Tracing the Roots, Tasting the Fruits

An Overview of the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat

February 22, 2021  2:00 PM  MDT
60 minutes
This session does not offer CEU’s

Description:  Rachelʼs Vineyard is a unique combination of psychological and spiritual techniques, which provide a powerful model for assisting groups to find closure and spiritual healing after abortion.

This workshop will present a descriptive overview of the Rachelʼs Vineyard Retreat, including content and process. An in-depth explanation will be offered for the Living Scripture technique, the specific purpose of each exercise, and psychological and spiritual constructs as catharsis for memory and emotion.

We will also examine the retreat structure as a means to provide an opportunity for dialogue of the soul and opening traumatic wounds to the grace of God. We will explore how the retreat functions as a journey through the paschal mystery for the suffering body of Christ.

Panic Attacks and Other Limbic System Disturbances

February 28, 2022  10:00 AM MST
60 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:  This seminar will focus on the emotional aspects that come along with autoimmune illnesses, pain syndromes, and stress. “We will explore the limbic system, what it controls, and how it is affected by stressful environments.

Having a disruption in your limbic system can create problems with sleep, depression, poor memory, irritability, poor judgment, concentration problems, agitation, and panic attacks.

We will discuss and define the five instinctual responses to stress: Fight, Flight, Fear, Freeze, and Fawn, and practice techniques to calm and soothe these high states of anxiety.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify survival instincts of stress.
  2. Define Fight, Flight and Fear modes.
  3. Describe the Freeze and Fawning modes as biological survival states.

Understanding Dissociative Experiences

October 18, 2021  8:00 AM  MDT
90 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:   This seminar will explore the topic of Shame. Any behavior that is motivated by an inner sense of “not measuring up” is in fact a barrier to healthy relationships.  Shame impacts self-image and creates feelings of defectiveness and worthlessness.

Research shows that certain styles common in dysfunctional families can create an environment where secrets thrive and fosters incest and abuse. This is because of the shame base which their environment promotes and reinforces.

Understanding shame is fundamental to understanding abuse. These dynamics can be found in many institutional settings: schools, nursing homes, mental hospitals and church structures.

This seminar will help you identify Trauma Bonds that exist in relationships as pervasive patterns that include trauma repetition, avoidance, trauma pleasure, shame, reactivity, trauma splitting and abstinence.

We will highlight the basic indicators of shame based relational styles, fears, acting out, perfectionism and addictions. Learning how to identify unresolved feelings can free us from anxiety, frustration and a sense of helplessness to restore hope and the ability to dream.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how attachments can occur in the presence of danger, shame and exploitation and the role of seduction, deception or betrayal being intertwined with danger, risk and fear.
  2. Define the “Stockholm Syndrome” as a form of traumatic bonding.
  3. Explain how traumatic shame can lead to exploitation.
  4. Describe the difference between guilt and shame.
  5. Outline the communication problems inherent in a dysfunctional family or organizational system.
  6. Learn to recognize feelings, dreams and childhood longings as important and deserving of attention and respect.

Brain Science

How Emotional Trauma Impacts the Brain

October 18, 2021  10:00 MDT
90 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:  This seminar will explore new brain science and what we now understand about how a brain malfunctions when there has been emotional trauma.

The right and left sides of the brain are disconnected and normal cognitive processes are disrupted. With these changes, arousing events can trigger flashbacks, physical symptoms, an inability to integrate cognitive and emotional experiences, and difficulty putting words to feelings and memories.

Based on our understanding of the brain, we will explore recent research that indicates why trauma victims respond best to a sensory-based treatment model.

This brain science explains why the process of Rachelʼs Vineyard is an exceptionally powerful and effective treatment model because it helps to integrate the cognitive and emotional elements of trauma, calms and soothes the nervous system, stimulates the frontal cortex through prayer and meditation, and allows for a completion of the trauma as well as a reconnection to self, spirit and child.

This workshop will include a brief overview of the retreat and show how and where these neural connections are achieved.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  We will explore the role of different brain functions and the neurological causes of posttraumatic stress disorder as a persistent deregulation of brain chemistry.
  2. Define sensory based treatment.
  3. Understand why “talk therapy” does not always heal traumatic memories.
  4. Describe why sensory based treatment can be more appropriate for victims of trauma.
  5. Explore the role of the frontal cortex, Amygdala, brain stem and corpus coliseum in processing sensory input.
  6. Provide examples from the Rachelʼs Vineyard Retreat to explain the benefits achieved through a sensory based treatment program.

Choice Evangelism

. . . the conspiracy of the Feminist Matriarchy

October 18, 2021  2:00 PM MDT
60 minutes
CEU’s not availble for this session

Description: This class focuses on the how many feminists seek to devalue and discount pregnancy and the mothering experience.

Their idea that abortion is a fundamental right, or the only way that women can care for themselves does not reflect the way that women actually experience abortion. It is more inherently felt as a violation of oneself rather than a caring and nurturing of oneself.

Yet women who were traumatized by this loss turn a blind eye to inner feelings of grief and oppression. Instead they vent their fervent emotions onto safer targets . . . like politics, religion, and legal battles.

This class will attempt to give you a better understanding of why some feminists have worked so hard to keep abortion legal, and how you can stand up and fight back for the rights of women. Case studies include Phyllis Chesler, Gloria Steinem, Kate Michelman, Ninia Baehr, and many more.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  To identify the psychological motivation behind early feminist need to keep abortion legal.
  2. To understand the principle repetitions of trauma in the framework of feminist theology, politics, and psychology.

Understanding Shame Based Identities, Part I

Care for the Cure

June 14, 2021  8:00 AM MDT
90 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:  This seminar will explore the topic of Shame. Any behavior that is motivated by an inner sense of “not measuring up” is in fact a barrier to healthy relationships.  Shame impacts self-image and creates feelings of defectiveness and worthlessness.

Research shows that certain styles common in dysfunctional families can create an environment where secrets thrive and fosters incest and abuse. This is because of the shame base which their environment promotes and reinforces.

Understanding shame is fundamental to understanding abuse. These dynamics can be found in many institutional settings: schools, nursing homes, mental hospitals and church structures.

This seminar will help you identify Trauma Bonds that exist in relationships as pervasive patterns that include trauma repetition, avoidance, trauma pleasure, shame, reactivity, trauma splitting and abstinence.

We will highlight the basic indicators of shame based relational styles, fears, acting out, perfectionism and addictions. Learning how to identify unresolved feelings can free us from anxiety, frustration and a sense of helplessness to restore hope and the ability to dream.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how attachments can occur in the presence of danger, shame and exploitation and the role of seduction, deception or betrayal being intertwined with danger, risk and fear.
  2. Define the “Stockholm Syndrome” as a form of traumatic bonding.
  3. Explain how traumatic shame can lead to exploitation.
  4. Describe the difference between guilt and shame.
  5. Outline the communication problems inherent in a dysfunctional family or organizational system.
  6. Learn to recognize feelings, dreams and childhood longings as important and deserving of attention and respect.

Understanding Shame Based Identities, Part II

Care for the Cure

June 14, 2021  10:00 AM MDT
90 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:  This workshop will give you the opportunity to score your own Traumatic Stress Index which may indicate past traumatic experiences resulting in trauma bonds.

Building upon the information learned in Shame Based Identities Part I – this seminar will teach clinicians how to administer The Trauma Bond Questionnaire and outline therapeutic strategies that you can employ for each area of concern.

Clinical examples will be given for each category of how recognition of pervasive lifetime patterns can help expedite recovery and addiction by awareness and conscious choices that can be made regarding your response when triggers arise.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how attachments can occur in the presence of danger, shame and exploitation and the role of seduction, deception or betrayal being intertwined with danger, risk and fear.
  2. Define the “Stockholm Syndrome” as a form of traumatic bonding.
  3. Explain how traumatic shame can lead to exploitation.
  4. Describe the difference between guilt and shame.
  5. Outline the communication problems inherent in a dysfunctional family or organizational system.
  6. Learn to recognize feelings, dreams and childhood longings as important and deserving of attention and respect.

The Role of a Priest or Pastor

June 14, 2021  2:00 PM MDT
120 minutes

Description:  The goal of any psycho-spiritual healing process is not just restoration of the former self to a state of peace and hope, but to realize spiritual integration and wholeness which results in a life of holiness.

In effect, precisely because of their wounds, the individual may realize an intimacy and trust in God as they enter a process for healing and conversion.  With proper boundaries and some foreknowledge, the clergy will serve as a vital front line person representing Christ that can safely guide the wounded soul to opportunities for spiritual, psychological and emotional healing.

This class will examine the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a vital component in the healing process. However, we will also consider the dynamics of how confession itself can become a ritual for grieving and “revisiting the grave” in order to re-experience shame, grief and guilt as a connector to the aborted child.

We will explore why individuals might use the sacrament in order to memorialize their aborted children. In many cases, confession alone may not be enough to detoxify the festering wound of traumatic grief. If this is the only intervention, it can frequently lead to a pattern of repeat confession, where an individual may confess their abortions hundreds of times.  The importance of traumatic grief work is highlighted in order to embrace the fullness of the sacrament.

In addition, we will explore the value of clergy connecting the post-abortive person to a larger support system after the initial one-on-one session.

We will use case studies and examples to outline important safety measures to avoid transference and counter-transference reactions that could sabotage recovery. We will also explore how women with histories of sexual abuse are particularly vulnerable to dependency upon the priest.

Another dynamic is the tendency of some traumatized women to confuse the affection and gratitude she feels in a helping relationship with sexual intimacy.

This seminar will offer practical tips on how to set healthy boundaries at the start of any ministry relationship and the necessity of making sure the pastor’s own needs for connection and intimacy are being met.

And finally, we will explore how post-abortion ministry touches clergy; as men, as spiritual fathers, and as priests.

 

Trauma Trilogy, I

How to Spot Trauma

February 28, 2022  8:00 AM MST
Part 1 of a combined 90 minute session
CEU’s available

Description:  This workshop will use case studies to help the clinician distinguish how we can know who needs help de-conditioning a traumatic memory and who does not.

Many therapists assume that someone must be “holding onto trauma” if they have been through something awful. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who has been through a horrendous experience gets traumatized by it.  Around 75% of survivors of trauma naturally de-traumatize without any kind of intervention.

Most people process a traumatic experience by dreaming it out, or talking it out, or otherwise contextualizing it.  Twenty five percent of trauma survivors who have persistent Post Traumatic Stress symptoms – such as flashbacks, nightmares and generalized anxiety disorder – are vulnerable for various reasons.

However, you can learn to spot trauma in your first interview by three distinct factors.  The Amygdala deep within the brain of someone who has PTSD has been ʻimprintedʼ with the pattern of the trauma they have experienced. This pattern contains all the information surrounding the initial event – including aspects not available to conscious memory.

Once this traumatic template is in place, all new incoming information is compared to the traumatic pattern to check if there is a complete or even just a partial match that requires the Amygdala to fire into action.

Learning Objectives

  1.  Name three ways to identify who needs help deconditioning a traumatic memory and who does not.
  2. Explain why it is critical not to push it if someone can not talk about their trauma.
  3. Discuss why people who have persistent post traumatic stress symptoms, such as flashbacks and nightmares, and are easily triggered into panic.

Trauma Trilogy, II

Opening the Prison of Caged Trauma and Depression

February 22, 2021  8:00 AM MST
Part 2 of a combined 90 minute session
CEU’s available

Description:  Using case studies and facilitator examples, this seminar will explore the long term effects of unresolved trauma.

For around 75% of people who experience a trauma, the effects will naturally fade in time. But for the remaining 25% there will be enduring debilitating effects unless effectively treated. And that is where PTSD and depression become linked.

People can become depressed for all kinds of reasons, and we should never assume that unresolved trauma must be a cause. Going off looking for ʻtraumasʼ that just are not there can make ʻtherapyʼ quite toxic for depressed people whose depression has a different cause.

However, trauma is sometimes a major factor in depression, which is why knowing how to correctly identify trauma and knowing how to relieve it fast are vital skills for any therapist

Learning Objectives

  1. List three reasons why unresolved trauma may tip someone into clinical depression.
  2. Define Learned Helplessness
  3. Discuss how being powerless and avoidant can maintain depression