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Topic: “PTSD and the Holidays: Coping techniques”
(Open to new members)
Suggested Donation: $3.50 per person
AGENDA & Format For Discussion:
1) Welcome to everyone. Overview of the group, and
how we operate. Review of our Safety Guidelines.
2) Each person in the group, if they choose to, can briefly
introduce themselves and what’s brought them to our group.
3) Topic discussion
4) Open group discussion.
5) Donations, and closing “Check-out ”
- In the discussion sections of our meeting respectful cross-talk is encouraged.
- New members are asked to sit back and observe for the 1st half of the meeting in order to see how the group flows, and determine whether or not this group is a good fit for them.
- Prior to your first meeting, we ask all new members to view the “Shaking the Coke bottle” video” OR read the “Applying the Brakes” article. These illustrate our group’s approach to dealing with trauma (and are a prerequisite for participating). Thank you for your consideration!
December’s topic 2017: ‘PTSD & the Holidays: Coping techniques’
Regardless of our religion, culture or family circumstance, the holidays can be a time of great stress for PTSD survivors. Many survivors struggling with hypervigilance find this time of year just too noisy and distressing and want to hide in their beds until spring. Child abuse survivors may find themselves having to face the stress of family gatherings with their abusers, or feeling the extra grief of alienation if estranged. Survivors who have lost loved ones feel the loss especially hard during holidays and celebrations. Survivors who are dealing with divorce & blended new families often must contend with the added pressure of juggling multiple competing family events. Newly separated or divorced parents often struggle with the feelings of grief and loss, and the struggle over ‘who gets the kids’, more keenly at this time of year. First responders are often called upon to take the difficult shifts precisely when everyone else is enjoying family time.
However, the holiday season, regardless of which holidays we celebrate, can also be a time of joy and enrichment for us, if we can just manage to get past the many demands on our nervous system! We can find creative solutions that work for us.
PTSD can also serve to remind us just how precious life can be, and if we utilize our experiences properly we can forgo the commercial trappings of the season and create new personal and family traditions that are more spiritual, meaningful, and sustainable than ones in times past. We can remember to be kinder to our fellow man. We can learn to be kinder and gentler with ourselves! We can tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, even if we’re not the most festive people to be around. Whatever our religion, we are able to create new personal traditions, or hold traditional events in non-traditional times better suited to our needs, if we just give ourselves the space and permission to do so.
In this month’s meeting we will talk about some of the pressures and challenges we normally experience at this time of year, share with one another the creative solutions we’ve used in times past, and brainstorm solutions for existing challenges we’re facing this year.
Meeting Handouts & Resources:
Further Reading (and Videos):
How to Cope with PTSD & the holiday season – Frank Ochberg:
PTSD & Holidays – tips for family members:
Holidays and the 18% PTSD Danger Zone:
Help for the holidays: Ideas for the bereaved:
http://www.giftfromwi… (grief and the holidays)
Cop Talk: Beating the Holiday Blues:
PTSD and the holidays – from Sidran Foundation:
Coping with the effect of PTSD & family holidays:
Loosening the grip of PTSD at the holidays: