Archive for November, 2012

Connecting with Nature

Another way to seek meaning and purpose is to connect with nature. Eitner (2001) president of the Masters Group and a Reiki master has used and taught various methods to achieve advanced states of consciousness that shift and change old trauma-bound patterns, fears,and defenses. She had found that healing trauma and related negative addictive behaviour patterns can be done effectively in nature. Project Nature Connect, also called the natural systems thinking process or reconnecting with nature, provides safe, easy, and supportive experiences to restore the senses wounded by traumatic experiences. Through the use of these experiences, persons who have been traumatized can become part of and build connections to the web of life or supportive natural community. Project Nature Connect, in a series of interactions experienced in nature, restores these connections and senses to their natural state. The exercises she uses in her work emphasize natural attractions, positive feelings and appreciation building a framework for you as a survivor to become connected to what is specifically positive and supportive for you.

Project Nature Connect is  – Taken from the PTSD Workbook


Your Real Self

Masterson(1998) has proposed several characteristics that describe a real self. After each of the characteristics that are listed below, write a short description of how you meet this capacity now and what you might do to fulfill it even further.

1. I have the capacity to experience deeply a wide range of feelings including joy, and excitement in a spontaneous way.


2. I have the capacity to expect that I will get the things to which I am appropriately entitled.


3. I have the capacity to be assertive in expressing my wishes, dreams, and goals once I have identified those that are appropriate to my life.


4. I have a good sense of self – esteem because I have coped with my traumatic experiences in a positive, creative way.



5. I am able to soothe my own feelings, even when they are painful, without wallowing in misery.



6. I am able to make and stick with commitments, in spite of obstacles and setbacks.


7. I am able to be creative in seeking new ways to solve my problems.


8. I am able to have intimate relationships with others without being overcome with anxiety or if anxiety comes up, I have the ability to self soothe.


9. I have the capacity to be alone with myself without feeling abandoned or despairing without having to fill up with my life with meaningless activity or bad relationships.


10. I have a core self that persists through time and I am aware of that core and who I am.


11. I have the capacity to develop or maintain the other capacities listed above.


What are the blessings you now have in your life? Can you identify any? You may have more than you imagine. Do you have children, peace of mind, enough food on your plate at night, a job, physical relief, understanding of your symptoms, safety in all aspects, prosperity, or other gifts. Do you have the respect of others for your survival and strong spirit? Do you have spirituality, the absence of fear, and an intimate relationship? All of these things and others are blessings.

Try to write down any blessings you can name.


One major characteristic of persons who heal most is their ability to be resilient. What does this mean?  The following checklist contains numerous characteristics that combine to form resilience.

  • I have a good self – concept
  • I have good self-esteem
  • I am sensitive to others needs
  • I am generally co-operative with others
  • I am socially responsive
  • I have a good sense of humour
  • I am able to postpone getting my needs met ( I can delay gratification)
  • I am generally flexible
  • I can control my impulses when I need to do so.
  • I believe in the future and plan for it.
  • I have a good support system
  • I recognize that I have many opportunities in life available to me.
  • I respect individual human beings.
  • I respect appropriate authority
  • I am able to look for more than one solution to a problem.
  • I am able to plan ahead.
  • I have hobbies and interests beyond my traumas.
  • I have a positive view of life and see life’s joy’s (as well as sorrows)
  • I can problem solve and have a strategy which I use.
  • I have a sense of spirituality.
  • I celebrate myself regularly.
  • I celebrate others regularly.
  • I believe that I have some level of control over myself and others.
  • I would rather take action than wait for something to happen to me.
  • I am able to find meaning even in bad things.
  • I am someone others like and love.
  • I am able to find someone to help me when I need it.
  • I can ask questions in a creative way.
  • I have a conscience that allows me to see my own goodness.
  • I have a “knowing” about things that happen to and around me.
  • I can disengage and separate from others if they are not good for me.
  • I can attach to others and connect.

How many of these traits were you able to check. If you find that you can still check only a few, you may want to build your resilience, you need to monitor and observe how you interact with the world. See just when and how you use humour. When you are presented with a problem, try to come up with at least two solutions, and then weigh  the pros and cons until you can make an appropriate choice between the solutions. You may want to try new hobbies or activities to broaden yourself. You also may want to work out your spiritual side to a greater  or become connected with nature.

Taken from The PTSD Workbook