MaryAnn P. McDonald M.S.
September 15, 2016 Revised February 13, 2017
This study explored whether four Regenerating Images in Memory (RIM) sessions lessened lingering effects of traumatic stress experienced long ago. The six criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR 2000) were used as a measure of the severity of traumatic stress symptoms participants experienced pre and post RIM. McDonald did not use the criteria to diagnosis a clinical condition, but as an indicator of changes.
Results of the pre and post surveys strongly suggest that the RIM approach may be highly effective in providing relief of the symptoms of traumatic stress in women whose trauma experiences are years or decades old. Of the PTSD traumatic stress symptoms, the greatest decrease showed up in the symptoms of 1) re-experiencing the trauma and 2) numbing and avoidance Some reduction in hyper-arousal also was demonstrated. The participants reported that the RIM sessions improved their self-awareness and feelings of empowerment while reducing the negative influence of traumatic experiences on their lives.
All four women identified multiple traumas and resonated with at least some of the symptoms common to traumatic stress. All four disclosed at least one sexual trauma (see full study for details). Grief over the loss of a parent, sibling, child or fetus weighed heavily on each of them. Two mentioned car accidents. Divorce court significantly affected two of them, one felt serious periodic religious persecution, and one felt the effects of temporary abandonment.
It is generally believed that the younger a person is in experiencing their first significant trauma, the more likely they are to experience post traumatic stress with later trauma, especially if the childhood included sexual abuse. All four women in this study experienced a childhood trauma–three had experienced sexual abuse by the time they were four. The fourth woman experienced traumatic grief when she was nine. Judging from their ages at their first traumatic experience, these women’s early experiences likely put them at higher risk for post traumatic stress responses incurred from later traumas.
The difference in pre and post scores found that all participants experienced a decrease or elimination in traumatic stress symptoms. All benefited and express their interest in experiencing more RIM. Overall, the reductions in traumatic stress symptoms to the RIM process seem particularly remarkable and very encouraging, especially as the results are based on no more than six hours over the course of four sessions spent with each participant.
Read the full report and the women’s interesting sessions… McDonald Masters Project 13 FEB 17 mpm