The clinical documentation of the healing The Wounded Heart Workshop for combat veterans with PTSD has been completed for Band Of Brothers #5 and the average improvement for PTSD symptoms before and after the workshop was 58% ~ with a 70% improvement in dealing with anger issues and feelings of inner peace and 75% improvement in feeling joy: Allen L Roland
I have long felt and have now proved that PTSD is really Post Traumatic Heart Disorder for a common symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the inability to give or receive love ~ which can obviously apply to non veterans who have also suffered significant loss or emotional childhood and/or adult pain.
I have demonstrated that only after the heart is opened can true self healing occur for only then does the client (veterans or otherwise) truly want to heal. Using the premise that what is deepest within us is love ( not anger ) and utilizing an action oriented approach to face and go through their fears ~ my clients, including veterans, soon discover that beneath their pain, anger and shame is not only love and joy but most importantly their true authentic self.
The purpose then of the Healing the Wounded Heart Workshops is to penetrate the grey zone of guilt, aloneness and unworthiness, that many War Veterans diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experience, and this is done within a supportive group setting through heart centered self exploration, group sharing, guided visualization and action oriented homework ~ where love and joy eventually overcome fear and separation.
Using Band of Brothers #5 as an example ~ 21 PTSD symptoms were included on the survey and the veterans were asked to rate their level on the 1-10 scale ( with 1 being “ Very Poor “ and 10 being “ No Problem” for each of the conditions Before and After the workshop. Here are the results ~
Symptoms After workshop Improvements
Sleep Problem 67%
Trouble breathing 15%
Emotional Numbing 74%
Suicidal Ideations 41%
Intrusive Memories 58%
Super alert issues 58%
Concentration issues 55%
Feeling Joy 75%
Fear of intimacy 63%
Physical pain 36%
Emotional pain 65%
The figures speak for themselves but the one that leaps out at me is the same one I see with my individual clients ~ and that is the 75% improvement in Joy for these veterans who have not only survived the ultimate firefight of battling fear on the journey to their heart but are now experiencing the delight of not only being themselves but the joy that they are truly healing themselves.
Here are two participants comments from their evaluation* "I have progressed farther in the workshop’s 8 weeks than I have in 25 years of on-and off private therapy. I've been given a very informative look at myself. I understand much more about my own experiences. So many answers to so many questions. I feel alive! Gaining a different perspective on life helps me to see my true self. It's nice to feel love and a sense of self-worth"
"My quick temper and bouts with anger are gone. My dreams are no longer violent and I have not flown out of bed since the workshop. I am able to fall asleep and remain asleep. My relationships with my wife and family have improved immensely. The comradeship that grew with the other participants was wonderful. I feel very strongly that the “ Healing The wounded Heart “ workshop should be added to the VA’s inventory of most effective tools used in re-adjustment counseling to combat the life destroying effects of PTSD.”
* Contact me for full final evaluation.
There can be no more excuses for the VA ( which moves slower than a glacier ) to not fund a heart centered approach to working with Veterans with PTSD which is now being privately funded by a Veteran support foundation, legion Posts such as Jack London Post 489 in Sonoma, California and local Vietnam support groups like VVA Chapter 702 in Napa, California.
If combat veterans are responding positively to these once a week eight week action oriented heart centered workshops ~ it’s time for the VA to open the door to alternative healing methodologies which the rest of the country is already acknowledging, supporting and experiencing.
As Rumi wrote ~ It is love that holds everything together, and it also the everything ~ and without it we cannot fully heal as these veterans would most assuredly attest.
Allen L Roland
About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist. Allen is also available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations. Dr. Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website www.allenroland.com . He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on www.conscioustalk.net