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CCA Mourns with Newtown…
Responding to Trauma and Violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we have all felt a variety of reactions and emotions in the past several days, both on a personal level and a professional level. The events that unfolded will leave a permanent imprint on our hearts and may even forever change our lives’ trajectory.
I would venture to say that all of us have been compelled to help and support, not only the Newtown community, but our own personal communities and our own families. This tragedy has struck a chord in all of our hearts and we think of the families, parents and children surrounding us. How can I as a counselor make a positive difference in this world? How can I live my life in honor of these innocent victims of one man’s rampage? Already in the past days, as well as the coming weeks, months and years, there are and will continue to be countless ways that you may choose to support Newtown’s families or your own local communities.
As the CCA Executive Board and Newtown-area CCA members continue to identify needs in the community, we will keep members informed in a timely manner.
Karla Troesser, NCC, LPC
CCA President, 2012-2013
Dave Denino Life Without an Alarm Clock
Kelley Hopkins Alverez The Dalai Lama Visits Danbury
Deb DelVecchio-Scully Where East Meets West
Deb DelVecchio-Scully Sandy’s aftermath: counselors weigh in on how to help
For more click here
|Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder|
PTSD & CRPTSD
The Mind/Body/Spirit Differentiation, A Kinesthetic Resolution
Kinsthetic roots, kinesthetic treatment; Aikido’s place in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, particularly for Veterans with Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I’ve been told that one should start off a presentation with a question or a joke.
I have a question I would like you to think about; Is energy positive or negative? I’ll get back to this later.
How many here have worked with combat veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or think they might work with women and men combat veterans with PTSD? Given the reality that there will be many thousands of men and women coming out of the mid east conflict alone who will eventually suffer from ths Combat Related PTSD [CRPTSD] almost all of you will. You better be ready!
And that is no joke.
I come to this subject from personal experience. I served in the US Army for 8 yrs, of which a year and a half was in the 101st Airborne and six plus years was in Special Forces. I did 24 months [3 tours] in Special Forces A teams in Viet Nam. While on Okinawa I achieved a black belt in Karate. I often served as an unarmed combat instructor. In the months after my discharge in 1966 I exhibited what someone called “battle fatigue”. Apparently, I was a particular bastard, quick to anger, mood swings, lack of affect, sleeplessness, etc. etc. Some which with I still struggle. In 1967, I happened on Aikido, and have been studying, and practicing fairly consistently for 43 years. The following is based 50% on my personal experience, 40% on my work with disadvantaged inner city youth and veterans with CRPTSD and 10% on research.
Aikido is an effective form of self-defense, however, it is unique among the martial arts in that its purpose is to teach conflict resolution rather than fighting tactics. One does not attack or counter attack; one blends with the attacker in order to make one fluid motion. This allows the defender firstly to control the attacker and secondly to apply an Aikido immobilization technique (locking/pinning move). It is also a powerful form of active meditation and a practical system of personal development. It enables one to achieve “mindfulness”, being totally “in the moment”, while moving through a technique or through a life situation. The philosophy behind Aikido stresses that one should strive to care just as much about one's attacker as about one's self.
“Kinesthetics” is a word I use to denote a learning process in which physical movement effects mental/intellectual and emotional/psychological aspects of a person. Most people exhibit some propensity for kinesthetic learning. It can be a very powerful method for learning and teaching. For some, it can be their primary way of learning [those with some forms of dyslexia for example].
What I have come to believe is that the roots of much PTSD, especially Combat Related PTSD, often come from physical trauma, fear of physical trauma, or the dehumanization an individual has experienced from having physically performed, or acquiesced to things which they, and society, have deemed heinous their entire lives. This could be termed kinesthetic trauma. Therefore, a strong kinesthetic component, in conjunction with intellectual/mental/emotional/medical therapies, could be an effective treatment program for CRPTSD.
There are any number of lessons, behaviors, attitudes, mind-sets, etc., absorbed kinesthetically in the practice of exposure therapy, EMDR, yoga, tai chi, physical therapy, etc. that can be utilized in conjunction with more traditional therapies to excellent effect. Based on my personal experience and changes I have observed in veterans I have taught, Aikido can be an effective part of a treatment prescription on several different levels, the end result providing a more holistic approach to a causally differentiated disability. While I refer mostly to veterans with CRPTSD, the principles I espouse can be appropriate to any form of PTSD.
The occurance of women with CRPTSD can be seen in every war as far back as there were combat nurses. With the greatly increased number of women directly involved in combat in the mid-east it is not surprising that the number of women with CRPTSD has grown. Many have suffered from sexual attacks from their “comrads in arms”. What is unusual is that the percentage is significantly higher than with men. Unfortunately, most women take their issues to the traditional medical establishment and their doctors are more apt to reccommend an antidepressant, than more appropriate counseling and supportive services. Interestingly, women, who move naturally from the hips/center and lower body, tend to learn Aikido quicker and more naturally than men, who, from the age of about four, have been conditioned to move from the chest and upper body.
BLENDING; MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT
The practice of differentiating mind, body and spirit seems to pervade many current therapeutic approaches to PTSD and CRPTSD. But is this valid, and what is the role Aikido can play in bringing about a more holistic therapy? To start with, the concept of a separation of mind, body and spirit is an artificial construct which arose in Western thought. In most Eastern thought, all three elements are recognized, but as integral parts of a whole. One could not be considered except in a relationship to the other.
The current treatment of CRPTSD is oriented primarily toward the mind, the mental/emotional state, utilizing medications and various forms of talk/intellectual/cognitive based therapy. There is little attention given to the kinesthetic roots of much CRPTSD. [An interesting question might be whether people who are kinesthetic learners have a higher rate or deeper symptoms of CRPTSD. It has recently been found that there is a genetic proclivity to greater vulnerability from bullying.1] In that case, to treat CRPTSD without a strong kinesthetic component might be less than effective.
Many treatment programs do encourage participation in Yoga, Tai Chi, Qui Gong, etc. These definitely bring a physical component to the treatment program and can be very effective in promoting inner calm, centering, reduced stress and relaxation. However, these are arts in which you essentially work alone.
These forms lack a direct, physical relationship with the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness that are often the root of the underlying trauma. While an instructor may correct a technique, there is little immediate, direct experiential feedback and the tactile experience [kinesthetic learning] may be minimal. Introspection also does not deal directly with the guilt and shame which come from having done vicious, violently repulsive things to others in order to preserve the self, nor does it give access to ways to deal effectively with the guilt of having to respond to aggression with greater aggression, violence with greater violence. Also, being only relaxed and centered is a passive state. One must be able to maintain that state in the midst of conflict, and use it as the core strength for effective action. The practice of Aikido can facilitate learning and internalizing this ability.
I believe there are several reasons why Aikido provides benefits to victims of CRPTSD not found in other forms of therapy,
1. All Aikido practice is done with a partner.
Practice involves physical confrontation, even though it is in a controlled [safe] situation. In a response to my blog, Janet Rosen wrote "engaging with another human, (which is the source of the vulnerability issue in the art) is key"
It teaches and requires utilizing internal strength, physical and spiritual, to deal with an external attack situation.
It is a social interaction requiring caring about a partner while maintaining personal safety.
In Aikido, the Japanese word Tori roughly translates as student and Tori is the person “defending”, or doing a technique, uke roughly translates as teacher, or one “attacking”. During practice, one person is Tori four times [twice left twice right] then they switch roles. The Tori/uke partnership is critical and greatly facilitates the learning process.
2. The other arts do not deal with the issue of vulnerability.
Confrontation, even in a controlled situation, engenders feelings of vulnerability. With vets, having experienced real life situations of extreme vulnerability, any confrontation can bring about emotional panic and lock-up or knee-jerk, fight or flight response. Learning to accept that vulnerability and to use it as a way to respond to confrontation in practice gives the individual alternative responses and ways to maintain control of themselves in real life situations, and to possibly turn confrontation into collaboration.
3. With CRPTSD, these are combat trained veterans who have been conditioned to respond to attack and aggression [real or perceived], by defeating the enemy through violent attack and aggression.
Many vets’ CRPTSD arises from, or is complicated by a hatred of, or disgust with one’s self for violent actions taken in the heat of battle or under orders. One consequence can be the feeling of helplessness and anger, which can turn to self-anger, which, in turn, can amplify a generalized anger at the world at large; a downward spiral of dehumanization. Aikido provides a way to respond which is based on self awareness, and a calm, relaxed, humanistic attitude, with the ultimate aim of bringing all parties to a safe and secure place, non-violently. The founder of Aikido insisted that it was to be an art of peace.
In most Eastern thought, control of one’s breath is to control one’s energy. The ideal is to focus this breath/release energy in ones “center”. The center is seen as slightly below the navel, and is actually the physical center of the body. Doing this releases tightness, stress and other non essential energy and stores it in your internal “battery” where it can be called on for constructive use.
When I was preparing for this presentation, I realized I was lecturing about learning kinesthetically. Sort of an oxymoron, no? While I hope I am presenting the issues so they are understandable on an intellectual level, I want you to learn them on a kinesthetic level as well. So we are going to do a few of the exercises I have used in Aikido classes for Veterans with CRPTSD. I’m not going to tell you what you should be getting from each exercise. But, if there is time, I would like to hear what you felt you learned from these brief experiences.
DEMONSTRATION/EXERCISE; BREATH CENTERING 10 min
demonstrate “breath & relax to center”
ENERGY/KI & COMFORT ZONES
Aikido could be described as a physical manifestation of a spiritual phenomenon.
Many meditative practices and martial arts involve the use of Ki or Chi, frequently translated as life energy, life force, or energy flow. There is often a spiritual aspect to this force and, if “spiritual” is defined as a connection with something above and beyond our self it is very much in accord with the founder’s vision of Aikido’s essential strength as deeply spiritual. However, this force or energy also falls within the laws of physics.
Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion/energy are:
First law: An object in motion tends to remain in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless an external force is exerted upon it.
Second law: The rate of change of momentum of an object is directly proportional to the force acting on it.
Third law: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.
Energy with mass equals momentum.
Energy takes two forms:
Potential or static energy: lacking movement, action, or change.
Kinetic or dynamic energy: producing motion, action, or change.
Energy is neutral; in itself, it is neither good nor bad. Also, the source of energy, in and of itself, does not make that energy either good or bad. Up to this point, we are only dealing with energy as a potentiality. Like any tool, it can be used. It can be used beneficially, enabling us to move, think, be joyful, find love. It can be harmful when turned inward as anger, hatred, shame, fear of being harmed or fear of harming others. With CRPTSD, the energy generated in reaction to the physical trauma, fear of physical trauma, or the dehumanization becomes internalized as self hatred, anger at one’s self, fear, shame and distrust of one’s own actions. The victim of CRPTSD can see no way to deal with this energy except in negative actions toward themselves and others.
Keganin No Senshi Aikido is about constructive use of energy; creating, unblocking, deflecting, directing, redirecting, and blending our energy and the energy of others, particularly in an aggressive situation. In the practice of Aikido one learns to identify all sources of energy, one’s own and that of an aggressor, to relax and bring that energy to center and then to utilize it in constructive action. This is not an intellectual process; rather it is learned kinesthetically in the process of practicing Aikido techniques with a partner.
Sensei Mary Heiny frequently speaks of energy in Aikido; the energy of an attacker’s strike can be traced through their body to where it is anchored in the ground and the energy Tori [the person doing the technique] uses in a technique coming from the ground to and through their own center. Other senseis speak of the attacker’s momentum [mass plus energy]; not blocking it, but maintaining and redirecting it, of Tori focusing their own energy in their abdomen or center, of blending the attacker’s energy with one’s own. This attention to the focusing, blending and constructive use of energy is one of the many aspects of Aikido that make it particularly appropriate for veterans with CRPTSD.
In teaching a Keganin No Senshi Aikido class, I begin with the breathing exercise above, opening the breathing cavities in sequence, exhaling very slowly, and repeating three times. We then repeat that exercise, this time, I have them picture all of their energy being contained in tubes and pockets in their fingers, hands, arms, head, neck, shoulders, chest, back, then, as they exhale, relaxing and opening all of these and allowing the energy to flow from them, channeling it down to their center where it can be stored, ready to be used. Then, as we practice, I stress that breathing pattern as a critical part of the technique. Students find that even when they carry out the physical movements perfectly, the technique does not work as well as when they include the proper breathing/relaxation/channeling of energy.
DEMONSTRATION/EXERCISE; BREATH/ENERGY CENTERING 10 min
demonstrate “breath, relax, loosen energy & flow to center”
all practice continue practice through presentation
In doing even one of the first and most basic techniques, enter and turn, Tori must be “centered”, i.e. body relaxed with energies focused in their center. They must capture the aggressor’s energy [not stop or block] and redirect it so that it is merged or blended with their center/energy. Tori must then move their own body in such a way as to maintain the momentum of these blended energies to a place where Tori and the aggressor are both safe and secure, with Tori being in control and the safest.
Observing a well executed Aikido technique, it is clear that there is a smooth, continuous flow of momentum and energy, at times beginning even before the attacker has fully committed. There are no abrupt stops or jerky changes of direction; it is a seamless rhythm of movement like a perfect pas de deux. If, as Pythagoras claimed, there is a music of the spheres, then Aikido is the tango.
One trait common among many with CRPTSD is the avoidance of anything that threatens or that might take them out of their “comfort zone”. This is unfortunate, for with CRPTSD there is no true comfort zone and, even though someone with CRPTSD may become hyper-vigilant and employ desperate coping strategies to avoid situations that remind them of their trauma, the sources of the anguish have become internalized, and all the more powerful because of this.
Some veterans with CRPTSD are resistant to practicing Aikido, claiming it reminds them of combat situations. Whether this is actually true is irrelevant. Aikido presents a situation where they are taken out of their comfort zone and, for that reason alone, they may feel threatened. In fact, they may have built up so many layers of protection/resistance to change that they have effectively become immobilized, incapable of any sort of social relationships, unable to hold down a job, quick to raging anger, etc, when they feel any threat or imposition, real or imagined, to these comfort zones. Unfortunately, these comfort zones not only tend to keep potential healing energy out, they can be looked at as being reflective on the inside, turning the energy generated by the original trauma back on itself, reinforcing and amplifying the trauma’s negativity.
Even now, when I feel that anger/rage building up, I often try to ignore it or force it down, and it only makes me angrier that I can not control my self. But I have learned, when I start down that negative spiral, to pause, take that deep Aikido breath and, as I exhale, picture that energy, usually focused in my jaws, shoulders and hands, and flow it into my center. In fact, I have hit the point several times in preparing for this presentation, when I have a concept or thought that I can’t get into a form I can put on paper. Sometimes I can relaxing to center sitting at the desk, sometimes it involves moving away from the keyboard, sometimes for several days. So far, when I have managed to come back to the task, that energy returns to me in a positive form, my shoulders and jaws are relaxed, my fingers move softly and easily. When I start writing again, usually the issue has resolved, the idea has a concrete form. And, wonderfully, it often takes me in directions I never considered before. I often say that I hate writing, but enjoy having written. I think this process of continually being able to resolve my own inner conflict and use it creatively is what pleases me most. I know I learned to recognize my negative energy signals and this process of energy conversion through my practice of Aikido.
I believe that medication often suppresses and covers over a vet’s negative energy and does little or nothing to enable them to convert the energy, to make it a constructive force. Many talk-based therapeutic approaches force the victim to confront the causes of their disorder, but then this energy is only reflected back inward, often amplifying the fear and negative energy of the original trauma. Medication and therapeutic approaches such as Exposure Therapy might suppress the negative energy, but do little to teach a victim how to channel it into positive potential and kinetic energy.
The advantage of having Aikido as a integral part in a multi-dimensional therapeutic milieu is that the strengths of one approach can mesh, support and amplify the others. This can be done by structuring Aikido classes with a therapist regularly attending. This facilitates several things;
If an issue arises during class, the therapist can take the individual aside, or, better yet, the class can be stopped and the issue discussed.
There can be discussion after class on issues the veterans or the therapist feel are relevant. This could be scheduled, i.e. after every class Tuesday, or whenever the therapist, instructor or a veteran feels the need.
The therapist can bring the issues raised, things learned and general observations to the staff as a whole, hopefully giving them insights which they can utilize, and bringing back suggestions and requests to be included in the Aikido program.
In this way Aikido could facilitate an approach to the issues of comfort zones and the implementation of an effective, interdisciplinary, holistic program of treatment for CRPTSD.
One of the strengths inherent in the practice of Aikido is that we always work with a partner. This is a collaborative partnership with one person, Tori [student]/student, practicing a technique, uke/teacher executing an attack. This is not the violent attack/defend/defeat dynamic common to many martial arts, which can trigger many negative reactions in someone with CRPTSD. The student does not take an attacker’s energy and use it against them. Rather, the student moves off the line of attacking energy, blending that energy with their own, and bringing themselves and the attacker to a place which is safe and secure. The teacher does not attack in order to crush or defeat, but rather to enable the student to practice and learn a technique. In Aikido, the emphasis is on doing something with someone, not to someone.
DEMONSTRATION/EXERCISE; “no ego soft hands” 10 min
pair off and practice; eyes open, eyes closed
Unlike the other arts, working with a partner on an Aikido technique involves close proximity with an “aggressor” and a simulated attack. This gives rise to feelings of vulnerability. Even 44 plus years after any combat experience and 43 years practicing Aikido, I can still experience this feeling of vulnerability, and the fear of being harmed or having to react “wrongly”. Properly taught, Aikido gives effective, non-violent, non-aggressive methods, physical, mental and spiritual, for resolving this dilemma. Aikido has taught me to relax my tension, to center myself physically, mentally and emotionally, to welcome aggression as an opportunity to learn. It differentiates between aggression and attack and has taught me to move into the aggression, but off the line of the “attack”, or expression of that aggression, to accept the energy of the attack, to control the flow of that energy, to blend it with my own energy, to move this blended energy in such a way as the aggressor and I both come to a safe and secure place. And, in the process, often neutralizing the attacker’s aggressive feelings. An additional kinesthetic re-enforcement is that techniques work really well only when the individual is centered, relaxed and balanced mentally and physically and follows the above steps. As it is learned physically, on the mat, it is internalized and becomes an integral way to deal with feelings of vulnerability, attack and situations of aggression off the mat. This “way of dealing” quickly becomes the method for dealing with all forms of conflict and potential conflict, not just the physical. It does not matter how conscious one is of this learning. Covert is often much more effective than overt.
DEMONSTRATION/EXERCISE; enter & turn 15 MIN
demonstrate “enter & turn” [explain Uke/Tori [student] relationship and blending “centers”]
small group? - everyone who wishes?
pair off; teacher/student
1. teacher grasp firmly, student tries to move teacher using muscle
2. talk through - student relaxes breath/energy to center, welcomes teacher [big smile], moves center to teachers grasp, pivots
3. continue technique to reverse pin to shoulder.
Most forms of CRPTSD therapy pay scant attention to the spiritual aspect of being human. There may possibly be some religious intervention, but, in general, short shrift is given to the moral, ethical, quandary victims of combat related CRPTSD often must confront. While Aikido is definitely not theological/ religious, it has a pervasive spirituality. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba [O Sensei] wrote 2 "The secret of Aikido is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself." O-Sensei maintained that Aikido is a work of love, a path to overcome discord in ourselves and bring peace to the world, "to make the heart of the universe one's own heart." He described Aikido as an art of peace and viewed its practice as a spiritual endeavor. O-Sensei taught that, while it was important to become proficient in physical technique, this is not the ultimate purpose of training; the principles learned through training in Aikido technique are universal and are to be applied to all aspects of one's life. 2 "The secret of Aikido is not how you move your feet, it is how you move your mind. I'm not teaching you martial techniques. I'm teaching you nonviolence.” Giji Munetaka Kuki sums up:2 " Aikido is not about technique, but that it is about how humans should live their lives. Aikido is not really about theory or rationalization. The spirit of Aikido is to create a sphere, a warm sphere, a warm circle of harmonious feeling among people so that people can get along with each other with warm-hearted feeling."
Common feelings among many with CRPTSD are vulnerability, helplessness and hopelessness. Even those with extensive combat training can have these feelings arising from a perceived inability to defend themselves without resorting to the destructive, dehumanizing practices they have been trained in, and had to use in the past. They are their own victims. Aikido is most definitely an effective form of self-defense. But it goes beyond just giving one self confidence. It empowers a practitioner with the knowledge that they can control a situation without endangering themselves, or others. It gives the knowledge that they can successfully bring about a resolution in which all participants end up safe and secure. And, of course, insuring that they are the safest.
DEMONSTRATION/EXERCISE; two hand front choke 10 min
structure as above
Again, one cannot execute truly effective technique without achieving, even if subconsciously, this sense of being one with one’s attacker, that uke and Tori [student] are both of the same universe. The physical process of learning is one with growth of the mental/emotional/spiritual parts of being a human being.
While talking after one class a couple of Veterans said that they “felt better”when they were able to use the basic technique well. When I asked them to explain what they thought the difference might be I, got;
“I felt more relaxed.”
“I felt more in control of myself, and, when I think about it, of the attacker too.”
“Once, it worked so well, I actually laughed.”
“I don’t feel bad, or angry at myself, or the other guy.”
Later, I talked briefly with staff to try to get some feed back on whether or not there are any signs of this activity having any benefits beyond some exercise. Staff comments were;
“Guys who take the class seem to be more open to dealing with the issue of vulnerability.”
“When I sense someone tensing up, telling them to breath, center and relax often seems to prevent a real lock up. This happens even with people who I just see sitting around and watching during class.”
“One guy said he tried picturing a problem grabbing his wrist. He was able to relax and move aside, and ‘kind of saw a way through it’.”
Thus, Aikido can be a powerful, effective therapeutic tool when integrated into a varied program of therapy.
INTEGRATION INTO A PROGRAM OF THERAPY
I do not believe there is only one “cause” for CRPTSD. Therefore there should not be one “therapy”. The causal circumstances, the surrounding context, individual psychological states, genetic proclivities, and the potential for a wide range of differing factors can make the basis for each individual’s CRPTSD unique and probably difficult to define. Even if there is only one, clearly identifiable traumatic event, there can be multiple, individualized factors involved and different individuals will often respond to the same event differently. If there is one root cause of CRPTSD, it would be a perceived threat to, or destruction of the “self” and, again, individuals define this “self” differently. It follows, then, that dealing effectively with an individual’s CRPTSD would require exposure to as wide a range of therapeutic approaches as possible, and treatment should involve a team of therapists from a variety of disciplines.
Given the kinesthetic realities I outlined above, several physical approaches could be offered, all have their strengths, and different individuals may respond effectively to one or more. When offered along with talk therapies and medication in an integrated team approach, sort of a therapeutic smorgasbord, a “prescription” can be developed that is most effective for each individual.
This would mean that the “kinesthetic” instructors would need to be fully integrated into the therapy team. There should also be an initial two way training/familiarization program between the instructors and the therapy team. This would enable both sides to understand the basics of what each has to offer, allowing the instructors to structure their classes to complement other aspects of the veteran’s therapy programs, and giving therapists a deeper understanding of what the veterans are experiencing in the class, and how they can best take advantage of this during their sessions.
One example of this would be “relaxing to center”. This is a key aspect to Aikido and the veterans will have had the experience that a technique works best when they are able to breath-relax-center and release tension/negative energy. In a therapy session, a therapist, observing a vet begin to tense up, should be able to tell him to relax to center, to inhale and as he exhales slowly allow his muscles to open and allow all energy to flow down to his center. In practicing Aikido, veterans will kinesthetically learn the control, flexibility and ability to accept and deal with stress that can come with this relaxed centering.
As I have indicated above, there are any number of lessons, behaviors, attitudes, mind-sets, etc., absorbed kinesthetically in the practice of Aikido techniques that can be utilized in conjunction with more traditional therapies to excellent effect. The end result will be to provide a more holistic approach to a causally differentiated disability.
BENEFITS TO PROVIDERS
There is an additional benefit which Aikido can bring to the healing-treatment process. It can be a valuable personal asset for therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, clergy and others striving to enable the growth and recovery of those struggling with CRPTSD. I have found it extremely beneficial, not only in dealing with my own issues and life’s bumps and brickbats, but in being more effective in enabling others to cope with their personal devils.
In The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology (2007, Vol. 38, No. 2) Doctors Faggianelli and Lukoff, wrote; “The whole person of the therapist, not just their intellect, needs to be trained so that the therapist will be comfortable and competent dealing with a broad range of human experience. As a mind-body-spirit discipline, Aikido cultivates many of the core attributes of a somatically based therapy. Mind and body must be coordinated in Aikido. This trains the attention and brings about other changes in consciousness that are central to creating the healing presence so important in therapy. A therapist who can maintain a calm state of mind, free from fears and illusions of the past or of an imagined future, can relate to others empathically. The ability to relax and blend in the face of conflict, and to enhance sensitivity to self and clients, are attributes the psychotherapist cannot simply adopt as a philosophy. One must also train the body. As William Shakespeare (Coriolanus, Act III, Scene 2) wrote, ‘By my body’s action teach my mind.’”3
Q&A ?? min
I would like you to leave this session with a fully charged “battery”, ready to get the most out of the rest of your weekend.
EXERCISE; BREATH/ENERGY CENTERING 5 min
all practice “breath & relax to center”
Thomas D. Osborn
413 532 9034
Aikido for Combat PTSD, www.ptsd-veterans.blogspot.com,
RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS
a very partial list
“Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, A Holistic Approach” Thomas D. Osborn,
Levelers Press, May, 2012 http://www.levellerspress.com/
Science News, June 19th, 2010; Vol.177 #13
“Remembering O-sensei: Living and Training with Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido “
January 2004, Susan Perry, editor
Aikido and Psychotherapy: a Study of Psychotherapists Who Are Aikido Practitioners
The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 2007, Vol. 38, No. 2
Patrick Faggianelli, Ph.D. David Lukoff, Ph.D. www.itp.edu/aikido/jtpaikido.pdf
“Waking the Tiger”, Peter A. Levine, Ann Fredrick, Random House Inc, 1997, ISBN:1-55643-233-X
“Conquering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Newest Techniques for Overcoming Symptoms, Regaining Hope, and Getting Your Life Back” Victoria Lemle Beckner, John B. Arden,
Fair Winds: Quayside. 2008. ISBN: 978-1-59233-309-7.
Source of Aikido related essays and thought papers; www.aiki-extensions.org/
National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey [NVVRS]
“U.S. wars and post-traumatic stress disorder”, SFCGate, June 22, 2005|, Jack Epstein, Johnny Miller
Federation of American Scientists. Women in the Armed Forces. 1996.:
Matthew Collins, Foreign Policy Magazine, 1/07/11
The Role of Sexual Assault on the Risk of PTSD Among Gulf War Veterans. Ann Epiddemiol.
March 2005;15(3):191-195 Kang H, Dalager N, Mahan C, Ishii E.
Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;62(6):617–627.
Hoge CW, Castro CA, Messer SC, McGurk D, Cotting DI, Koffman RL. Combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental health problems, and barriers to care.. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jul 1;351(1):13–22
Christopher, Christopher, Dunnagan, & Schure, 2006, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, #46, 494-507
Ilona Meagher PTSD Combat Blogspot, The War List: OEF/OIF Statistics, www.ptsdcombat.blogspot.com
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