Effects of Regenerating Images in Memory (RIM) with
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA): 3 Case Studies
Stephanie Ellis Ecke LPC. LCDC
This Study Explored: How Would 3 Volunteers Who Are Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) Be Impacted with 3 Regenerating Images in Memory (RIM) sessions?
- This project specifically explored whether the RIM process reduces PTSD symptoms in ACA clients
- 3 volunteers with ACA history were selected randomly with an ad in the ACA newsletter.
- Each volunteer received 3 free RIM sessions
- Each volunteer completed 5 pre and post measurements 1) ACE 2) PTSD checklist (PCL-C) 3) Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SAIS) 4) Modified Mini Screen (MMS) that indicates assessment for anxiety, mood or psychotic disorders and 5) Simple Screening Instrument for Alcohol and Other Drugs (SSISA)
- Subjects names were changed for their privacy
We have long known that trauma plays an integral part in addiction. ACA is a self-help twelve-step support group for the purpose of addressing the stress that generally arises in families of alcoholics. The recovery goal is “emotional sobriety” Since ACA’s describe their common problem as PTSD as a result of living with dysfunctional/alcoholic families, emotional sobriety is defined as: A connectedness to ourselves and to others. It is characterized by expressed feelings, trust, mutual respect and an acknowledgment of a higher power.
The RIM process allows root experiences of emotional issues to be located and unlocked. The clients’ body awareness and imagination direct the experience instead of the intellect. Once the root cause is spontaneously identified, it is re-generated into an empowered new neurologically grounded emotional memory.
Joe: Case Study 1
Joe’s goals for the RIM sessions were to 1) sleep better (symptom of PTSD) 2) become better at connecting with others and relationships (A symptom of PTSD)
Results: Joe states that he has noticed that more people are being drawn to him and that he is socially not as anxious and not isolating as much. He also states that sleep is better.
Joe’s scores suggest a significant improvement in quality of life:
- PTSD checklist (PCL) dropped 11 points (National Center for PTSD suggests a 5-10 point change is not by chance and 10-20 point drop is clinically meaningful)
- Modified Mini Screen (MMS) measures whether there’s an indication of a mood, anxiety or psychotic disorder. Joe’s dropped from 13 to 5, which moved him under the cutoff for being positive for a disorder.
- Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SAIS) dropped 18 points reflecting significant change
Elisa: Case Study 2
Goals: 1) feel her feelings fully 2) connect with her feelings and 3) learn how to release emotion appropriately
Results: “I have started noticing spaces of joy I didn’t have before. Very content being with myself. There is hope opening. My sister said, ‘You seem and look happier than I’ve ever seen you this way.’”
- PTSD Screening Tool PCL-C dropped 23 points (suggests a 5-10 point change is not by chance and 10-20 point drop is clinically meaningful). Thus, the decrease of her PTSD symptoms was clinically meaningful.
- Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SAIS) dropped 5 points
- Modified Mini Screen (MMS) measures if there is a mood, anxiety or psychotic disorder. A score of 6 suggests there is a psychiatric disorder present. Elisa’s score dropped from 5 to 1
Samantha: Case Study 3
Goals: 1) To feel at peace about her decision to have no contact with her siblings 2) decrease anxious feelings 3) not think so much and 4) have more fun
Results: “I’m more accepting of experiences, and more open to what God is presenting. I feel more at peace about no contact with my family of origin. I feel less anxious about the situation. I have been having more fun and feeling less guilty about it. I am not thinking as much. I feel more validated and accepted. It was good. I could actually relax. I feel like I can do it all the time.”
- PTSD Screening Checklist PCI – decreased 4 points from 29 to 25. Samantha was the only volunteer who did not meet the criteria for PTSD pre-RIM
- MMS unchanged at 4, which meant there was no anxiety, mood or psychotic disorder prior or after RIM
- Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SAIS) score went from 10 – 11.5. When asked what she thought it meant, she explained that her higher score was because she was more confident in herself and her feelings since RIM sessions. RIM had actually helped her answer the questions more honestly the second time around. (This misrepresentation on pretests is not uncommon with measurement of methods that increase self-awareness; it is identified in the literature as “Response Shift.”)
Read the full report including session content… Effects of RIM on ACA