Author Archives: Linda AK Thompson

MOT: SLCHG Pilot Project – “Out With the Old In With the New” [1]

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on February 26, 2015 1:04 pm

According to the old saying [native speaking], the traditional idiom, “Out with the old in with the new” is said around new years implying change, a letting go of the past with a natural understanding that what one faces in the current concept at hand has no rational explanation nor reference to belonging or material things. I know and totally get this idiom!

lake-430508_640Transitioning out of the “regulated” helping professions and into a small practice in preparation for retirement, one’s golden oldie years, is an interesting shift. Reflecting upon one’s lifetime career, as I have been doing for the past two years is also an interesting process. I find myself recalling poignant words received from teacher’s throughout my 5 decades of service within the helping professions.

There have been no posts from me concerning trauma counselling and my last two posts: Collaborating and Simply Holding Healing Spaces. Much has transpired for me and I have been listening, consulting and contemplating, quite deeply this past 9 months, which is metaphorically the ideal time-span for delivery and birth of a new life. I did start this article back in September 2014 and have revised it many times, however, I am unable to achieve clarity on the contents, so I believe it is best to simply let it go and move on to my new year, focus, projects and service.

I am trying to find a photo of me from 1965, and as soon as I do I will begin to recall and reflect upon my teacher’s words and my career path, however most importantly, I do want to share with you how I am going to celebrate this professional milestone. It was suggested to me that perhaps, my career story might be an interest post.

Author: Linda AK Thompson, CCC Healing Trauma, Exit + Grief Counsellor
Owner, Matrix of Trauma (© MOT ™): Research, Advocacy, Healing





*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA


Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on June 17, 2014 8:48 am

SLCHG may be a small study, however, it provides a glimpse into the experiences of health care consumers regarding the ‘status quo’ of our health care system and use of collaborative teams in both the private and public health care systems.   In my practice, I have been privy to work in both.  One old controversial example that persists and noticeable at Intake is that candidates expressed reluctance to disclose historic and current use of CAM to their family physicians for fear of judgment, rejection and/or refusal to participate in their care plan, plus minimization of CAM beneficial effects including no discussions on the ‘placebo’ effect or mystical healings.  I searched the net and found a great study on trends in use and attitudes from 1997 to 2006 concerning CAM written by Nadeem Eismail of the Fraser Institute

I witnessed professionals within the ‘traditional, publically funded medical health care system’ resistance to serve informed consenting patients [clients], who are self-directing their healing-to-cure programs utilizing choice, collaborators and blended treatment options.  Some reasons for refusal to collaborate were:

1) Receiving reports via email is a violation of ‘physicians/surgeons’ code of ethics (?),

2) The physician in ‘independent practice’ can refuse to provide publically funded health care to a person, if he does not want to collaborate (?), and

3) The physician does not have to read reports submitted from professionals who operate outside of the publically funded system (?).  This project has a fee schedule and the client pays for this collaborative service.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA


Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on June 4, 2014 3:45 pm

This project [3] spans 4 years [September 2013 to November 2014 or 50 months] and 9 months [18%] of the time-line has lapsed since launched.  The motivating factor was based on client psychotherapeutic needs expressed by the target population: a small sub-group of clients, who despite many years of traditional/publically funded health care treatment, plus concurrent use of privately funded complimentary/alternative medicines/therapies [CAM], continued to struggle and suffer from high degrees of dis-ease or treatment resistant, thwarted trauma responses.   The impact [depth of suffering] upon their overall health/wellness and functional abilities was noteworthy in their activities of daily living [ADL], and familial plus work-related relationships.

The project hypothesis is that the target population, who meet criteria proposed for C-PTSD [1], may benefit from a practical, clinically coordinated and collaborative team approach of healing-to-cure health care design as mentioned in previous articles .  Additionally, the co-investigators are searching for 16 more research control subjects  in order to complete comparative analysis of the selected trauma [research] test instruments administered to the target population for the purposes of the project.  My primary practice role[s] and function[s] remains and continues to focus on engaging [research, advocacy, healing] with heroic survivors who are capable of self-directing their recovery and healing-to-cure programs/journeys.  Being the eternal optimist I am, as evidenced by my own healing-to-cure journey plus 50 years of service delivery in the helping professions [trauma nursing/trauma counselling]; I know my greatest clinical psychotherapeutic skill set is patience with active listening [content analysis] in the depth-of-“it”-all.  I am willing to work creatively with people, who are internally motivated and embarked on healing-to-cure journeys.  They are the experts, no matter what “it” represents at the depth of their own core sense of being.  I am able to stand firm with them, in the now, for I remain anchored by faith, hope and love at my own core.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA


Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on April 17, 2014 10:35 am

Many children survivors struggle in adulthood as they endeavor to recovery/heal from the aftermath effects that manifest in an array of ‘psycho-neuro-immunological’ disorders, i.e. C-PTSD, substance ‘sensitivities’ with personality traits perceived as borderline or borderland [1].  It is time for us to honor the children’s wounds containing stark terror moments bound by speechless terror in the core.

These heroic childhood survivors are stymied across the decades on many levels in various arenas for the fact remains: the leaders [politics] continue to resist and disavow the legitimacy of Judith Herman’s 1992 proposal for the category of C-PTSD [4].  Receiving essential health care services remains is essential care for any deeply inflicted wound upon a naïve innocent and dependent being and the recovery:  mending and healing from deep-seated [primitive] core wounds require the help of empathic others.

Deficient funding is a major money factor that crosses all cultures, socio-political boundaries in lands, developed and undeveloped countries, all over the planet for when it comes to ‘who gets what’ kind of health care service, especially mental health care services – only God knows and money talks.  During my five decade career, I have witnessed major shifts from government run/controlled ‘institutional’ care models with staff in salaried positions into our current 21st Century ‘regulated’ helping professionals care model where private practice and “contractual” funding agreements for all kinds of community ‘care centers’ operations [profit + non-profit] health care services and businesses exist.  Slowly and surely, all the helping professionals will be ‘regulated’ where members operate private practices consumers have coverage for or are willing to pay out-of-pocket for.  Regulated members will receive a ‘health care provider number’ that ought to assure the public the services are bona fide, claimable and within the approved scope/practice that is insured and supervised?

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA


Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on April 9, 2014 12:51 pm

The dance I am referring to is the slow, gentle, titrated releases or dissipations referred to as “the warble” [1] noteworthy during SRT treatment.  Overwhelming trauma response [unprocessed] contained within the clients trauma vortex is simultaneously supported and grounded by the therapist’s ability to hold/self-regulate as the client taps into their innate resources available in their healing vortex.  The ebb + flow of the warble represents energy shifts, movement between the vortices and is a shared experience where both parties are changed by the dance.  Trauma is part of the human condition and in order to help another, helping professionals must first heal themselves.

Survival, integration and reconciliation from traumatic lifetime events [TLE] are the most important relational, adaptive and healing matters that affect connections and the quality life.  Survivors with C-PTSD typically need help learning how to connect, trust, regain a sense of self in a secure, safe therapeutic relations.  The critical ‘missing’ factors noted in a survivor’s existence with C-PTSD secondary to early childhood attachment, neglect and abuse experiences and formation of a core trauma wound.  What do trauma test scores from a healed control group reveal as compared to the client group populations?  Since 1995, I remain a primary investigator for MOT: Research – test instruments [2] and continue to search for, find controls to aid in the understanding of clients with core wounds and suggested criteria of C-PTSD phenomena.

To date, 9 people [7 female/2 males; 5 professionals/4 lay people] met criteria [see below] and were randomized into the Control Group. Within this small group of control subjects, 4/9 [44%] presented with no evidence of a core trauma wound and accompanying C-PTSD phenomena implying healthy growth, development and maturation with an ability to accommodate/modulate [self-regulate] stress and trauma response.  In 1993, the beginning of formulating MOT, my husband and I volunteered and were randomized into the MOT: Control Group.  Since this time, one control has died [natural causes] and I completed my core [medical trauma] healing work in 2004.  There are 51 clients randomized into the Grief Group, 132 into the Childhood Abuse Group, and 44 into the Cultic/Ritual Abuse Group.

The control group is sparse and needs more subjects.  If there are any professionals willing to volunteer for trauma testing and join the control group by answering:

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

SLCHG Pilot Project: Design, Launch, Conflict + Human Factors

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on March 10, 2014 4:21 pm

PROJECT DESIGN:  February 2013 to Launch of November 2013
Project Time Frame:
  November 2013 to November 2017
Candidate Participants:
7 females  – mid-twenties to 50+ [mean 56].  6 Canadian; 1 American
SLCHG-Core Practitioners:  4 – 1 Trauma Counsellor, 1 Naturopath/Chiropractor,
1 Classical Naturopath + 1 Body Therapist/Intuitive Healer
Entry Program
:  Intake, Significant/Traumatic Lifetime Events History, Crisis + Critical . Occasion Stabilization, Medication Review, Symptom Complex [SC].  Graph, Pre-Treatment Assessment , Establishing Collaborating Team + SC Dissipation + Stabilization [able to contain]
Fulcrum Program
: Stabilized, attending, engaged + compliant with collaborating core + local practitioners with ability to decompress/contain/maintain basic  stability/ADL function while processing/integrating trauma memories between treatments sessions
Cure Program : Feels trauma vortex containers released, reconciled with historic TLE,    . majority of traumatic bereavement=forgiveness of self/others done. Working on positive sense of self / and has well enough worldview.  Able to adapt, self-regulate stressors + accommodates in situations, relationship with significant others, contributes @ home + work.                                                                                                                

Transition Program Option: treatment program suspended for an undetermined period of time as participant attends to acute medical issues, critical or crisis life events.                                                                                          

1) Mood Scale [4]
2) Braverman Nature + Deficiency Tests  [3 – pgs. 44-58]
3) Dissociative Experience Scale [DES] [12]
4) C-PTSD Criteria [10] Research Instrument [16]
5) Feeling Faces Inventory [FFI] Grief Work Instrument [14]
6) Draw-A-Core [DAC]: Projective Core Test [1997] – Personal Core Healing Work
7) 5 Symptom Complex Graph [SC Graph] Research Response Log [16]
8) Treatment/Progress Reports + Evaluations

1) Trauma to Healing Vortex Collaborative Case File
2) Literature Reviews [Counselling Connect]
3) MOT: Homeopath Standing Orders:  Trauma-Specific SC Trials/Single Session Use [15]
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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

SLCHG Pilot Project: Debunking Myths of Sunset Clients + Anomalous Experiences

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on February 24, 2014 4:49 pm

Since my last 2 articles relating to the project, I am grateful, pleased to announce that the editor of Counselling Connect created a category for Blog Posts related to trauma counselling.  This will make it easy for readers to find/follow the progress of this research project/field of study.  The focus of this project remains the creation/development of a specialized, blueprint treatment program for posttrauma survivors with anomalous experiences.   Despite completion of effective Contemporary Phase 1–3 traumatic stress treatment programs; they continue to suffer/endure aftermath effects related to anomalies addressed by Herman [4], proposing a category for Complex PTSD [C-PTSD], implying treatment-resistance and labelling: fact, fiction or myth that they are “Sunset Clients” [6].

For background information: personal disclosures, professional development and motivational factors sustaining my interest in this field, readers can refer to previously submitted articles under the title – “The Emerging Field of Psychotraumatology in Canada.”  For the past 25 years, a small sub-group of PTSD survivors have presented with an extreme, severe degree of trauma vortex profiles Herman wrote about.  These heroic survivors have graced my private practice space and we worked hard towards healing goals.  With reservation, I acknowledge, but resist the idea: fact, fiction or myth inherent in the label that some survivors of severe childhood trauma will be ‘sunset clients.’  This term is pessimistic and fatalistic; neither helpful nor hopeful, and all this label does is promote complacency within the professions and helplessness in clients.

Instead, this project provides us with opportunity to create, study and better understand severe core psychological wounds in an active case study format where anomalous experiences are noteworthy, addressed and may debunk the myth that ‘sunset clients’ are doomed and damaged beyond healing-to-cure. These exceptional human beings deserve service from a helpful village of practitioners’ concept, where collaboration occurs and anomalous healing – cure is envisioned.  There is an ancient African proverb from Igbo and Yoruba regions of Nigeria that states, “It takes a village to raise a child:”  For sunset clients [trauma vortex poster children], this proverb was lost during their childhoods and I believe collaborative teams can simulate a good enough, second chance village experience stimulating anomalous healing – cure.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Silver Lining Core Healing Group [SLCHG]: Defining Complex + The Project

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on February 3, 2014 9:54 am

In the last article, I shared my professional wish and impetus to create MOT: Pilot Project: SLCHG utilizing collaborating team approaches [CTA] of care with clients diagnosed with C-PTSD and capable, able to self-directed their healing journeys with their selected core group of practitioners towards cure.  All project participants believed that the sharing of project news and progress was an important contribution to the understanding, treatment and healing knowledge of survivors enduring C-PTSD core wounds.

Before, I share project news and progress; I believe it is important to provide a brief historical psychological review of the word/meaning of  “complex” that Judith Herman proposed be placed in front of the established DSM 3 disorder – PTSD back in 1992 [2].

A complex is a ‘core pattern of many thoughts, emotions, memories, learning, behaviours, feelings, perceptions, wishes, triumphs, bitterness and determinations centering on one aspect of your life that is stored deeply in the unconscious and troubles you’ in accordance to Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis: complex or depth psychology.  Contemporary 21st Century references to an array of affect laden, emotionally charged or state-dependent phenomena commonly used are: Cinderella, Electra, Father, God, Hero, Inferiority, Madonna-whore, Martyr, Oedipus, Napoleon, Superman and Superiority – complexes

SYMPTOM CATEGORIES + DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR C-PTSD [3]: ALTERATIONS was the predominant verb utilized to identify the seven categories or diagnostic criteria set to diagnose C-PTSD during a structured interview [4]. The alterations are:
1. Regulation of Affect + Impulses issues noted by the existence of difficulty with affect regulation plus one of the following: modulation of anger, self-destructive, suicide preoccupation, difficulty modulating sexual involvement and excessive risk taking.
2. Attention or Consciousness issues noted by the existence of amnesia and/or transient dissociative episodes and depersonalization.
3. Self-Perception issues noted by two of the following:  ineffectiveness, permanent damage, guilt and responsibility, shame, nobody can understand and minimizing.
4. Perception of the Perpetrator this item is not required for diagnosis and includes:  adopting distorted beliefs, idealization of the perpetrator and preoccupation with hurting the perpetrator.
5. Relations with Others issues noted with one of the following:  inability to trust, re-victimization and victimizing others.
6. Somatization issues noted by two of the following: digestive system, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary, conversion or sexual symptoms.
7. System of Meaning issues noted by existence of despair and hopelessness or loss of previously sustaining beliefs.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

My Christmas Wish

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on December 20, 2013 10:43 am

Psychotraumatology in Canada

Today is Friday the 13th and there are 12 days before Christmas.  The lyrics in my Christmas song would reveal that I know, at my core, every day, what my true love gives to me.  The classic novella and movie by Charles Dickens  – A Christmas Carol (1843) demonstrates that it is never too late to revisit one’s ways; the past, present and future to change the direction and focus in life.

Sometimes, its a child’s question, like Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter at Christmastime in 1857, that was answered and is now a famous newspaper editorial:  “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”,_Virginia,_there_is_a_Santa_Claus that has further inspired others to build upon that child’s question to create more goodness for others to benefit from.

The fall and winter seasons and traditional family life celebrations; the going “home” ceremonies and rituals of Thanksgiving and Christmas, can be highly charged, intensely emotional and difficult times for heroic survivors of domestic, relational violence – abuses.  Trauma vortex containers and symptom categories form the basis of the diagnostic criteria inherent in Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder [C-PTSD][2][3], which receives little public press.  We are just starting to pay close attention to the military stories of war veterans, who stories hit the National News scene, especially when their death is tragic, i.e. Suicide.  But, what about all those heroic surviving women and children, who contain and endure their own secret war stories that occur behind-closed doors? These are the people who inspire me and my Christmas wish is that our country, our government, perhaps Alberta, will rise to the occasion and establish a C-PTSD Centre to attend and offer hope to cure their war wounds.

I first heard the term sunset clients during my training process towards certification in Self-Regulation Therapy [SRT: 2002-2004] at the CFTRE  My instructor, Dr. E. Josephs referred to one client, I presenting for consultation, as a “sunset client.”  The inference was that our client/therapist relationship would exist until one person’s final sunset – implying demise – death.  This idea is too morbid for this helping professional to accept.  Critical ‘choice points’ require critical thinking and intensive care planning.  We provide this type of care for life-threatening, physical obstructing malignancies [matter], and we ought to provide the same kind of attention for “psychic” obstructing malignancies [mind].

Being the eternal optimist that I am at my core, I struggled/continue to struggle with this “sunset client” concept which implies an open-ended, therapeutic traumatic stress treatment contract for clients presenting with a trauma vortex “core” containers to infamy.  This “till death we do part” is a ridiculous implied condition that is impractical, illogical and not feasible on so many levels, for so many reasons.

This degree of pessimism runs contrary to my core beliefs, moral compass and guiding practice principles established for myself that benefits the client population I serve.  The majority are survivors with C-PTSD with varying degrees of SC profiles.  I am a realist; not a fatalist especially when it comes to the power of faith, hope and love.  I have witnessed miracles cures for both physical and psychic encapsulated malignancies and I want to witness more!

This fall and winter season, a small group of seasoned clients, with 20 – 30 years of therapeutic healing journeys behind them, emerged and I am now face-to-face with the mask of the sunset client.  The field of Psychotraumatology is no longer emerging for the eagles have landed.

There are six, not one, so what is this trauma psychotherapist going to do about that within her small practice reality?

This small group are challenging me with a specific request, primary goal and dream:  final relief, release and freedom or cure from their trauma vortex containers – before death.  They all have endured/relived decades of burden/angst secondary to their C-PTSD diagnosis and unrelenting, destructive and to date, treatment-resistant core, symptom complex [SC].  I refuse to accept or label anyone in this small group of six as sunset clients, and this fact, is the impetus for me to conceptualize, revise the standardized contemporary, traumatic stress treatment program I have adhered since 1995.  During November I drafted the experimental, applied counselling program and the methodology is based upon the presenting and manifesting SC of the client participants – case studies and content analysis.  Each participant requires a highly specialized, individualized, plus collaborative team approach [CTA] model of care to guide their treatment program towards their goal – cure [the same spirit/fight noted in people fighting a battle against cancer].

With the research project proposal drafted, I approached a small group of senior, advanced practitioners I have had the privilege to consult/work with for decades.  I forwarded and they graciously received and willingly reviewed the documents and considered my bid, plight asking for their help, expertise and commitment for the duration of the project – 4 years.  Poof – just like the baseball movie/magic – this project was launched.

I continue to dream and wish for a federally funded, Canadian C-PTSD Centre, however and in the interim, two eagles landed and were launched into the MOT: Silver Linings Core Group Healing [SLCHG], Entry Program and we will all do our best towards the healing cure goal.

Wishing you and yours the best during the holiday season and I look forward to sharing our project news, progress in upcoming articles.

Author:  Dr. Linda AK Thompson, PsyD, PACCC, CCC, FAAETS
Owner, Matrix of Trauma (© MOT ™):  Research, Advocacy, Healing


Courtois, C.A. (1999).  Recollections of Sexual Abuse: treatment principles and guidelines. New York: WW. Norton & Co. Inc.

Herman, J. L. (1992).  Trauma and Recovery: the aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror.   New York:  Basic Books.

Pelcovitz, D.; van der Kolk, B.A.; Roth, S.; Mandel, F.S.; Kaplan, S. + Resick, P.A. (1997).  Development of a Criteria Set and a Structured Interview for Disorders of Extreme Stress [SIDES].  Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10, p.9. Copyright 1997 by the Internationa Society for Truamatic Stress Studies.  Printed with permission pg. 88 in Courtois.

Thompson, L.A.K. (2013 – 2017).  MOT: Pilot Project – Silver Linings Core Group Healing [SLCHG].  An experimental, applied trauma psychotherapy, C-PTSD visionary traumatic stress treatment program.  The formation of collaborating team approaches [CTA] of care with “core” practitioners.  The small group, case studies utilizing content analysis of the six participants seeking “pychic” encapsulated, malignant, trauma-generated, core wound cures.


*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

My Blogoshere Sojourn

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on September 30, 2013 10:14 am

 Emerging Field of Psychotraumatology in Canada

I have returned from a 5 month journey venturing into the Depth Psychology Alliance (DPA); a fruitful endeavor indeed.  The impetus remains inherent in those unbound, existential moments experienced personally within healing moments, and professionally during critical occasions and intimate therapeutic conversational levels, facilitating titrations – the traversing of mystical spaces inherent in the spectrum of the trauma/healing vortices, referred to in previous articles.

Virtually connecting with the innate and immaterial is good medicine for one’s soul for we need good vibrations to release trauma anomaly inherent in Complex PTSD profiles and difficulties with self-regulating stressors and deep-seated triggers – the picking and mining away of one’s survival earned trauma amnesic barriers (TAB), and the re-opening, revisiting of one’s old trauma memories/wounds contained within.

That is one long thoughtful sentence and thoughtfulness is essential for survivors of trauma, especially and essential from one’s helping professionals who will not know what their clients have contained within.  There are similarities; however there are vast differences with unique individual expressions, treatment responses and need for creating community care plans and teams which client’s need to be able to self-direct or as I call it – be the captain of their own healing ship/journey.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA