I wrote my entire dissertation in 16 hours. Some people spend months on their dissertation, agonising over every detail. Others will leave it until the last few weeks and make a big deal out of it. One girl wrote the whole thing in 16 hours. Catherine Lux, now 25, managed to write 12,000 words for her Sociology and Communications dissertation at Brunel, doing it all the night before it was due. She’s beaten the Warwick student who wrote 10,000 words in one two day session and the Aberystwyth third year who did his over the course of 36 hours. “I started at 5pm the night before and then had it printed out and finished the following day”, she said. She added: “I would often fail essays that I’d written weeks before the deadline. Catherine, who is originally from Guildford, had done a survey several months earlier. But that was the entire extent of her research. She had barely even looked at the results right until the night before it was due. More impressively, Catherine says she stayed away from obvious forms of caffeine to keep herself awake.

She explained: “At the time I didn’t drink coffee, tea, or energy drinks, and I don’t smoke or anything. Instead she got through it other ways: “I went to the shops and got a six pack of coca-cola. I also ate a packet of dough balls, Milky Bar yoghurts, a pack of Jaffa cakes, a large bar of Dairy Milk, and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream,” she said. People who leave work until the last minute often consider themselves on the brink. The guy who wrote his dissertation over two days claimed he started hallucinating. Catherine’s experience got a little weird too. “I listened to Glenn Miller Little Brown Jug for a few hours on repeat,” she said. “It was the only song I could listen to that made me concentrate. “I actually thought I would fail,” she admitted. “My friends at Uni thought I was crazy. Catherine graduated from Brunel and now works for a media agency in London. She also runs a luxury lifestyle blog called Lux Life.

Once the flashback subsided she had to call her husband to pick her up because she was unable to drive home. These events were so regular she stopped leaving her house to stop the possibility of re-occurrence. Each time it occurred she lost her personal power and confidence. Each time the flashbacks gain in intensity and strength. The content of her flashbacks, the overwhelming images, sights, and smells haunted her. She would have visions of her standing in the street being covered by soot, bodies everywhere and watching the second World Trade Center tower collapsing. She was totally disabled due to the fear of being triggered again. She sought therapy because she thought she was going crazy. During an outpatient therapy session with her Psychologist, she agreed to confront her traumatic memories with a memory method called Rapid Reduction Technique®. Within one session, she learned to safely and protectively revisit her unprocessed memories of 9/11 and face her intense emotions from that day. During that session, she was able to achieve closure, inner balance, disconnected the triggers and forgiveness with her 9/11 memories.

Her experience with RRT assisted her in freeing herself and within months was able to return to a fulfilling life with her husband, children and most importantly herself. When the brain is faced with an intense overwhelming life event, like abuse, trauma or a catastrophic act of nature, the processing of the event is put on hold, re-routes the recording and hides it from conscious mind for protection. The recorded event is then held in a temporary dissociative compartment set up by the brain. So for safety, the overwhelming event is hidden from remembrance. The unprocessed memory then remains in the alternative storage area for months or even years, until something triggers it to resurface. A trigger is defined as any event, feeling, person, smell, thought, or place that initiates a reaction or sets of reactions. Basically, a trigger is how the unprocessed memory is filed. Many survivors of traumatic events go through an occurrence called “re-experiencing” with is one of the most devastating symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Re-experiencing may happen days, months or even years after the initial event.

Re-experiencing is when the memory is replayed in the mind completely or in portions which are called a flashback. When the re-experiencing occurs, the person feels like the event is real, happening all over again with all its furry of emotions, sights, and sounds. What can be Done? In these days of specialization, why isn’t there a teachable skill that would target one memory at a time quickly and safely? Well, there is. A guided protocol called Rapid Reduction Technique® or RRT. RRT was developed to reduce the effects of traumatic memories or flashbacks. RRT was initially used with women who had experienced abusive and traumatizing life events and had a diagnosis of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex PTSD. Since RRT was developed in 2000, RRT has been used, tested and clinically researched for effectiveness with the PTSD population for ten (10) years. RRT successfully helped thousands of survivors to reduce the intensity of the flashbacks. Experiencing RRT assisted survivors to reduce the impact and intensity overwhelming images, smells and sounds, achieve a reduction in the associated emotional charge, process the content and facilitate storage into long-term memory.

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