Healing Victims of Abuse and Rape
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Self-Defense
Working through aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) using self-defense can be helpful to many survivors of violence find new joy in life. Consideration of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is essential during the self-defense training process, especially when working with survivors of sexual assault. Men, too, have experienced healing factors offered through scenario based training and workshops.
Fight Back ETX programs offers students a journey toward healing that provides a reward for overcoming fear of helplessness, the development of options, and more freedom to find joy in life. The experiences offered through the women’s basic self-defense course allow students with past trauma to working with fear by changing fear into positive energy. Their experiences can become a “healing multiplier” when working with therapists.
This programs is a support designed program that emphasizes and tailors self-defense courses to enhance a survivor’s psychological healing process. Our Fight Back ETX instructors work closely with experienced counselors on how to properly address different aspects of PTSD in a training environment. Working with the rape trauma syndrome is an important aspect of training women in self-defense commonly overlooked in traditional self-defense classes. There are unique dynamics involved in teaching women fighting skills revolving around prior sexual violation.
An untrained instructor can severely injure a survivor psychologically and emotionally. Many women who take the course are survivors of sexual assault, molestation, incest, domestic violence, and/or stalking. Our instructors are sensitive to the feelings and past histories of survivors and their experiences of trauma.
The Fight Back ETX system is more than just “punching and kicking.” The program sensitively addresses the emotions and personal issues related to past abuses and assaults that often surface when addressing the topics of sexual assault, abuse, and stalking during the course. ETKM’s system of Fight Back ETX can assist women to work through prior pain, phobias, fear, and terror of being harmed again. During the course, if a student who experiences a flashback or “breakdown”, she is assisted in refocusing and finding empowerment through her female instructor’s role modeling and coaching in each scenario. We work closely with licensed and experienced trauma counselors to know how to properly approach these situations. Survivors come away from the course feeling victorious and overcoming feelings of victimization.
Survivors of sexual assault who become graduates of the program while receiving concurrent therapy commonly see amazing results in healing. This is an internal phenomenon occurring within each survivor. Instructors are not therapists, but the intense healing occurs because the assault and abuse that traumatizes a woman mentally, physically, and emotionally. While therapy usually concentrates on mental and emotional methods of healing, the overall breakthroughs in the healing process may be accelerated from the course because students physically deal with their fears in a psycho-dramatic way created from the scenarios.
An important factor addressed in the course is overcoming the natural inhibitions of hurting another person. For many people this can be difficult even in order to protect one’s self. This process occurs at many levels within the course structure, but one of the more powerful methods is the benefit from the supportive small group environment. Women bond and support one another in a safe environment. The instructor team models positive male and female relationship while showing women it is OK to protect themselves even if it means causing injury to another person trying to cause harm first. Graduates who have had to defend themselves reported they could hear their classmates cheering for them as they fought back and the group support they received in class giving additional courage and strength to defeat a real assailant.
Prospective students in therapy are always recommended to consult with their therapist before taking the course. We work along side the counselors at Solace Counseling and Anxiety Center and can refer and students that need their services. Several psychologists and counselors have taken our courses and have found them to very beneficial as well as practical. This program effectively trains women mentally, physically, and emotionally in a positive and empowering way.