How What Happens in Las Vegas Stays in Las Vegas – And we like it that way!

vet helping vet lo res

(by Suzanne Connolly, LCSW)

A Vietnam Veteran Takes Tapping to the Masses

A van cruises down the brightly lit-up Las Vegas street. The van is commandeered through Las Vegas traffic by a Vietnam veteran who attended the ACEP sponsored Veteran to Veteran Peer Training last September. He is on his way to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting that he leads, and the meeting has just moved from its former meeting place to a VA Hospital. It will be his first night in the new location. Under the bright lights, he spots a man who looks like he might need a friendly face and a kind word. The veteran finds a place to park, pulls over and brings some kindness into the man’s life. He also leaves him, as he always does, with a basic Thought Field Therapy (TFT) tapping sequence and an invitation to join a meeting some time in the future. “I always have a stack of handouts in my van”, he tells the group. “I hand them out all the time.”

This man is one of three veterans from last year’s training who repeated our training this April. The eighteen other attendees attending the 2017, ACEP sponsored training, listen in awe as this veteran tells us how he is enthusiastically spreading the word about TFT on the streets of Vegas and among his colleagues. He shares that he himself taps for pain on a daily basis and is no longer reliant on pain medication. He’s helped many other veterans deal with their pain by tapping.

Veteran to Veteran Peer Support Program

 Before I go into another veteran’s story, let me tell you just a bit about the training I’ve been referring to. The Veteran to Veteran Project recruited leaders in the Las Vegas veteran community who have an ongoing helping relationship with veterans experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress.

In 2016, leaders and other participating veterans went through an intensive 2-day training on using an energy psychology self-help method (Thought Field Therapy) for reducing PTS symptoms. Our objective is to have these veterans, in turn, reach out to other veterans to teach them how to reduce their symptoms. This model has been used very effectively for many years around the globe, in many different situations.

In April 2017, Dr. Kristin Miller, Amy Frost and myself returned to teach TFT to a group of twenty. The group was composed of veterans, various leaders in the Las Vegas veteran community, and first responders. This was the third and final trip of the Veterans to Veterans project sponsored by ACEP.

The first story in this article and the one that follows reminded us that the efforts of our last two trips have really paid off and that the work we began here in Las Vegas two years ago has really stayed in Las Vegas and keeps on giving.

Fire-Woman on Fire

An attendee at the 2017 Veteran to Veteran peer training, this veteran serves as a social worker at a fire department in Las Vegas. During the training, she was on fire about energy psychology. She caught on fast, asked lots of questions and was eager to learn more. But nothing prepared us for what happened next. The day after certificates had been passed out and the two-day training concluded, we received a text: “Be here at the fire dept. this Wednesday morning – 8 am. We are having a meeting – you need to be here.”

We walked into the fire department early Wednesday morning, not knowing what to expect. Some fire fighters were already there, drinking coffee and eating doughnuts. As others straggled in, the large meeting room soon filled up. Our Fire Woman really was on fire. She distributed handouts on tapping that she had prepared herself, and, as we were filled with curiosity, she talked enthusiastically about tapping to her fellow fire personnel. She then asked us to do a demonstration. As if this were not enough, she had also prepared a PowerPoint presentation! She told us that the next week she would be training the group in first-aid tapping.

We take her at her word. Wouldn’t you?

We are reassured and heart warmed to know that the work we began here in Las Vegas, stayed in Las Vegas and is carried out on a daily basis by some of our trainees, long after we leave.

If you would like more information on the Veteran to Veteran Peer Support Program, please contact any one of our team members: Suzanne Connolly, LCSW smc@suzanneconnolly.com, Kristin Miller, PhD krisjohnmill@gmail.com, or Amy Frost, amy@amyfrost.com

 

Suzanne Connolly, LCSW, LMFT, has trained over 2,000 people worldwide to use TFT and to integrate TFT in clinical settings. Her presentation venues include the United States, Rwanda, Israel and Kuwait. (www.tappingtft.com)

Comments

  1. Kristin Miller says:

    This was an amazing project, bringing a great set of skills to the Las Vegas Community to help manage both stress and post truama stress. It truly was a gift being to be on this team. I hope that ACEP continues to offer Humanitarian assistance to our Veteran Community.

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