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

Trauma Trilogy, III

Which PTSD Treatments Can Make Things Worse?

February 28, 2021  8:00 AM MST
Part 3 of a combined 90 minute session
CEU’s available

Description:  It has long been recognized that people who have been through very traumatic experiences often need help if they are to fully recover. A long-established approach is to get victims to ʻre-liveʼ their trauma, either by ʻtalking it throughʼ or even, most cruelly, by hypnotically reliving it as it happened.

This workshop will explore why talking about the trauma, even just trying to put what happened into words, can actually worsen a victimʼs trauma by re-activating it in the brain, and embedding it deeper.  If a trauma victim is debriefed in a state of high emotion, the process can increase the arousal to the point of overload, trapping the sensory impressions in the Amygdala.

This is why so called ʻcritical incident debriefingʼ, where disaster survivors are encouraged to ʻtalk it outʼ can itself be a disaster for the 25% of people who remain severely traumatized after an event. For these victims, it is an irresponsible and dangerous approach.

This workshop will help facilitators know if your clientʼs worst memories are still “live.” Feeling as if they are happening now – even if they are about events that happened decades ago. We will discuss the therapeutic techniques that run the risk of creating severe client distress and may not be comfortable or effective for everyone. By not relying on a “formula” clinicians can be more adaptive and responsive to the unique needs of their clients.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain why getting people to ʻreliveʼ their trauma is not therapy for those with PTSD.
  2. Understand how memories are laid down as immediate impressions in the brain, and the process to store those memories in the neocortex.
  3. List the techniques and trauma treatments that are effective in helping those who have developed long lasting PTSD to recover.

Crash Course in Trauma: PTSD, Part 1

2/22/2021  8:00 AM MST
60 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:  Part I—This two-part seminar will present a trauma-sensitive perspective on how women cope with pregnancy loss after induced abortion. Symptoms of PTSD as they relate to abortion will be described. An examination of how trauma may impact memory will be explored, including amnesia, hyperamnesia, and dissociation. Examples of avoidance, preoccupation, sleep disturbances, panic and anxiety, obsessive compulsive rituals, and numbing behaviors will be included.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify women at risk for psycho-social stress following induced abortion.
  2. Outline the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder as they relate to pregnancy loss.
  3. Define PTSD.
  4. Identification of symptoms in three major categories:
    1. Hyper-arousal
    2. Intrusion
    3. Constriction
  5. Define dissociation.
  6. Test your recognition of symptom assessment.
  7. Review preliminary findings of the most recent record-based studies. (i.e. Increased psychiatric admissions following induced abortion, increased risk of suicide, etc.)

Sex(ism), Identity and Intimacy

. . . in a Pornographic Culture

October 17, 2022  12:00 PM MDT
60 minutes
Please note: this session is available for Rachel’s Vineyard Team Members only

Description: From Internet pornography to MTV, popular culture bombards us with sexualized images of idealized women and men, and conveys powerful messages that help shape our sexuality.

These pictures jump off the screen and into our culture, and are now so common place that they seep into our gender identity, our body image, and especially our intimate relationships. The result is not a more liberated, edgy sexuality, but a mass-produced vision of sex that is profoundly sexist – a vision that limits our ability to create authentic, equal relationships that are free of violence and degradation.

In this thought provoking presentation, examples from pornography, magazines, television shows, and movies explore how masculinity and femininity are shaped by a consumer-driven, image-based culture, and the ways public images spill over into our most private worlds.

Based on the lifetime research of Dr. Gail Dines observing the growth of the pornography industry into mainstream culture, we will discuss how porn influences what boys expect our girls to do on dates, and how the porn culture shapes the behavior and fashion of young women.

This class is taught from a feminist perspective, with recognition that trauma in womenʼs lives can lead them directly into the industry or to acting out in relationships.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Explore how masculinity and femininity are shaped by a consumer-driven, image-based culture.
  2. Discuss how porn influences the expectations of boys/men, and how porn shapes the behavior and fashion of young women.
  3. Recognize that trauma in womenʼs lives can lead them into the industry or to act out in relationships.

The Art of Retreat Facilitation

June 14, 2021  12:00 PM MDT
60 minutes
Please note: this session is available for Rachel’s Vineyard Team Members only

Description:  The root of the word facilitation is ʻfacilʼ, or ʻeasyʼ, so facilitation means ʻto make it easyʼ. The role of the facilitator in Rachelʼs Vineyard is to facilitate the work of the Holy Spirit.

How does one ʻmake easyʼ the work of the Holy Spirit? How does one co-facilitate with the Holy Spirit?

This two-part workshop will explore the unique role of the retreat facilitator, as well as the skills, tools, and considerations essential to facilitating the retreat process.

The second part of the workshop will be a practicum where participants will apply these skills and tools through role-playing various retreat scenarios.

Some of the topics covered will include self facilitation, nurturing the environment, managing group process and group dynamics, discussion techniques, reading a group, intervention tips and strategies, and team facilitation.