|There are around 3,000,000
survivors of extreme trauma in the United States today.
The ones who are in treatment will receive a range of
services from outpatient counseling to inpatient
stabilization. Those services will personally cost the
survivor over $50,000 and will still come up short.
Most survivors will experience difficulties in
sustaining relationships, career, health, and above all
a sense of self. While treatment has made great strides
since 1970, it is still a long-term process with far
from assured results. Heartland Initiative was founded
to address the challenges that extreme trauma presents
to survivors and clinicians.
A small group of
therapists and researchers have been working quietly on
a stage-based treatment model for trauma survivors since
1987. The Core Integrity Model, interventions for
extreme trauma has proven to greatly reduce the need for
hospitalization, the severity of symptoms, and has
simplified the process of healing. Heartland Initiative
was incorporated in 2002 to provide training and
consultation for therapists and survivors in effective
treatment and trauma resolution.
|What Heartland Initiative
- Trains professionals in mental health, public
health, education, ministry, & law enforcement, to
better equip them to understand an assist survivors
of extreme trauma.
- Educates the general public on the impact of
trauma on the individual and society through a
- Provides information and resources to the
support people helping trauma survivors.
- Consults with therapists and their clients
regarding phenomenology that hampers therapeutic
progress and "Core" integrity.
- Solicits philanthropic donations for funding of
Heartland Initiative research, training, and
- Provides scholarships (as funds are available)
for quality services to trauma survivors who lack
resources or have depleted them in the pursuit of
- Maintains the Contexts of Trauma Resource Center
of information and exhibits related to family,
religious, educational, social, criminal, and
scientific contexts of trauma.
|What you will find on our
- Timely information on extreme trauma for those
dealing with its results ~ families, individuals,
therapists and other helping professionals.
- Information on extreme trauma and the survivors.
- Training opportunities in a new and highly
effective treatment for survivors of trauma based on
The Core Integrity Model, Interventions for Extreme
- Resources therapists and survivors can use in
- How you can help survivors get the help they
need to heal from the atrocities they've experienced
with your personal and financial support.
- Access to a quarterly newsletter archive.
|What is extreme trauma?
- ongoing events in which one has no recourse or
- extended conflict between countries, cultures,
communities, families, or family members.
- circumstances of captivity in which either as
child or adult, the person cannot flee.
- a significant period of time in which one's
thoughts, actions, and feelings are totally subject
to the control of an authority figure.
Characteristics of extreme trauma are:
- a life history of repetitive traumatic events.
- a deep belief that any disclosure would result
in harm to loved one or self.
- a perceived need to live a rigidly
- a history of emotional struggles whether treated
- a deficit in developing or maintaining a social
- a lifestyle often characterized as inconsistent
- a vulnerability to charismatic people who take
advantage of them.
- a lifetime search for belonging, meaning, and
|How The Core Integrity
Model differs from other modalities.
The two leading professional organizations in research and development
of treatment and standards of care are The International
Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD) and The
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
(ISTSS). While there are differences in modalities and
foci within these organizations, there is common
agreement that therapy must progress through "phases" or
"stages". In the mid 1990's, these organizations issued
standards of care for trauma treatment.
Lowell Routley, Ph.D., a member of both
organizations, was a frontrunner in trauma treatment in
the Midwest. In 1987, Dr. Routley began training
Midwest therapists in trauma treatment and standards of
care. Dr. Routley founded and chaired the Iowa Study
Group for Dissociation, a ISSD chapter, and presented
training seminars on trauma and use of The Core
Integrity Model. At the same time, Jim McCarthy,
M.A., a social movements researcher, was consulting with
trauma survivors and their therapists to make sense of
memories of trauma within deviant social movements. His
interviews with survivors resulted in identifying what
interventions worked with the various contexts and
phenomenology of trauma. Mr. McCarthy has trained
therapists nation-wide in the phenomenology of trauma
contexts. Upon meeting in 1997, Jim and Lowell began
the collaboration that resulted in Heartland Initiative.
|The Core Integrity Model,
interventions for extreme trauma combines the stages of
treatment with specific interventions developed by
survivors and therapists that empower survivors in
healing. The following concepts are central to the model
and believed to be necessary for effective treatment.
- That every person is born with a unique
identity that is "Core" self".
- That "Core" self owns and uses mind, body,
and soul to express identity.
- That "Core" self is naturally observed in
moments of wonderment, contemplation, or horror.
- That "Core" self creates an internal social
world to organize, contain, and express
self consciously to the external world.
- That "Core" self uses a nexus of consciousness
in the process of expressing self to the external
- That this nexus is the place in the mind of
interaction between past and present, mind and body,
and the internal and external world.
- That "Core" self has an internal system of parts
that blend in the nexus to manifest self and
interact with the external world.
- That "Core" self has an innate dissociative
ability to compartmentalize and survive overwhelming
- That the wishes, wants, needs, and desires of
"Core" self drive the self-system even to seeking
The Core Integrity Model consists of interventions
that are related to four stages of treatment during
which the "Core" self must be recognized, respected, and
included for therapy to be effective. The stages of
treatment and the related interventions maintain the
person's ability to function in day-to-day life while
healing. The model provides symptom relief, ego
strength, memory resolution, and thriving in life.
- In stage one therapy, "Core"
participation establishes internal and external
safety, sustains an orientation to the present, and
strengthens the therapeutic alliance.
- Stage two participation by "Core" self reduces
acting-out like substance abuse and self-harm and
facilitates building a healthy social network.
- Stage three allows "Core" self to safely become
conscious of the trauma history and facilitates
- During stage four of therapy, "Core"
self defines purpose, meaning, and integrity for
life beyond trauma and therapy.
Understanding how trauma impacts consciousness and
the "Core" self is crucial to an effective treatment
model. The focus on "Core" self and the nexus of
consciousness makes The Core Integrity Model,
interventions for extreme trauma a watershed concept. We
invite you to join with us in this exciting development
as we reach out to incredible people who survived and
now seek to heal from tragic life events.
Heartland Initiative, Inc.
20 East 13th Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
Phone: (563) 588-4476