Center For Brain Mental Health Service

In my review of Center For Brain Mental Health Service on Facebook, I posted:

I’m incredibly grateful to have discovered the Center for Brain, thanks to conducting internet research on PTSD in an effort to help someone I love. That led to Ted and I attending an informative seminar, where we met the wonderful Michael Cohen and his amazing staff. At that point, I felt skeptical and hopeless about our chances of restoring my fiance, whose PTSD stemmed from early childhood trauma (abuse) and military service. But after listening to Mike’s presentation, chatting with him afterwards, and seeing the remarkable changes in my guy after a few sessions, I’m a believer.

Everyone at the Center for Brain cares deeply about their patients — as evidenced by the welcoming atmosphere and the pride they take in their work. I cannot thank Michael and his staff enough for all that they have done for both of us. I am thankful to have discovered neurofeedback and the Center for Brain and highly recommend them to anyone suffering from PTSD and their caretakers.

I’m looking forward to experiencing neurofeedback myself for better creativity and productivity in my work and business. In the meantime, a heartfelt thank you to everyone there for helping someone I love dearly to reclaim his life. You are THE BEST!

Michael Cohen, Director.

In my review of The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, I mentioned someone had recommended the book to me. That person was Michael Cohen of The Center For Brain the evening we attended his free, informational seminar in Jupiter Florida. After his presentation, I told Mike a bit about Ted’s background of horrific child abuse and his combat experiences in the Navy. That’s when Mike recommended Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s book and assured me that neurofeedback would work, along with the caveat that it might be a longer term process, given Ted’s history. Thankfully, Ted remained open to the help and started treatments shortly thereafter. And I went on Amazon.com to order the book at my earliest opportunity. You can read my book review here.

As noted in my Center for Brain review, I cannot recommend them highly enough — especially for people coping with PTSD and those who love and care for them. Without going into detail, it hasn’t been a straight line to transformation since he and I got back together – a la Water Signs – but I can now fully understand the real-life significance of the word “renewal” in the subtitle, because this is has truly been “a story of love and renewal.” I’ve developed more patience and compassion (definitely a good thing!) as I’ve learned what love truly means.

Once I complete some major projects currently in production, I plan to write a nonfiction sequel to Water Signs, which I hope will be helpful for everyone affected by PTSD. Aside from Center For Brain and recovery coach Don Prince (who has been an incredible source of support), the book will also include the spiritual aspect of Ted’s healing journey, thanks to Ima Sumac Watkins and DC Love, whose insights helped me more than I can ever express.

If you live in Florida –  or even outside of the state but are willing to travel to gain relief from a multitude of mental/brain issues, check out Center For Brain.com. And discover for yourself that renewal and healing are truly possible, even for the worst cases of trauma.

 

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Book Review of ‘The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma’

My book review of The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is now posted on Amazon.com. It seems fitting to publish it during PTSD Awareness Month, now with the perspective of someone with first-hand experience in dealing with this problem in a loved one. In my free time, I’ve spent the past few months educating myself and exploring every valid treatment option.

While some of the case studies Dr. van der Kolk includes in the book are difficult to read (horrible child abuse in every possible form), they also prove that with the right approach, even the worst experiences can be overcome. He also offers an understandable description/distinction between traumatic memory and normal memory — helpful in recognizing why it’s not possible for people with PTSD to simply “get over it” without the proper treatment (which usually means a combination of therapies).

In their justifiable reaction to helicopter parenting, coddling, and the “everybody wins a trophy” nonsense, I find that some (not all) conservatives seem to dismiss the real problem of PTSD caused by early childhood trauma and the fact that actual child abuse does exist. Now I cringe when I see memes about how being beaten with a belt as a child helped someone grow into a responsible adult.

When I reunited with my guy after two decades, I had no idea that his background included horrific abuse from both parents (physical beatings, emotional torture, and ZERO affection), compounded by subsequent combat experience in the Navy. I met him right after his service in 1992 and after reading this book, I understand why those memories were suppressed 26 years ago.

After multiple emotional conversations with him, I find myself thanking God even more for my upbringing in a loving, stable home. At first, I even felt a twinge of guilt for being blessed with two good parents and four siblings. Home was a haven for me — not a place I feared to return to after school. But his entire childhood and adolescence was rooted in fear.

Sure, my parents disciplined and raised my brothers, sister, and me to be responsible, productive people. But it didn’t involve prolonged beatings with objects like bats and belts. That’s something I wish more conservatives and people in general would acknowledge.

Read my Amazon review here.

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Thank you Don Prince and The 11th Hour Trauma Retreat

In early 2016, I agreed to ghostwrite a book for a retired fire lieutenant, which became a Writestream Publishing LLC release on May 31, 2016. Entitled, To Guard My Every Neighbor: Inside the Fire by Lieutenant Keith Schneider, part of the book’s purpose was to call attention to the problem of PTSD in first responders. Working closely with Keith and gaining a full understanding of the life of a firefighter (along with police, paramedics and 911 call center employees) opened my eyes. Although I knew about PTSD in military veterans, I had no idea that those who serve their local communities in uniform also suffered from it.

Through my efforts to promote the book, I made a contact with a man named Don Prince, via the HOW Foundation of South Florida, with whom one of my best friends, Theresa Bonnie, had a close contact: Executive Director Sarah Crane. Sarah connected me with Don, whose information I passed along to Keith as a resource and possible partner in book promotion.

As much as I love what I do, which offers me the convenience of working from home, at times it feels as if I’m in a vacuum — social media, Skype and other methods of communication aside. I know I am on purpose and never doubt that I’m on the right path, but it’s always nice to receive what we call in Tasha Chen’s community, “evidence.”

Yesterday, I received the best possible evidence when Don Prince contacted me “out of the blue” with this welcome message:

I wanted to share with you that because of your introduction to Keith he referred my name and number to a firefighter who was struggling and needed help up in his area. We were able to get him into a trauma retreat a few weeks ago and he had an amazing transformation and experience in those five days… You never know how you are able to someone just by a simple introduction.

I replied:

Don, thank you for letting me know! I believe seemingly small gestures can lead to amazing outcomes, and this is another wonderful example of that. I am so happy for the firefighter and grateful to you for your dedication in assisting him and others who need it!

To which he responded with an answer that made my day:

It is an amazing feeling… to be honest because of all this you probably saved his life in the big picture. I don’t think he was going to hold on much longer.

We never know what a seemingly small action can lead to. In this case, I followed a lead with the intention to promote a book and raise awareness about a critical issue for first responders…and received the best possible feedback on my work.

The man in question who needed help is now creating magnificent photos like this one to help with his healing.

Here’s a bit about Don Prince from his bio on the 11th Hour Retreat website:

Don is a person in long term recovery from many years of an alcohol addiction. He is an International Master of Addiction Coaching (IMAC) and a Nationally Certified Advanced Clinical Intervention Professional (NCACIP). He is the father of two amazing children, a husband and has an unparalleled passion for helping others to achieve their dreams and goals in order to excel in life and prosper.

He has been instrumental in opening a select few recovery related businesses and organizations, most recently co-founding the 11th Hour Retreat, in addition to co-founding a first responder specific addiction treatment facility that was exclusive to public safety professionals, opened a hair salon in Delray Beach, Florida which hired stylists in recovery and gave them a new start in a safe working environment and started a recovery coaching and intervention practice that has grown to reach those in need from coast to coast.

And the mission of The 11th Hour Trauma Retreat:

The 11th Hour Trauma Retreat is an intensive PTSD/Trauma resolution therapy program specifically designed to help first responders, veterans and their families who have been affected by trauma.

The 11th Hour program was developed to jumpstart the healing process so that those suffering from trauma can reclaim their lives, continue in their careers, and most importantly, reconnect with families and loved ones without feeling isolation or shame. Feel free to browse around the site and explore the therapy services that the 11th hour offers.

For more information, visit their website: www.11thHourRetreat.org. Contact them here.

Thank you, first to Keith, for his courage in sharing his own personal journey via his book, To Guard My Every Neighbor: Inside the Fire, and to Don, for all of his work on behalf of first responders, veterans and their families dealing with the effects of PTSD. I’m also grateful to Don for letting me know about this man’s successful treatment. I don’t know who he is, and most likely never will, but I’m grateful he is now on the path to recovery and that one simple gesture led to an “amazing transformation.” It’s the best evidence of all.

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