We are looking for volunteers to help us with a study exploring the relationship between personality, bad dreams and life events. The study is specifically interested in identifying whether particular personality variables affect nightmare content and frequency following traumatic events.
If you wish to take part, your participation will take approximately 30 minutes, during which time you will fill in a series of online questionnaires available here:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=JnPA2xZtC04AARRzQqtaYw_3d_3d
Your data will be kept confidential and securely stored, with only a number attached to each participant, and therefore it will not be possible to link any set of data with any individual. All information collected for the project will be destroyed when no longer needed. Taking part in this study is completely voluntary; you may withdraw at any time without having to give any reason. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have about this study at any point.
The survey is completely anonymous, so please do not write your name anywhere on the questionnaire. The findings of the study will be clear by March 2008. If you would like to be forwarded a copy of a summary of these findings, please email one of the student researchers and one will be sent to you.
This project has been reviewed, according to procedures specified by the University of Reading Research Ethics Committee, and allowed to proceed.
Thank you for your help.
Celeste, Ruth and Tim
Dr T.I. Williams
Phone: 0118 931 5800 (clinic)
Celeste Alexander-Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Crocker: email@example.com
[Hello I am Celeste, new to this community. When I was looking for a group to help with my own recovery and couldn't find anything I helped start one with the help of a doctor I met at one of the progams I attended, which has now become BirdSong. We are a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, free-thinking organization created by and for Women with a history of incest &/or related childhood trauma that holds weekly, facilitated, peer-empowerment groups in NYC's upper East Side in an atmosphere cushioned by trust and safety.]
Hello, Birdsong Ladies!
We here at Birdsong want to take a brief moment to wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season!
As many of you know this is a very exciting time for our organization as we are finishing our certifications in Albany and are readying ourselves to begin fundraising!! In addition, we are taking this as an opportunity to announce some very exciting changes in the format of our weekly meetings. ( please click here read more about our December Meeting Schedule and TopicsCollapse )
When dealing with trauma recovery, one of the most commonly heard words is "association" - but what does it mean? As humans, we are experiential learners - which means we learn by doing or seeing. When we do something or see something done, we connect (or associate) the result of that action with the action itself. So when we're learning how to ride a bike, we learn which movements keep us on the bike and which movements make us unbalanced and fall off the bike.
Keeping with the bike-riding analogy, the movements that we learn do not keep us on the bike, those which make us fall, we will associate with the pain of falling off a bike. So, in our minds, doing those things which might make us fall means that we will feel pain. We learn very quickly what *not* to do when we want to ride a bike. Associations work the same way when we are in an abusive situation.
In an abusive situation, whether it be short term (being attacked, raped, or assaulted) or long term (living in an abusive household or relationship), we learn to associate certain things with being hurt. For many of us, we feel that we weren't vigilant enough to stop our abuser/rapist... we associate not being vigilant with being hurt. So, to prevent ourselves from being hurt again, we can end up becoming hypervigilant.
But there are many complex subtleties to association. For some of us, this might mean we develop specific triggers or fears which directly relate to our abuse. For many of us, even talking about what we've survived can be very difficult, as we associate the consequences our abusers took out on us with breaking the silence. But it can also mean we suddenly have a fear of being in a car, or a fear of children, or even a fear of taking the last cookie out of a package. Associations can also lead us into behavioural patterns - acting a certain way all the time because it was something that *didn't* get us hurt - like being soft-spoken or agreeable.
Because we have associated aspects of our abuse to the action which preceded the abuse, we can carry long-lasting effects with us for years. Oftentimes, we will not even realize there is an association that lies at the heart of some of our biggest fears or strongest reactions. It can take a long time before we realize where we picked up an association between an action and a result.
The best way to break those associations is to create a new association in its place. Though it can take some time before a new association can be made, the best thing we can do is to create a situation in which we are safe, so that we can see that though one action used to mean danger, it now doesn't mean danger at all. After several repetitions, the negative association can be replaced.
So the questions are:
- Do you have associations leftover from the abuse you survived?
- Which associations are the strongest or hardest to overcome?
- How have you been able to break those associations?
- If you could pick one association that you would like to focus on re-writing, which would it be?
Last night I had an appointment with my doctor. She said I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She's been monitoring my progress on Celexa, and now put me on another medication for my blood pressure. I have to find a psychologist near my office, so I can get there during a break period during the week. The Celexa has been working great for me. It's just a drag having the disorder being official now. As bad as that sounds I've made a lot of progress, so there is hope. Of course there are others who have gone through worse than myself.
I hope we can all find peace.