When I started helping to promote Thunder Road I never expected to meet as many amazing people who have been moved to aid this campaign after being inspired by the actions of Astoria Entertainment: Charlie Bewley, Matt Dallas & Steven Grayhm. One of these amazing contributors is Nicole Ross, who kindly shared her experiences of her first convention TVD Dallas and why she is supporting Thunder Road.
Having never attended any convention let alone a TVD Convention Nicole was apprehensive when her husband Jason approached her with the idea, she was still reluctant up until the day of the convention. She was concerned about the last-minute scheduling changes but like all of us was pleasantly surprised by the new guests and welcoming atmosphere of the TVD fandom. Favorite aspects of the convention were listening to the panels where the guests discussed not only working on TVD but also their own lives and challenges they have faced. Nicole and her husband Jason were the lucky winners of a dinner with Charlie Bewley in support of Thunder Road that Creation Entertainment so kindly auctioned off at the end of his panel with Todd Williams on Day 1 of the convention. Nicole was motivated to bid on the auction after hearing Charlie speak about Thunder Road’s mission to help raise awareness of PTSD and the overall struggles faced by Veterans when trying to reintegrate themselves into civilian life.
“PTSD can effect anyone when an individual is in a dangerous situation. The trauma lies within the body of the individual and not the actual event. Often times people can exit an event and never show signs of PTSD, while others, may develop PTSD from an incident other’s may perceive as mild. It all depends on how our bodies respond in our Threat Response Cycle. Our troops are returning home as heroes, but often times, with the vision of a hero we do not expect any weaknesses. In reality our troops are pushed to the edge of their Threat Response Cycles, creating a constant state of alert, scanning the environment, and acting on the natural response of flight or flight. PTSD develops when an individual is unable to properly discharge the flight or fight response, creating a freeze state. These freeze states are triggered in individuals with PTSD through sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc, thus keeping the individual in a constant state of hypervigilance. By getting involved in the Thunder Road project, I am hoping even more of our population can begin to understand the depth of trauma through the use of the film. PTSD effects more of our population than we believe. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and ways we can help can assist in prevention of suicide, mental health barriers, and offering appropriate services to people who need access to them.” – Nicole Ross
As the owner and clinic director of The Creative Therapy Center Nicole’s practice focuses on dealing with PTSD. NIcole has over 13 years of experience as a mental health therapist and employs a variety of therapeutic techniques to work with trauma such as Play Therapy, sand tray therapy, and Somatic Experiencing at the center. The center focuses on working with children who have PTSD and other mental health disorders. “Play therapy is an opportunity for an individual to use play techniques to address difficult mental health issues. Play therapy can be adapted to work with all age groups from small children to adults. I use a non-directive play therapy model with children ages 2 – 12, a directive play therapy approach with children struggling with cognitive skills, and sand tray therapy with adolescents and adults.” explains Nicole “Anyone can benefit from play therapy techniques. Even when I am having a difficult day or looking for some clarity I will enter my sand tray room and create a sand tray. So much information can be gathered through unspoken words, metaphors, and ideas. The journey is in the hands of the client. It is their story to tell, and it is my job to be present to hear and honor their story.” Nicole also travels around the United States presenting on trauma, the effects of trauma, and how we can all work to prevent, reduce, and treat trauma symptoms.
Inspired by her personal work with PTSD to aid the campaign; Nicole and her husband Jason have been diligently fundraising for the campaign. They teamed up with Modify Tattoo and raised $1000, they also held a drink tab night at The Other Bar in Foley MN where they raised $300 and gave away a $100 gift card that was won by a lucky Veteran. Jason and Nicole have also created a wonderful fundraiser in support of Thunder Road. On September 22, 2013 Jason will be “Breaking Boards for PTSD” with all proceeds going to the Thunder Road campaign.
For more about Nicole’s work visit The Creative Therapy Center’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeTherapyCenter and for more about Nicole visit her blog.
You can also donate directly to Thunder Road on Indiegogo.