Are you ever stopped in the middle of an everyday activity by the thought of a traumatic event from your past? As hard as you try, you just can’t shake the image, or perhaps it even haunts your dreams at night? Do you experience intense emotional or physical reactions to these thoughts or dreams; like your heart races, you start sweating, and you feel a sense of fear, terror, or helplessness come over you? You are not alone. Trauma does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, and it can come in many forms.
By dictionary definition, trauma is “the emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury.” A traumatic event can include, but is not limited to:
· Natural disasters
· Sexual assaults
· Physical assaults
· Childhood sexual abuse
· Life threatening illness
To be negatively affected by trauma, you don’t even have to have experienced the traumatic event directly. You could have witnessed the event. You could have learned that the event happened to a close family member or friend. You could have even experienced repeated or intense exposure to the distressing details of the event. Regardless of how you were exposed to the traumatic event, the end result is oftentimes the same—you feel a sense of fear, terror, and/or helplessness when you think about/dream about the event.
All day, every day, we receive information. Our brain processes that information and stores it accordingly in many different “filing cabinets” (if you will) for later use or recall. However, when a person experiences a trauma, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode, and the information of that trauma does not get stored as other, non-traumatizing, information would have been. Rather, the traumatic memory engages in a continuous loop on the emotional side of the brain, never finishing the process of communicating with the part of the brain that conducts the cognitive processing and reasoning. Thus, the emotions of fear, terror, and helplessness are attached to that memory in a perpetual loop, rather than that information being stored as any other memory. In efforts to try to cope or protect oneself, a person may suppress those memories subconsciously, which is why sometimes months and years could go by without a person consciously feeling that “loop”—that is until a trigger occurs. A trigger is essentially a person, place, or thing that causes the negative emotions attached to a traumatic memory to surface into consciousness.
Once triggered, it can feel like a daunting or hopeless situation to overcome. Fortunately, there is a breakthrough treatment protocol that can eliminate those unwarranted, inappropriate reactions to the trauma, thus allowing you to feel the warranted, appropriate emotions your brain never originally processed at the time of the trauma.
The Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) & Trauma-Focused Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Protocols are totally safe, non-intrusive, non-traumatizing processes that allow for you to break that “loop,” and finally allow your brain to effectively process and store the memory of the event like any other information you receive on a daily basis. That’s not to say that you won’t feel appropriate, warranted emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, shame, etc. surrounding the event, but that’s why RTM/NLP are protocols—they do not replace therapy. They clear the fear, terror, and helplessness surrounding the event and that are occurring present-day, so that you can effectively work on the appropriate, warranted emotions that your brain never had the chance to fully process at the time of the event. The best part is, the RTM/NLP Protocols only take three to five 90-minute sessions to complete!
Per the Research & Recognition Project (founding organization): "The foundation for Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) was laid at ground zero after 9-11 by Dr. Frank Bourke. Dr. Bourke took care of 800 survivors from above the 100th floor; 250 of them had PTS/traumatic memories. They overcame the symptoms of post-traumatic stress significantly quicker than those receiving traditional therapy. Five rigorously reviewed research studies later, RTM is now proven to overcome the symptoms-- night terrors, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and intense negative emotions-- for PTSD sufferers in more than 90% of the people treated."
Isn’t that AMAZING? As of June 1, 2019, I am one of the <100 clinicians in the entire USA who practices this evidence-based protocol. I have experienced the freedom from trauma first-hand, as I was one of those clients who was able to successfully clear my own trauma that had been haunting me for 11+ years! It is my life’s goal and purpose to help others experience that same freedom!
Trauma does not discriminate. While it can affect anyone, three populations that are near and dear to my heart, both personally and clinically, are Military, Law Enforcement/First Responders, and Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse survivors. These survivors of trauma are the strong, but silent warriors whom you encounter on a daily basis, oftentimes never knowing their struggles until it is too late. The resilience of these three populations never ceases to amaze me, as they often need to overcompensate for the stigma and lack of effective services available to them.
Whether you are one of the aforementioned survivors, or someone with other unresolved traumas that are haunting your day-to-day life, I implore you to give RTM/NLP a chance. These protocols are unlike any other, and I have seen them change lives--my own, and others.
I look forward to our work together!
Roshini Rampersaud Joseph, M.S., LMHC, NCC, C-RTM, C-tf-NLP
and... scholarship program!
Many times, when people hear “domestic violence,” the thought of physical violence enters their mind. While this is certainly a type of domestic violence, it is not the only kind. Domestic violence (interchangeably known as “domestic abuse,” “intimate partner violence,” or “relationship violence”) can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and intimidation (including gaslighting), isolation, verbal abuse (coercion, threats, and blame), economic/financial abuse, reproductive coercion, digital abuse, and stalking. Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence is not caused by alcohol/substance use or anger. While these factors may certainly exacerbate the effects of the abuse, domestic violence is about power and control. Together, we can explore the different kinds of abuse and the cycle of violence, create a safety plan, and guide you on your journey to living a safe and peaceful life.
In a nutshell, whether it’s one day a month, one day a week, or every night—if you start and you can’t stop; if you experience negative life consequences and still engage in the behavior; if the obsessions and compulsions are overwhelming—you’re likely addicted. Addiction does not only include drugs or alcohol. Addiction can also include, but is not limited to: food, gambling, internet, nicotine, prescription drugs, sex, shopping, and work. Addiction is a chronic brain disease, and in order to combat it, a holistic lifestyle change is in order. Recovery is a lifestyle; a complete change in your way of existing. In the words of one of my past mentors, “Recovery is a profound internal change in your thinking, attitude, and behaviors.” Together, we can explore triggers, relapse prevention, and coping skills to help you create a peaceful and balanced lifestyle.
There is a vast difference between military life and civilian life, and the readjustment process can prove to be challenging and full of irritating obstacles. The traumas a service member may experience during and after deployments can affect not just the service member, but the entire family unit. Whether you are a service member trying to readjust back to civilian life, or you are a military dependent who is trying to navigate the cycle of deployment, I am here to guide you through this oftentimes daunting and frustrating process.
CHOICE THEORY THROUGH REALITY THERAPY
I approach therapy from a Choice Theory standpoint. "Choice Theory teaches us that we are much more in control of our lives than we realize...Taking more effective control means making better choices" (Glasser, 1998, pg. 4). Pulling from Choice Theory's "here and now" actions of the client, as well as from my own clinical experience, I have created a specialized therapeutic treatment plan called L.I.V.E. Therapy.