Friday, April 26, 2013

Healing the Heartbreak of Newtown

The tragedy in Newtown has received tremendous media attention and has fueled heated debate about gun control and access to mental health services. At the same time, a dedicated group has been quietly providing effective relief and healing to those directly affected by the shootings.

The Newtown Trauma Relief Collaboration Project, led by Nick Ortner and Lori Leyden, was conceived to demonstrate and implement a comprehensive response to a local disaster, involving people and organizations at every level of the Newtown community. Its primary treatment modality has been Energy Psychology tapping (EFT), so it has put the claims of EFT practitioners to a serious test. Groups that come into disaster areas to provide therapeutic help have been notorious for offering services that are ineffective or even harmful, wasting invaluable energy, trust, and goodwill while leaving disappointment and a sense of hopelessness in their wake.

So far, the Newtown Project has served more than 200 traumatized individuals. In these documented sessions, every individual treated has experienced a decrease in self-reported stress levels. In the case of more than 30 first responders, parents who lost children, and parents whose children survived, significant trauma was cleared in only one to three sessions -- including intrusive memories, overwhelm, extreme emotional pain and hyper-arousal related to being present at Sandy Hook Elementary School on the day of the event.

As fate would have it, Nick Ortner, one of the most prominent leaders in the Energy Psychology field, lives in Newtown, and his mother is a psychologist at a nearby elementary school. They joined forces with the community leadership and formed the Newtown Project, along with Lori Leyden, whose disaster relief efforts with orphaned children in Rwanda through Project Light have held up to research scrutiny. The Newtown Project has trained and carefully supervised 24 volunteers in using EFT in the aftermath of the community's trauma. Donna's Daily Energy Medicine Routine is, by the way, a core element of the training these volunteers receive.

Nick's new book introducing people to Energy Psychology, The Tapping Solution, was released earlier this month. David and Donna, who hold Nick in high esteem, commented that the book provides "crystal-clear instruction on how to change the patterns of thought and behavior that hold you back, how to improve your relationships and your success in the endeavors that matter to you, and how to live a healthier, happier, more prosperous life." David has also had the honor of serving as a consultant to the Newtown Project since its inception.

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