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Important Update: My New Stategic Direction for 2018.

Good morning everyone,
 
In a strategic effort to continue to streamline my professional work and my social change advocacy work, there are big changes I have made and will prominently focus on in 2018.
 
I have merged all of my work into one company, XAS Consulting, LLC DBA XiomaraASosa.com, a boutique private practice and lifestyle brand promoting healing and well-being through professional services, X-Signature offerings, and social change advocacy. You can find the Facebook Profile Page at https://www.facebook.com/CounselorXiomaraASosa and send me a friend request there. You can find the Facebook Business Page at Counselor Xiomara A. Sosa Page or search Facebook with @XiomaraASosaCom and like or follow it to get daily updates there. You can find the website at http://www.xiomaraasosa.com/
 
My social change advocacy nonprofit organization “The Get-Right! Organization, Inc. (Get-Right!)” has been administratively dissolved. I am shutting down the following Facebook groups/networks/initiatives associated with it.
•National Hispanic Mental Health Professionals Advocacy Network
•National Latina Integrative Health Advocacy Network
•National Modern Family Healing and Well-Being Advocacy Network
•National Sexual and Gender (LGBT+) Minority Mental Health Professionals Network
•Proyecto Evolve! Latina Girls Collective Action Network
•Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Psychological and Spiritual Health Initiative
All work related to Get-Right! and its groups/networks/initiatives will be folded into XAS Consulting, LLC DBA XiomaraASosa.com. I strongly encourage you to like the Facebook Business Page at https://www.facebook.com/CounselorXiomaraASosa to continue to receive information related to any and all of those groups.
 
My social change advocacy nonprofit organization “You Are Strong! Center on Veterans Health and Human Services, Inc. will remain in existence as a state of South Carolina digital social change advocacy organization. However, I am shutting down all of the following Facebook groups/networks/initiatives associated with it.
•Coalition of Female Veteran Leaders
•National Hispanic Veterans Advocacy Network
•Operation She is Strong! Women Veterans Mental Health and Human Services Network
•Sexual and Gender (LGBTQQIA) Minority Veterans Advocacy Network
•Women Veteran’s Healing and Well-Being Circle™
All work related to You Are Strong! and its groups/networks/initiatives will be folded into XAS Consulting, LLC DBA XiomaraASosa.com. I strongly encourage you to like the Facebook Business Page at https://www.facebook.com/CounselorXiomaraASosa to continue to receive information related to any and all of those groups.
 
If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to respond to your concerns and answer your questions.
 
In service,
 
Counselor Xiomara A. Sosa 

Impact of Crisis, Trauma and Disaster Events on Mental Health.

Analysis of Case Study

Sam has experienced numerous amounts of disasters as a mental health disaster volunteer. The accumulation of his experiences has become challenging and he is now seeing a counselor to address his feelings of burnout. Sam is also exhibiting symptoms of compassion fatigue (CF). He states that he does not know how much longer he can continue seeing people suffer as a direct result of the particular disaster they have each experienced. His empathy has become overtaxed and he sounds emotionally exhausted (James, 2008).

Sam seems to be experiencing secondary traumatization which is a component of CF. His burnout is causing him to have feelings of hopelessness and trouble handling work.  These negative feelings have had a slow onset and are associated with Sam’s excessive experience with disaster and crisis and not seeing that his efforts have made more of a difference. This is secondary trauma and is linked to vicarious trauma. His secondary exposure to very stressful events is part of the situation causing his current state (James, 2008).

9/11 Terrorist Attacks

The author of this paper directly witnessed the 9/11 attack on The Pentagon. On that day she was taking the subway from the Pentagon station to her job in Washington, DC, as she did every day for many years. The plane hit the Pentagon as her train pulled out of the area. When she arrived at her station 10 minutes later she could hear, smell and see the immediate results of the attack. At her office she watched the attacks in New York City play over and over again on television, her hometown. The third plane was suspected to be aiming at Washington, and she and her coworkers were preparing for the worse.

She spent the rest of the day unable to leave the city to go home, which was a few block from the Pentagon. Eventually that night she managed to find a way home and she saw the disaster of the Pentagon up close. She was able to hear and smell it from her house. For days she was in survival mode and eventually one night she crashed. This experience changed the course of her life a professionally and personally. Her partner was one of the first military personnel to be sent to Iraq not long after that event. It has imprinted both their lives and they have now come around the corner from it.

Conclusion

            Sam is a mental health disaster volunteer who is experiencing compassion fatigue. This has come as a direct result of working many disasters and witnessing the grief and destruction caused to the victims he helps. He is emotionally exhausted and his empathy is overtaxed. He is working through this difficult time with a counselor. The author experienced the 9/11 attacks. This experience had a personal and professional influence on her. She is now a mental health counselor (scholar-practitioner) as a result and her partner is a survivor of the war that resulted from that disaster (James, 2008).

References

A conceptual framework for counselor preparation and response to client crises. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86(4), 388–398.

Everly, G. S., Jr., & Lating, J. M. (2004). The defining moment of psychological trauma: What makes a traumatic event traumatic? In G. S. Everly Jr., & J. M. Lating (Eds.), Personality-guided therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (pp. 33–51). Washington, DC:

American Psychological Association.

James, R. (2008). Crisis intervention strategies (6th ed.). Belmont: CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole

McAdams, C. R., & Keener, H. J. (2008). Preparation, action, recovery: Article: U.S.

Department of Health and Human Services. (2007). Public health emergency response: A guide for leaders and responders. Retrieved from

http://www.phe.gov/emergency/communication/guides/leaders/Pages/default.aspx

Microtraining Associates, Inc. (Producer). (2008). Crisis counseling: The ABC model and live demonstration with two PTSD clients. Hanover, MA: Author.

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How to help and what does NOT help.

Things to do that help:

  • Engage in social change advocacy online or offline to affect positive social change.
  • Donate blood.
  • Donate items specifically requested by humanitarian efforts.
  • Donate money
  • Volunteer at local humanitarian efforts.
  • Post and reshare what others are doing to help.
  • Promote positive and actionable steps and ideas that help.
  • Suggest actionable steps #ActionableSteps that help.
  • Check in on your loved ones.
  • Don’t compare tragedies.
  • Provide some form relief and support for hard working first and second responders.

Things to NOT do that don’t help:

  • Bash others online or offline.
  • Post and reshare negative posts or unverified critical information.
  • Argue with anyone with differing opinions and experiences.
  • Shame, verbally assault, threaten or aggressively debate someone else’s beliefs and experiences.
  • Reshare anything that does not serve to help or inform in a positive way.
  • Diagnose mental illness, especially if you are not qualified to as a mental health professional.
  • Make significant legal or political assumptions before professionals are able to do their due diligence.
  • Self appoint yourself as an expert in any profession you are not a professional in.
  • Distract others working to help with unnecessary negative information or arguments.
  • Personalize anything online.
  • Make judgments.
  • Argue or debate with or about people who are in shock or dealing with trauma.
  • Repost and share graphic images or footage constantly.

Get off Our Block or Join us in Moving Forward in Recovery and Healing: Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria.

Unless you are from Puerto Rico, have family and friends there, or have watched the reality on Spanish language TV, social media, and listened to it on Spanish language radio, from before Irma was even announced, much less Maria striking, you really have no idea what has happened there and the absolute incompetency that was dealt with from before even Irma was about to strike.

Those of us who do, know better. Not intending to put POTUS down just for the hell of it, and no desire to politicize this monumental humanitarian catastrophe, but reality is reality.

As a 9/11 survivor and a Katrina front line provider for disaster mental health, I have nothing but absolute contempt for the overall lack of preparation, readiness and response this man displayed. It was unconscionable.

Those of us who watched our relatives suffer or die because of it will not sugar coat it for the rest of you who choose to not accept our reality over his.Those are the facts and this is so not debatable with opinion and emotions.

Please stop giving us these basic facts that only served the bare minimum required in preparation, response and execution. It was never, ever enough and it was obvious. We absolutely are in a position as a country to have been better prepared for search and rescue, relief and recovery, and control over the disaster and its aftermath for our people.

You can choose to either join us and move forward in the relief, recovery and healing to lift our people up, or you can kindly get off of our block and let us be to do the work ahead of us. But please do not insult our injuries by sugar coating or qualifying anything of the many things that were wrong in this situation.

We need to now redirect our energy with the fact that today the Jones Act was finally lifted after begging for it and that the Army is now in charge and we can deploy as we need to. That is all that matters to us in moving forward.

#SocialChangeAdvocacy #Humanitarianism

Counselor Xiomara A. Sosa

Kneeling is their right, even if I don’t like it.

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You should check what most veterans are saying about this before you try to speak on our behalf. It seems to me, as a veteran, that we served to protect everyone’s right to peaceful protest. Period. That was not conditional on your opinion, preference or position. I don’t agree with the kneeling only because of when it is done, but I surely agree with their right to peacefully protest however they choose.

They are not kneeling to stand against veterans or first responders. They are not kneeling to disrespect the flag or national anthym. They are kneeling because that gesture historically gives honor to an injury or injustice. Their specific injury or injustice is for them to say, not me, or you. I choose to not allow you or anyone to attempt to pit veterans against professional sportsman and women, much like you attempted to pit us against the immigrant communities, the LGBT+ communties, etc. Nothing bothers me more than people using veterans to pit us against other communities who are fighting for their right to exist in peace. Something which we signed our lives away to protect.

They do not need my permission or approval to peacfully protest how they see fit, as long as they are lawfully and nonviolently doing so. I am not obligated to like it. I am obligated to honor their right, as they are mine. Coming from a long line of family veterans, service members, first and second responders, including law enforcement officers, with a healthy mix of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Moderates, Liberals, and Conservatives, no, you do not speak for us. Peaceful protest is not intended to be liked or comfortable or to require our permission and conditions. It is simply a right, protected by us when we serve.

Let’s try to be more mindful and less hipocritical of how much offensive, unpatriotic bullshit we have to tolerate from our own POTUS that is far wider in breath and scope, and so blatantly flies in the collective face of many communities and their sanctities to exist in peace.

A POTUS who till this day has not spoken out against crowds of White Supremicists and Neo-Nazi’s violently, hatefully and aggresively “protesting” their view and agenda, their “nationalism” agenda, even when such a “protest” concludes in an innocent child being murdered and injuries to so many others.

That “protest” seems normal and acceptable to our POTUS, yet sports figures calmly and peacefully protesting in their chosen way does not. This does not go unnoticed.

So if you want to be upset with such disgraceful behavior, start there. Then talk to me about sports figures kneeling in a way that offends you so. Yes, it offends me. But it does not take away my right to exist in peace the way that the march for White Supremacy, Neo-Naziism, or Nationalism does. So no, I don’t accept your point of view. Yet, I honor and respcet it, as it is your right.

Constitution of the United States of America Amendment I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

#SocialChangeAdvocacy

Kneeling in peaceful protest is not unprecedented to affect positive social change.

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I am an INFJ. Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging (INFJ) PERSONALITY (“THE ADVOCATE”)

INFJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging) is an initialism used in the publications of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of the sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl Jung in his book Psychological Types.

INFJ: the Seer of Souls video: Watch video at https://youtu.be/X9RMEfCCcj8 

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King 

The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats, they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging in rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.

INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that INFJs need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw. INFJs take great care of other’s feelings, and they expect the favor to be returned – sometimes that means giving them the space they need for a few days.

Really though, it is most important for INFJs to remember to take care of themselves. The passion of their convictions is perfectly capable of carrying them past their breaking point and if their zeal gets out of hand, they can find themselves exhausted, unhealthy and stressed. This becomes especially apparent when INFJs find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways.

To INFJs, the world is a place full of inequity – but it doesn’t have to be. No other personality type is better suited to create a movement to right a wrong, no matter how big or small. INFJs just need to remember that while they’re busy taking care of the world, they need to take care of themselves, too.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INFJ

http://awarenessact.com/if-you-have-any-of-these-12-traits-you-belong-to-the-worlds-rarest-personality-type/