Halcyon Healing Center, Inc
Please visit www.halcyonhc.org
Halcyon Healing Center, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides military trauma survivors the opportunity to find healing, flourishing, and posttraumatic growth through immersion in “flow” experiences. There is currently no single cure-all treatment for recovering from trauma symptoms, while the patchwork puzzle of ideas and options can feel entirely overwhelming. By taking steps to pause, decompress, assess, and discover authenticity, one can best find her unique approach to healing from trauma
What are flow states?
Flow states are a type of mindfulness where our attention is focused on the present moment, or being “in the zone.” Dr. Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi originally coined the concept “flow states,” which Halcyon is utilizing for three elements, including: 1.) decompression, with a physiological and psychological break from intensity and overstimulation; 2.) immersion, whereby participants are fully involved in positive experiences; and 3.) replacement, where new experiences of creating and growth can replace past trauma. By engaging in these elements, trauma survivors will be better physically and mentally prepared to be able to heal from trauma.
What is offered with Halcyon?
There are three pillars of HHC: horsemanship, on-site experiences, and off-site excursions. By guiding these experiences to include flow states, Halcyon provides a space for a participant to pause, take a deep breath, make an assessment, evaluate options, and choose a game plan to move forward.
Horsemanship is a core element of the program, with participants learning to care for, train from the ground, and potentially ride horses, if desired. There are many benefits that can be derived from experiences in the natural farm environment, including a greater sense of calm, connection, and spirituality, while utilizing the discipline and perceptiveness gained from the military.
Led primarily by veterans, military, and professionals experienced with trauma, the on-site experiences and off-site excursions are also experiences designed to promote flow experiences. The onsite retreats include woodworking workshops, a structured cycling program, and trauma-focused yoga and meditation sessions. The off-site excursions include kayaking, whitewater rafting, and rock-climbing, with the emphasis on providing organized, flow-stimulating experiences in nature.
The autonomy and teamwork promoted by the on-site and off-site experiences can support trauma survivors’ choosing to heal in an inclusive network of like-minded souls, building from their strengths, and giving back to other military and vets. Perhaps most importantly, these experiences assist participants to complete the “warrior cycle” of healing from moral trauma, thus encouraging the possibility to move forward from past traumatic experiences.
More than just recreation
Research has shown that these activities can naturally lesson trauma symptoms and encourage flow states. Once participants understand the theory and approach behind attaining flow and experience significant benefits, nearly any activity can be transformed into a “flow” state. This is not only a program to help alleviate trauma symptoms in the present moment, but can be continually utilized to help find peace and choose to heal.
A North Carolina licensed clinical social worker or another clinical professional will be available for discussion, each of whom is familiar with trauma and Adaptive Disclosure (the present standard for guiding healing resolution with moral trauma). Once a participant builds confidence he or she can best choose to use the available resources, global network, and personal strengths to move forward.
With agreement, encouragement, and demand from active military, reserve duty, and veterans across the branches and ranks, as well as the support and advising of top psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, there is a clear need for this novel approach to be offered, studied, and refined. This is potentially ground-breaking work in the field of trauma psychology, as it naturally combines the current spectrum of principles, concepts, and ideas into an effective healing paradigm.
Biographies forthcoming for board of governors, clinicians, and advisory committee.
We cannot necessarily choose what happens to us in life, but we can choose to assess all variables, utilize available tools and personal strengths, synthesize all pieces into the puzzle, and effectively respond on the journey of discovering identity after trauma.