The Power of Secrets

Breaking Free from Trauma with Truth

February 28, 2022  2:00 PM MDT
60 minutes
CEU’s available

Description:  Truth Heals. This workshop will explore how secrets can make you sick and how what you hide can hurt you.

Lies that keep us from acknowledging the truth can result in physical or emotional pain, debilitating shame, and deep layers of denial and anger. The lies we tell ourselves can cause emotional blockages and prevent joy and peace.

Telling the truth is about freedom. It is about health and living a life that is meaningful, powerful, connected, and loving. Ultimately, telling the truth is about feeling good in your own skin, unencumbered and free to be loved.

We will also explore the value of public testimony as a gift to the giver as well as the receiver.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore why people keep secrets and how the consequences can be destructive.
  2. Understand secrets as a symptom of shame-based relationships.
  3. How secrets can divide, triangulate and deter new relationships.
  4. When not to disclose secrets to avoid frozen development.

Care-Fronting Conflict

February 28, 2022  12:00PM  MDT
60 minutes

Description:  Team unity does not mean that disagreements never arise and contrary opinions are not expressed. With a healthy mixture of personality, styles, and opinions we can expect conflicts to arise. So instead of unity, we seek to build community.

The mark of a healthy healing community in Rachelʼs Vineyard is a team that exhibits true Biblical unity. It is not the absence of conflict, it is the presence of a reconciling spirit.

This workshop will help us learn ways to communicate directly through conflicts in a spirit of charity and humility. We will explore some of the ways that oneʼs own family dysfunctions can be re-created on retreat teams, and how to avoid the pitfalls of not resolving conflict.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the difference between unity and building a community.
  2. Learn ways to communicate directly through conflicts in a spirit of charity and humility.
  3. Explore the ways that oneʼs own family dysfunctions can be re-created in working teams and how to avoid the pitfalls of unresolved conflict or repetition of unhealthy family dynamics.


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.

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.