Well, someone just sent me this article about objections at the American Psychiatric Association meeting to removing the demoralizing and disabling “D” in the diagnosis known as PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and changing it to an “I” – Posttraumatic Stress Injury . The naysaying came from key players on the DSM-V committee (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due for updating for the first time since 2000).
The call for a change came from a Four Star General (now retired) named Peter Chiarelli, recently of the Pentagon. The bureaucratic stonewalling came from Psychiatry. Go figure. How’s that for a reversal of stereotyped expectations?
Before I forget, I should mention the free webinar coming up this Wednesday evening – part of NICABM’s new series on the Treatment of Trauma.
Ruth Buczynksi will be interviewing me on why guided imagery is so effective for remediating the symptoms of posttraumatic stress, and what I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) about dumb things we therapists do when working with already skittish service members and veterans – mostly because of our naivete about the incongruities between civilian and military culture (norms, language, even humor to some extent)… most of which can be fixed with a little time, care, information and thought. The video is free if you watch it at the time of the broadcast.
The endless and usually irritating “Which is better?” debate between city dwellers and suburbanites came to a grinding halt in 2003 when a study was published showing suburbanites were on average several pounds heavier than their urban counterparts. Suddenly, no matter what compelling arguments suburbanites came up with–better schools, lower crime rates, cleaner air—they were demolished by a withering, “Not worth getting fat” or “It’s okay for your kids, but love handles are quite a price for good schools.”
The difference in poundage, geographically speaking, was pretty much attributed to the suburban inactivity that comes from a near-total dependence on cars. Even suburbanites will admit that you need a car for just about every activity imaginable…except getting to your car.
Well, the response we’ve gotten to the brief NICABM video interview I had with Ruth Buczynski about the military intro we created, thanks to First Sergeant (RET) David Rauls, has been off the charts. Evidently therapists, providers and veterans from all over the world can relate to this issue of how to introduce a ‘soft’ skill like guided imagery or meditation to a person (like a soldier or a first responder) who needs it but is too wound up and adrenergized to use it. If you haven’t seen it (or the over 250 posts from just about everywhere), you can check it out here. The new intro we made with Dave's help is on the Self Mastery CD.
You’ll have to give them your email address to get into the page, but then it’s yours to check in as much as you like. You’ll also be advised of other free videos, presentations and papers, so it’s a good use of your email address.
This has been a year of many, many interruptions, and I apologize for my sluggishness in delivering the goods on the promised TBI imagery. The writing is almost done and I’ll be recording that ‘ere long. Sorry!
We’re almost ready to add our newest improvement on the Sleep App – the timer function that allows you to program it to shut off after a chosen amount of playing time – or just have it play forever. So stay tuned for that.
Cindy tells me that our new Summer/Fall Catalog is in the mail, so unless you’ve told us you’re on a no-paper diet, you’ll be seeing it in your mailbox over the next week or so.
We’re pretty happy with the new resources in it. I may as well mention a few here. Many of you already know we’re forever being asked to carry more imagery made specifically for teenagers. Last year we really scored with Shambala Self Esteem for Teens by Mellisa Dormoy – people just loved it. So now we’re adding her Shambala Stress Management for Teens CD, with its calming, empowering combination of guided meditations and affirmations that target adolescent angst with her perfect sensitivity and pitch.
Well, we’ve built a web page to help with yet another school shooting, this time in our own back yard – Chardon High School.
The bad news is that these terrible shootings keep happening. The good news, I suppose, is that we’re better informed about what resources actually help kids, faculty, parents and staff recover; and we can provide them quickly and easily, thanks to the accessibility of websites, links and downloads.
I remember back after the Columbine High shootings, we were invited to come out to Littleton, which we did, with boxes and boxes of what were then brand new, hot-off-the-press cassettes of the then new Healing Trauma imagery.
Well, after much consternation and head-banging during the Great App Debate over what makes for the right features and pricing for our Sleep App; and after reading and re-reading all 43 of your terrifically impressive, informative suggestions that you posted a couple weeks ago; and after picking the brains of our fellow audio publishers, our adult kids, our tech mavins and our business consultants… after all of that, we’ve come up with a resolution we all can live with, that takes into account most of the competing complaints. It was not easy. It was not fun. It will not please everyone. But it’s pretty damn good.
First, we made several improvements to the app. As per your direction, we made it much more of an app. In fact, it’s now functioning as a really smooth and classy, high quality player, all intuitive and Apple-like – a joy to behold. Thank you, Jon Lorenzo.
Coincidentally with Alcohol Awareness Month, I just saw an excellent documentary at the Cleveland International Film Festival, called Bill W., describing the life and work of Bill Wilson, the founder of AA. (You probably already know our company is based in Akron, the cradle of AA, right?)
For some reason, I hadn’t fully realized the organizational genius and diehard commitment it took to create and maintain the 12-step, recovery juggernaut of leaderless groups of struggling volunteers, trying to stay sober, by helping other alcoholics, and by following some basic but brilliant guidelines. Amazingly, they didn’t take money to keep things going (just sold the big AA book). And these groups ultimately sprang up all over the place like mushrooms after a spring rain. There’s nothing quite like it, far as I can tell. And now it’s world-wide and targets scores of other struggles besides alcoholism.
Forgot the name of that great movie you just saw and want to heartily recommend? Proper-noun challenged in general? Welcome to my world.
As luck would have it, AARP recently posted ten excellent tips to try and keep our gray matter happy and healthy. Some of these ideas won’t be news to you, but still, this list can serve as a good reminder. So here it is, with some edits and tweaks. The original piece was by Beth Howard in AARP’s January issue.
Many thanks to Trudy Scott, for giving guided imagery a shout-out in her new book, The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood, & End Cravings.