering basic information. Middle circle work involves focusing on current symptoms and how to handle them. Inner circle work, when trust is deepest, involves the sharing of shameful secrets and resolving the issues behind the trauma.
12. How do I control and manage the symptoms while recovering?
Many symptoms can be reduced and controlled simply by getting sufficient sleep and eating healthy, balanced meals. Nightmares can sometimes be controlled by use of a dream journal; rage and flashbacks can be prevented or reduced by recognizing triggers and avoiding them. Reducing your general stress level and finding self-soothing methods can also help.
Depression and anxiety can sometimes be helped through medication (antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers). Hyperarousal can also be helped by medication, and older tricyclic antidepressant are frequently used for insomnia.
Ways to soothe yourself when anxious:
Ritual: for example, a going-to-sleep ritual. Take a long, relaxing bath, put on comfortable clothing (if you sleep in clothes, and light a candle by your bed. Turn off the other lights. Stretch slowly across your bed, feeling your movements, feeling the sheets. Slowly open a book of poetry and read a page, meditating on the wisdom and beauty of the poem. Blow out the candle and go to sleep.
Hide under the covers. Take the day off, make a nest of pillows and blankets somewhere. Turn off the phone. Scent the room. Make a tray of munchies, using your prettiest dishes, and find a good book. Do whatever makes you feel refreshed and relaxed, even if it's just huddling in your nest with munchies for a few hours. Allow the anxiety to bleed away.
Ways to self-soothe when you are depressed:
Hiding under the covers.
Herbal baths:either make an infusion of herbs (like a very very strong tea) or put the herbs in small muslin bags you hang in the water stream or just drop in the tub.
1 oz each of pine and peppermint
2 oz rosemary
1 tbsp ea of patchouli, geranium leaf, mint, orange leaf, sage, strawberry leaf, woodruff, and rosemary
1 heaping tbsp ea of lavender, rosemary, comfrey, and thyme
For more suggestions, see The Woman's Comfort Book.
Colodzin, B. (1993). How to Survive Trauma. Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press.
Dee, E. (1993). War Against the Silence After Trauma: Unmasking and managing the stress of change. Sioux City, Iowa: Loess Hills Press.
Herman, J. L. (1992). Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence -- from domestic abuse to political terror. New York: Basic Books.
Hybels-Steer, M. (1995). Aftermath: Survive and overcome trauma. New York: Fireside.
Louden, J. (1992). The Woman's Comfort Book: A self-nurturing guide for restoring balance in your life. San Francisco: HarperCollins.
Miller, D. (1994). Women Who Hurt Themselves: A book of hope and understanding. New York: Basic Books.
Shengold, L. (1989). Soul Murder:The effects of childhood abuse and deprivation. New York: Ballantine.
Roadmind University Online was created with one purpose in mind: to network with others seeking knowledge on the road of life. Life has givers and takers, with knowledge being that currency we use daily, whether consciously or subconsciously in actions. Click photo to animate.
Emotion is the underlying force behind behavior. Without it we are paralyzed and life has little meaning. Survival depends upon emotion to allow for growth. That which does not grow dies; for life is change.
Without change life cannot exist, for that which is not alive does not change unless acted upon by an outside force.
Science studies change and looks for reasons for that change. Key to that process is observation. Mother of discovery, the primary process of science, and witness to change in life, observation is a peculiar thing.
Only when we perceive can we observe; like a lighthouse on a foggy shore. Much can be seen from the observation deck, yet only when we focus on one area amidst the many elements of the scene, do we see what is there for the taking.
Like knowledge, it is like a fruit high on a tree. Unless we look up we don't know its there. If we only look at it we will never know what it tastes like.
Welcome to a taste of Roadmind!
Robert Roerich, M.D. Founder