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) Protocol is a totally safe, non-intrusive, non-traumatizing process that allows 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 is a protocol—it does not replace therapy. It clears 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 Protocol only takes 3-5 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 <150 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, two populations that are near and dear to my heart, both personally and clinically, are Military Veterans and Domestic Violence victims. 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 two populations never ceases to amaze me, as they often need to overcompensate for the stigma and lack of effective services available to them.
While I am grateful that we have a system in place to serve these vulnerable and at-risk populations, it is a flawed system. Having worked in and with agencies in the past who serve these populations, I have found that the therapeutic work is very "CYA" in nature, and the agencies many times provide bare minimum services, as they are inundated with clients. This is precisely the reason why I decided to start my own practice--so that I could provide the QUALITY of care I know my clients deserve.
I offer donation-based services to my Military Veterans and Domestic Violence Victims/Survivors, as these are often the people who are living on fixed incomes or have had their economic status destroyed. They should not have to sacrifice quality or frequency of care due to financial burdens. To provide the best quality of care to my clients, I participate in continuing education courses and trainings to keep my therapeutic skills sharp and up-to-date with the most effective, evidenced-based practices. I have adopted RTM as one such advanced protocol.
Whether you are a Military Veteran, survivor of Domestic Violence, or someone with other unresolved traumas that are haunting your day-to-day life, I implore you to give RTM a chance. This protocol is unlike any other, and I have seen it change lives--my own, and others.
I look forward to our work together!
Roshini Rampersaud, M.S., LMHC, NCC
While donation-based services are offered for Military Veterans/DV victims, there are other affordable treatment plans available for anyone suffering from unresolved traumas.