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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Content Notes for "A Healing Force"
Here are the content notes for "A Healing Force."

"Music is a healing force – all living spirits sing."
-- Joanna Shenandoah, Oneida composer

Upsetting events can cause traumatic stress, which may lead to a spectrum of effects ranging from acute stress reaction (a normal response that fades after a few days) through acute stress disorder (a "stuck" crisis state that lasts up to a month), PTSD (a "stuck" crisis state lasting more than one month), to PDSD (a "stuck" crisis state involving repeated traumatic experiences over time). This spectrum of conditions is fundamentally a failure of processing that happens inside the brain. When the mind cannot file traumatic memories properly, then they don't integrate into experience, which disrupts the ability to recognize context. Some new therapies focus on the body as a way to "unstick" those memories and thus heal the mind. There are ways to cope with traumatic stress or live with someone who has it.

Acute stress reaction is a normal response to an abnormal event. Most people will freak out or freeze up for a few days, then gradually recover. Know the signs of it. The treatment typically consists of common sense comforts. The most important point is to listen if someone wants to talk about what happened, but don't pressure them to do so. Acute Stress Disorder is a mental injury, with distressing symptoms beyond the usual. It may or may not get better; acute stress can lead to chronic PTSD. People with acute stress may want help, but this is often difficult to get in local-America, which prefers to wait for emergencies to treat mental injury or illness. Terramagne-America sensibly offers help as soon as people experience distress beyond their ability to cope with it. Over time, that education teaches them how to handle harder things on their own, making them more resilient, and the availability of support makes them more assured.

Nightmares are among the common symptoms after a trauma. They don't mean you're going crazy or that you're weak; they're a normal (if uncomfortable) part of the healing process. Kenzie just feels safe enough now, and his body is past the initial crisis, that his mind can start dealing with all the freakout-worthy crap that happened to him. Learn how to stop having nightmares.

Among tribal people, dreams (and nightmares) hold great importance. Native Americans routinely talk about their dreams, especially over breakfast when each family member shares what they dreamed last night. This encourages both intrapersonal awareness of the mind and interpersonal connections among the group. The attunement can even increase the chance of shared dreams. If a dream seems especially powerful or confusing, the dreamer may describe it to a medicine person for interpretation; dreamwork is part of the curriculum of shamanic training in most tribes. There are ceremonies for communal sharing of dreams, too. While sharing dreams is generally discouraged in mainstream America, some people still recommend it.

Fireweed, dandelion, chickweed, Holboell's rockcress, meadow salsify, and water speedwell are all edible plants found in Montana. Thimbleberry is a native fruit. Historically, people would gather whatever was in season to eat, and many tribes in Terramagne-America are trying to return to their traditional foodways.

Salad Palace is a healthy fast food chain in T-America. They serve a wide variety of vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, and carnivore salads. They also do rolls and sandwiches with things like tuna salad, turkey salad, or egg salad. Desserts are variations on fruit salad.

Mesclun is a mix of various salad leaves. It can be sweet and mild, or include spicy and bitter flavors.

California squirrels include several species of which one is the black-and-tan Douglas squirrel. They belong to the traditional diet in many tribes. Squirrels can symbolize socialization, messages, and the future.

Torn Heart is a T-American coming-of-age book about a two-spirit boy who feels caught between two worlds and between two genders. They Dream Tomorrow is a teen team book about reservation youth coming together because they are all having dreams about current problems and how the future could unfold.

Read about the Algonquin language or Anishinàbemiwin.

After an injury, the body progresses through stages of healing. Kenzie is at the stage where he can do light work and gentle stretching to regain his stamina and flexibility. It doesn't hurt all the time, only if he pushes himself too hard, but he still has shorter limits on what he can do now compared to before the assault. It's important to ease back into activity gradually. A good approach is to do something active, do something quiet, and alternate like that through the day.

This is a Native American hand broom made of horse hair and broom corn. Here is a Native American round straw broom. This Navajo ceremonial broom has a painted handle and dyed bristles. In T-America, ceremonial brooms are often dyed with sacred red ochre.

Knee injuries come in various types, because it's a complex joint with plenty of pieces that can suffer damage. If you can't put weight on that leg, it's a serious warning sign, and you should seek expert care if at all possible. The first aid for all types of knee injuries is similar, and by itself will heal minor ones; for more serious injuries, the same methods protect the joint on the way to a doctor.

Meltdowns are associated with autism, but in fact, anyone can have them and they often occur due to due to overload or in times of transition. They just might look different between a neurovariant adult and a neurotypical adult. A meltdown is simply what happens when stressors exceed coping skills, like a fuse blowing in a circuit breaker. Dealing with strong emotions is part of raising healthy kids. Understand how to help someone having a meltdown and survive one of your own.

N0. Hold extended flat right hand, back up, in front of body, fingers pointing to left and front; swing the hand to right and front while turning hand so that thumb is up and back downwards, then return to first position.

TALK. A "little talk", or "one person talking to another", is expressed as follows: with nail of right index pressing against thumb, move hand a trifle to front and snap the index straight forward (these words "are thrown out"). Repeat motion. For a council to "speak at length", hold right flat hand, back down, in front of mouth, and move hand outward a few inches; repeating the motion.

When Ben uses the signs for "no" and "speak at length," he means "Don't make a big deal out of this" rather than "Don't talk at all."

Drums of all kinds hold great importance in tribal cultures. Among these, a pow wow drum is a big drum with a loud deep voice that is played in unison by several drummers. "The Drum" means both the musical instrument and its players, most often the leading set if several are participating. Here are lessons for making and playing a free-skin drum stretched between the players' hands. For a simpler instrument, a bucket drum is easy to learn or teach. This is what happens when you put a bunch of bored Indians in a room with something they can hit.

"Spirit Bear Song" performed by Medicine Wheel Spirit Singers
(Originally recorded by Red Shadow Singers)
(Lead) Ya Ha Way Ya
Ya Ha Way Ya
Ya Way A Hay Ya

(All) Repeat above
Ya Way A Hay
Ya Way Ya Way Oh Hay Ya
Ya Way Oh Hay Ya Way Ya Way Oh Hay Ya
Ma ni tou ma kwa caa-bee-naa-go-zit
(The spirit bear is coming)
Ma ni tou ma kwa peesh-a-way-na-mishi-nam (The spirit bear is coming to love us.)

Native American music in general and Plains Indian singing in particular make use of vocables. They can be loud yelps or soft murmurs, depending on the song. These often go along with pow wow drumming.

Mental therapy can help people sort out what's bothering them. Good therapy addresses the main issues that people tend to have, with attention to personal details. Healthy people can also get mental wellness counseling to improve their mental health, coping skills, and self-care. Explore the different types of psychotherapy to figure out which is right for you, then follow the steps to choose a good therapist. Notice that Ida offers Kenzie a range of options, in addition to a suggested starting point based on her observations of him and knowledge of available resources.

Psychiatry is a field of medicine which specializes in mental health. Psychiatrists can diagnose problems and treat them with talk therapy, medication, or other methods. In local-America, the field has devolved from deep mental science to drug pushing, a change that leaves both psychiatrists and patients unhappy. Potentially life-wrecking issues can rarely be fixed with a 15-minute appointment and a bottle of pills. In Terramagne-America, psychiatrists remain the specialists who handle many new cases to figure out a treatment plan, treat the most serious or complicated problems, and provide the kind of deep psychoanalytical work that other types of counselors usually lack the training to do. Psychoanalysis has changed a lot over the years, but it remains valid. It offers many benefits, especially for treating problems that have deep roots. To understand whether psychoanalysis is right for you, try doing some self-analysis and see if you get stuck in a way that talking to an expert might help.

Psychoanalysis also refracts across different cultures, requiring psychiatrists to develop cultural awareness. Cultural therapies, such as Native American therapy, are much more available in T-America than here. If you look at the novels mentioned, you can see they've made a lot more progress in treating and healing the communal trauma of invasion. So as a tribal therapist, Pretty Ears does a great deal of dreamwork to identify and resolve issues, and takes a communal approach to mental health with attention to how an individual interacts with their surrounding society. Best practices for treating tribal clients require an open-minded and flexible approach.

Peer counseling developed out of areas such as substance abuse, in which personal experience can outweigh book-learning in helpfulness. Over time, people developed guidebooks for peer counselors who want to provide group therapy sessions or other services.

Family support can make a tremendous difference to people struggling with adolescence or other challenges. It offers many benefits, and it plays a vital role in healing mental illness or injury. You can see that Kenzie's new family is helping him to recover from what happened just by loving him, supporting him, and encouraging him to take good care of himself. That's why he started having nightmares: he finally feels safe enough to deal with the hidden issues that he was pushing down for sake of survival. Understand how to talk about mental issues and support someone who needs help with them. Follow the steps to build a support network for yourself.

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