Tuesday, March 29, 2011


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%

Nightmares 62%

Trouble breathing 15%

Avoidance 63%

Isolation 69%

Emotional Numbing 74%

Irritability/Anger 70%

Anxiety 53%

Depression 65%

Suicidal Ideations 41%

Intrusive Memories 58%

Super alert issues 58%

Concentration issues 55%

Energy 57%

Feeling Joy 75%

Fear of intimacy 63%

Physical pain 36%

Emotional pain 65%

Love 59%

Peace 69%

Compassion 41%

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

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Obama’s show of force in Libya is actually a show of farce whereas no one seems to know whose in charge, what’s the mission and just what is the strategy ~ which leaves only two possible answers for this Abbott and Costello routine ~ Regime Change and Politics: Allen L Roland

Let’s get something straight ~ The United State’s recent preemptive attack on Libya, while flying the flag of NATO, is all about Regime Change under the guise of a Humanitarian intervention. Certainly there was no real attempt to negotiate with Gaddafi ~ like Iraq, the decision was made to attack and events were tailored to justify this action. This is the ongoing formula for western imperialistic change you can believe in ~ particularly if the natives are getting restless.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced on Thursday that the U.S. will turn over command of the no-fly zone but will retain control of the ground attacks. Since there is no effective Libya air force ~ that means that the U.S. is still in charge and most likely is already in the process of providing advisors for the Libya ground rebel forces. NATO’s normal command procedure is to have a U.S. officer in charge and that still appears to be the case. President Obama has already said he wants Gadhafi gone so the whole question of whose in charge is mute ~ Obama is in charge but he doesn’t want to advertise that truth since he does not have Congressional approval and he most certainly does not have a mandate for regime change from the UN.

Obama is already teetering on a tight rope of obvious hypocrisy but he has taken a dramatic politically revealing step, with this decision, of being the titular voice of the New World order which could care less about American congressional approval and uses the UN and NATO to justify its illegal preemptive and self serving military and financial imperialistic interventions.

During the first four days of this imperialist assault, more than 160 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from U.S. and British naval vessels in the Mediterranean, and more than 150 sorties were flown by U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bombers, F-15 fighter jets, Marine Harrier jets, as well as French and British warplanes.

Please take note of what has been unleashed by our Nobel Laureate Peace prize winner president Obama when he attacked Libya ~ courtesy of David Watson, Stop The War Coalition~ “ In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildingsAn impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporizes into three highly-toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached WalesOnce the dust has vaporized, don't expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years… In the 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad alone. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than "five hundred thousand tons of ordnance". All of it DU-tipped “.

President Obama obviously does not want to take responsible for this radioactive carnage so we have a NATO cover for an illegal regime change under the guise of humanitarian crisis and intervention. But the NATO shield appears to be fragmenting before our eyes ~ On March 23rd; The Daily Mail revealed Deep divisions between allied forces worsened as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign. A German military spokesman said it was recalling two frigates and AWACS surveillance plane crews from the Mediterranean, after fears they would be drawn into the conflict if NATO takes over control from the U.S. A war of words erupted between the U.S. and Britain after the U.K. government claimed Muammar Gaddafi is a legitimate target for assassination. U.K. government officials said killing the Libyan leader would be legal if it prevented civilian deaths as laid out in a U.N. resolution. But U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates hit back at the suggestion, saying it would be 'unwise' to target the Libyan leader adding cryptically that the bombing campaign should stick to the 'U.N. mandate'. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368693/Libya-war-Germans-pull-forces-NATO-Libyan-coalition-falls-apart.html#ixzz1Hfl9L6AS

The politics are obvious ~ Obama does not want to appear politically weak during a re-election bid and what better method than another preemptive war to stir the patriots and keep his military-Industrial funding complex happy ~ and all under the banner of a humanitarian intervention.

Bob Herbert, retiring NY Times columnist, adds his frustration with these words ~ “So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home…Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.” http://www.readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/83-83/5416-losing-our-way

Gerald Celente sums up this Libya show of farce with this short video interview where he asks the pertinent question ~ Would the United States be involved with Iraq and now Libya if its principle export product was broccoli? Instead of Libya’s sweetest and most inexpensive crude oil? Six minute video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0wNjm4nJOs

If you’re not angry, you’re on life support.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


On December 7, 2007 Barack Obama said "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation” ~ another broken promise thrown into the trash can of history as President Obama orchestrates regime change in Libya under the guise of humanitarian intervention: Allen L Roland

Robert Greenwald, Reader Supported News, nails our current illegal pre-emptive action in Libya perfectly ~ “ President Obama's decision to participate in the strikes in Libya has already cost US taxpayers "well over $100 million," according to the National Journal. The Journal also relayed that, "the initial stages of taking out Libya's air defenses could ultimately cost ... coalition forces between $400 million and $800 million." The administration launched this new war (and yes, it is a war) with no official congressional authorization, little public debate and with a vague, possibly even non-existent, endgame in mind. It's as if the lessons of the last decade are completely lost on policymakers in the United States.” http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/289-134/5364-day-one-obama-drops-100-million-dollars-on-libya

It was Oscar Wilde who once said that "the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity" and President Obama has become the master of hypocrisy who not only lies with sincerity but obviously chooses not to perceive his massive deceptions. Nobel Peace Laureate Obama has not only become Bush light but has now slid to the dark side and become Cheney light by endorsing the failed Cheney/Bush neo con imperialistic agenda which now flies under the Obama banner of humanitarian intervention. But what we really have here is Regime change under the guise of humanitarian intervention.

Make no mistake about this, imposing a No-Fly zone in Libya is an act of war entailing sustained military action as we are already witnessing. So now we have an illegal war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan joined to an illegal war and most probably an eventual occupation of Libya ~ where an impatient and greedy BP is already getting ready to drill for oil off the Libya coast.

But not everyone is drinking the Obama kool aid ~ CLG reports that a hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (NY), Donna Edwards (MD), Mike Capuano (MA), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Maxine Waters (CA), Rob Andrews (NJ), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Barbara Lee (CA) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) "all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president's actions" during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.

Former progressive Congressman Alan Grayson rightfully calls it A Tactic in Search of a Strategy and writes ~ “But a no-fly zone? In the case of Libya, that’s a tactic in search of a strategy. The Yiddish word for it is “shmei,” roughly translated as aimless strolling around. A no-fly zone is basically just looking like you’re doing something to remove Gaddafi, at the cost of $60 million in a day (which was the cost of the first day’s worth of cruise missiles launched).The last time we tried this, in Iraq, we had to sustain it for 12 years. At enormous effort and expense. And it didn’t bring down Saddam at all. More fundamentally, a no-fly zone in Libya feeds the dangerous fantasy that every problem has a military solution. That the answer to the use of force is the use of more force. That if a hammer doesn’t drive that nail in, try a howitzer.”

Mathew Rothschild, The progressive, calls Obama’s Libya War Unconstitutional, Na├»ve and Hypocritical and writesOur founders would be appalled that a President of the United States could launch the country into an armed conflict half a world away without a formal declaration of war by Congress, much less barely any discussion of it by the House or by the Senate….There is no consistent humanitarian standard for Obama’s war against Libya. None whatsoever. Obama has now pushed the United States to a place where we are now engaged in three wars simultaneously. He’s a man, and we’re a country, that has gone crazy on war.'' Read article ~ http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/21-8

And lastly we have our straight talking Congressman, and soon to be Presidential candidate, Ron Paul telling the truth about our latest affront to the constitution and asking the pertinent question of why are we spending over one trillion dollars a year to maintain a fading empire which still relies on military force versus cooperation to impose its will and values? Five minute video ~ http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1060.html

Unfortunately, the successful hypocrite and their ignorant audience often go hand in hand. The only one who doesn’t get hurt in these continuing and costly misadventures is the Military Industrial Complex as Robert Greenwald reminds us ~But hey, just remember the silver lining: Every time a Tomahawk cruise missile blows up a building in Libya (and everyone inside it), war-profiteer Raytheon makes $1.5 million.”

Or watch Jon Stewart appropriately reveal America's ongoing hypocrisy in the Middle East ~ See Video http://www.mediaite.com/tv/jon-stewart-pitches-us-hypocrisy-in-freedom-packages-infomercial/

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

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It appears that out of this catastrophe in Japan, the world is ushering in a new way of being and a new state of consciousness where non-essentials are stripped away and finally replaced by social cooperation and altruism ~ the driving properties of a constantly uniting evolutionary process with which we all participate as co-creators: Allen L Roland

This letter from Sendai, Japan speaks volumes about human resiliency in the face of chaos and our deep innate need to cooperate and help one another ~ bringing us closer to nature and our innate connection to a Unified Field of love and soul consciousness.

A letter from Sendai

ANNE THOMAS 3/14/2011

published online @ Ode magazine

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend's home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

It's utterly amazingly that where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another."

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend's husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don't. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,


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

Thursday, March 17, 2011


What would St Patrick's day be without Danny Boy being sung or played while touching and awakening the Irish in all of us: Allen L Roland

Here is Keith Jarrett's solo version of "Danny Boy," which was originally an Irish folk song written in 1910. This is a song which has always touched myself and millions of people throughout the world and Jarrett and myself movingly do it justice.

Jarret performs it live in Tokyo, 2002. http://www.jazzonthetube.com/videos/keith-jarrett/danny-boy.html

Allen L Roland records " Danny Boy " in Marin Country ( accompanied by Scott Deturk with Mel Martin on Saxophone / Clarinet ) also in 2002. I dedicate this song to the child within myself who always wanted to sing this song to the world ~ as well as the lost child within others who yearn to express their gift with the world. Click on and enjoy ~

Danny Boy

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. Allen L 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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Wishful thinking is no longer appropriate regarding the nuclear meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant. With yesterday’s startling announcement that the plant may be at level six with seven being a Chernobyl event ~ precautionary measures should be taken : Allen L Roland

Those of us on the West Coast would be wise to increase our intake of potassium iodide over the next few days in light of the increasing severity of the situation at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. "It's clear we are at Level 6, that's to say we're at a level in between what happened at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl," Andre-Claude Lacoste, president of France's nuclear safety authority, told reporters Tuesday.

Today The workers were ordered to leave the facility after the level of radiation at the plant soared to 10 millisievert per hour - above the level considered harmful to human health. Earlier, officials from the nuclear and industrial safety agency said that 70% of fuel rods at the No. 1 reactor had been significantly damaged, as well as 33% of rods at the No. 2 reactor ~ the cores of both reactors are believed to have partially melted, Kyodo news agency said. The meteorological agency said winds near the power plant would blow from the northwest and out into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday. The winds were expected to strengthen in the afternoon, the agency added.

Andrew Pollack wrote yesterday in the New York Times ~ “ As Japan races to avoid a nuclear disaster, some Americans and companies in the United States are scrambling to obtain potassium iodide, a drug that can protect people from radiation-induced thyroid cancer .... Potassium iodide, also known by the chemical symbol KI, is used to saturate the thyroid gland with iodine so that radioactive iodine inhaled or ingested will not be retained by the gland…Congress passed legislation in 2002 requiring the federal government to supply potassium iodide capsules to people living within 20 miles of nuclear power plants in the United States. But the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have not implemented that provision, saying the law allows for alternatives.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/health/16iodide.html

Yesterday President Obama told KDKA-TV of Pittsburgh that experts have assured him that a nuclear release from Japan will dissipate by the time it gets to Hawaii, much less the U.S. mainland but I stopped believing Obama a long time ago. By the way, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt recently joined Obama’s team as a top economic advisor and GE designed the faulty nuclear containment systems that are now breaking down in Japan. So Obama is not about to say anything that could harm his more than cozy relationship with Wall Street and the financial elite ~ the public be damned.

The New York Times reports that GE marketed the Mark 1 boiling water reactors, used in TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi plant,” as cheaper to build than other reactors because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure." The same containment structures that are now breaking down ~ like BP, it’s all about greed, profit and lax oversight ~ and dam the safety concerns!


Contrary to Obama’s vacuous comments ~ "The worst case scenario is ~ the fuel rods fuse together, the temperatures get so hot that they melt together in a radioactive molten mass that bursts through the containment mechanisms,” said nuclear expert Joe Cirincione. "Some of the radioactivity could carry in the atmosphere to the West Coast of the US," added Cirincione, head of anti-nuclear group Ploughshares Fund. He cited the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster to underline how far radioactivity can travel. "The radioactivity spread around the entire northern hemisphere," from the devastated Ukrainian plant, he said..

As for myself, I’m increasing my intake of Miso soup with seaweed (which I love) kelp and low fat yogurt ( which are all high in Iodine ) and hoping for the best.

Allen L Roland


About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist. Dr Roland is also available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations. Allen L 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

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Five Vietnam and one Iraq veteran with PTSD faced their deepest fears and inspired each other to open their hearts, conquer their fears and find themselves in the process: Allen L Roland
The first meeting of the Healing The Wounded Heart Veterans Workshop #5 was held on January 21, 2011 at 11 AM in Alamo, California at the private residence of one of the participants ~ because the VA will still not officially sanction a heart centered approach to working with veterans with PTSD. As such, various veterans’ organizations, foundations and American Legion posts are funding this incredibly important work.
They had never met me but they had been told about me, by their adjustment counselor Sal, and were prepared for an eight week commitment to face their fears and open their hearts in the process. They knew I was a licensed psychotherapist but also a former active duty Naval aviator ~ and that made a big difference in trusting me as their coach for this journey to open their closed hearts and finally come home from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
All of them had many symptoms of PTSD and even TBI but all had the common symptom of a closed heart and the inability to love and receive love ~ quite often because of deep unworthiness issues that originally started in childhood and were reinforced through their military experience. Some of their other symptoms were Trouble falling or staying asleep, nightmares and disturbing dreams, avoidance, emotionally numb, feeling irritable or angry outbursts, intrusive thoughts and memories, being super alert watchful or on guard, fear of intimacy and almost constant emotional pain even to the point of suicide.
A typical Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan Veteran with PTSD had an innocent childhood and somewhat troubled adolescence before they were either drafted or joined the military ~ quite often as their only choice. In the service they either saw or participated in events that reinforced their unworthiness issues and hardened their hearts to the extent that they lost their innocence. When they return home they have difficulty in maintaining loving relationships because of these unworthiness issues and retreat into themselves ~ quite often escaping their aloneness through alcohol, drugs or anti-social behavior. A heart centered approach connects them to their core innocence by opening their hearts and reconnecting to loved ones and thus enabling them to deal with their issues from a place of acceptance and gratitude ~ which obviously starts with themselves. Once they know that love and joy is deepest within them ~ they can better deal with their emotional as well as physical wounds including PTSD because they now want to heal. Band of Brothers #5 generally was no different in that they all wanted to finally come home from Vietnam and Iraq.
I told them that this was an action based workshop and if they did their homework they would reach a place of not only another choice but would open their closed hearts in the process. They would also begin to see through different eyes ~ eyes unclouded by fear, resentment and unworthiness. I also explained through my Cycle Of Life chart how psychic pain will override Joy to the extent that most people have no idea that beneath their deepest pain and aloneness is love, joy and connectedness ~ the Unified Field.
After each session ~ part of their homework was to read each session in my book RADICAL THERAPY / SURRENDER TO LOVE AND HEAL YOURSELF IN SEVEN SESSIONS ( NOT SEVEN YEARS ) which reinforced the previous session with additional exercises and a pertinent story. In essence, I build a safe haven for them to become completely vulnerable and explore and connect with their deepest feelings. My role is that of their coach, versus therapist, who is guiding them to the real coach ~ themselves!
Of course, in that first session I shared my own heart's journey or quest to find a lost and alone little boy within myself who not only wanted to fly, and became a Navy Fighter pilot, but also to love as deeply as I loved my beloved grandfather before I was torn away from him at six years old ~ emotionally shutting down my deepest feelings and became something other than myself in order to survive. We briefly talked about the war and all of them started to briefly share their heart's journey and by the end of two hours ~ they began to feel a sense of commonality and purpose. Their homework was to produce a life chart of the path of their individual heart's journey ~ which they would share with the group over the next two sessions. The purpose of the life chart is to see their life as a quest versus a struggle to find their authentic loving self ~ and begin to see their war experience as part of that journey.
The Life chart is a wonderful vehicle to self acceptance and compassion for themselves ~ for in the process of sharing their life chart with the group and others they are taking a major step of letting people into their self imposed cocoon of aloneness and realizing, perhaps for the first time, that they are capable of being loved and understood. They also inspire each other to take greater risks in revealing themselves which is precisely what happened in Band of brothers #5.
Chuck wrote in his post workshop evaluation that it was the most enjoyable aspect of the sessions ~ “ Life chart was number #1 ~ the group sharing their life experiences and coach Allen doing a great job of keeping us ‘ on-the-field’ and ‘off-the-sidelines’. His book RADICAL THERAPY is an integral part of the solution and was an important tool for all of us. I am grateful for receiving all the insights and benefits and life experiences of all the participants of this workshop.”
Chuck was the first to share his life chart with the group and then they all began to share a childhood picture of themselves as well as share their life charts with the group describing their individual journeys to find love and acceptance as well as themselves. We briefly discussed their war experience but they quickly realized their deeper commonality ~ in that their lives had all been a quest to find meaning and that all of their love relationships had significant meaning regardless of how they turned out. I also helped each one of them find that checkout point in their childhood where they closed their hearts and decided to withhold love from those closest to them.
After sharing their individual life charts, they did the Victim /Accountability exercise in session three ~ where they all had the chance to feel the lightness and joy of being accountable versus the heaviness and sadness of being a victim. Their homework was to take the people they had resentment towards off the hook and to realize that many of them they had deeply loved and were really gifts in their lives.
It was during this exercise that Abraham became the poster boy for Band of Brothers #5 by completely surrendering to his deep seeded anger, rage and body shaking hatred towards his past girlfriend, who left him while he was in Iraq, and then, with my coaching, took total accountability for his deep pain, realizing she could not have been any different than the way she was and that she was gift in his life ~ and immediately burst through his dark tunnel of resentment and anger and then exploded into almost uncontrollable laughter and began weeping in joy. That was it ~ he had emerged from his self imposed cocoon of fear and soon shared with us how everything looked different and that he couldn’t stop smiling which remained the case for the remainder of the sessions. Abraham wrote in his evaluation that this was the major fear he overcame in this workshop ~ “ My being in a cocoon of fear, anger and resentment and finally bursting out of it ~ I’m a different person now, I smile a lot more and everybody has noticed the change.”
Abraham’s obvious joy inspired the whole group to take this all important step in finding their authentic and joyful self. Most of them had resentment issues with parents or ex-loves or wives and their homework was to take them all off the hook and see them instead as gifts on the path of their heart. Once that happened they were ready to finally meet the emotionally lost child within themselves ~ which is precisely what happened in session four.
The fourth session they met the child within by means of a powerful guided image visualization. Every one of them saw that long lost innocent child who told them what they needed to do to fully embrace him in their lives now. Their faces literally changed and became younger as they made that inner connection ~ they were dormant flowers suddenly blooming. I was moved almost to tears to see these Veterans suddenly claim their joy and innocence after years of self doubt and despair.
Here’s some of the comments they heard from that child with the question being ~ What do I need to do to fully embrace you in my life?
Surrender to yourself
Love me
Believe in me
Accept yourself
Is there joy beneath my pain?
Yes! ( that was the answer for all of them )
What’s my next step?
Surrender, go with the flow
Let go, surrender
Surrender, let’s visit
Get out of your cocoon
Open your heart
What’s the most important advice you can give me?
Be yourself
Let down your guard
Be me
Own your joy
Stay with me
Meeting the child within was a game changing event for all of them especially Adrian who wrote in his post workshop evaluation ~ “The most meaningful aspect of the workshop was meeting the inner child and surrendering to love ~ which were two things that I thought might be an illusion ~ silly me! “
Gary also thought it was the most meaningful ~ Discovering that each of us possesses a rare and genuine inner self and that negative and anti-social behavior ( that once troubled and frustrated myself ) is actually the end result of a lifetime of ego protection in reaction to the outside influences of others ~ my fear of opening up to strangers is now gone “
The Fifth session, one week later, was all about gratefulness and thanking the people who have been there for them their whole life ~ with the help of a guided visualization. Many of them had virtually not thanked anyone and certainly not themselves. That was their homework. As they did that their hearts began to fully open because gratefulness is the lifeblood of soul consciousness and is the only antidote for unworthiness.
This exercise really touched Roger who leaped on the homework to fully open his heart and emerge from his cocoon of fear and is still thanking people who have touched him in his life ~ “I learned that my fear has held me in a holding pattern most of my life but I’ve now learned to listen to myself inside ~ that little guy with the happy face.”
By now the Band of Brothers were inspiring each other on their common journey through fear ~ they were beyond the point of no return. Their homework was to thank at least 25 people who had touched them before the next session. We still hadn't dwelled on the war for there was no need to. Their war experience was now a stepping stone versus an obstacle on their path to self healing. They were already healing themselves by taking responsibility for love and sharing their gratefulness with others. Their hearts had opened and they were seeing through different eyes ~ which Abraham and Chuck merrily confirmed each remaining session.
Soon they were at session eight and celebrating the completion of a successful mission to open their hearts and find themselves in the process. The ultimate fire fight as Adrian confirmed is the battle with fear on the inner journey to open the heart and the last step is always the same ~ surrender and let go to the joyful magnificence of yourself and all of them had succeeded.
Doug, the gentle giant, closed our last celebration session ~ with many of the past Band of Brothers attending, but his comments on his post workshop evaluation probably summed up the feelings of band of brothers #5 ~ regarding Did the workshop meet your expectations ?
Doug answered ~ “ Yes, it more than met my expectations ~ it changed my expectations. “
What personal changes have you overcome from this workshop?
Doug answered ~ “My compassion for others is overcoming my fear and mistrust. I have opened my heart and gained an appreciation for myself at the same time ~ I have progressed further in this eight week workshop than I have in 25 years of on and off again private therapy.”
Doug has finally come home from Vietnam and the miracle of heart centered self healing became obvious again for there can be no true healing without the heart ~ which is precisely what happened with Band of Brothers #5. The gift I gave them was myself ~ not being afraid of their pain or anger and totally owning the joy of who I am and what I know and caring enough to not let them settle for less than all of themselves.
Roger thought it was what he enjoyed most about the workshop ~ “ The gift was you, Allen ~ you are so full of life, love and truth. It helped push me to surrender and break down the walls inside of me and find the joyful little boy. “
The beat goes on, the Band of Brothers continues to grow ~ and I, in turn, continue to be deeply moved by the most spiritually satisfying work of my life. I’m also grateful to Sal Udea, LSW with the Concord Vets Center for not only recommending this workshop but preparing these wounded warriors for this life changing heart centered work. And also Almon Bundy, Band of brothers #1, for coordinating post workshop support groups as well as workshop funding.
I can’t wait for Band of Brothers #6
Allen L Roland


About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist. Allen L Roland is also available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations. Allen L 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