True Mirror Installation Offers Novel Approach to Post Traumatic Stress

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Accord, NY - Nov 09, 2016 -  This Veterans’ Day Weekend, twelve True Mirrors will be installed on the National Mall as part of the Catharsis Vigil from November 11-13. The interactive installation features mirrors that do not reverse the image of the viewer. Docents will be on hand for much of the vigil to guide viewers through the experience, and our focus will be on healing after trauma.

When we look in normal mirrors every morning, our image is reversed. We communicate a great deal with our face, and when the image is backwards, it breaks that communication with ourselves. John Walter developed the True Mirror over the last three decades to address this problem. It is formed with two high-quality optical glass mirrors at right angles, so we see ourselves the way others see us. “Because our faces actively communicate in the True Mirror,” said Mr. Walter, “it can help break down criticisms and judgments that many people have about themselves.”

“Healing can occur through art,” said John Dalton, a collaborator on the True Mirror team. “We have partnered with experts in PTS to tailor our message to those who have experienced violent trauma in their lives.”

John Dalton, True Mirror Team

Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing, is entering its second year on the National Mall. The annual vigil is dedicated to bringing community together in a space to allow for healing and transformation. This year will include burning a 30 foot temple on the National Mall, and a 60 foot dragon-shaped mobile soundstage. 

The art theme is “Our Journey Home” and calls for increased support for post-traumatic stress research. Post-traumatic stress develops in some people after a dangerous, shocking or scary event. Symptoms include re-experiencing trauma in flashbacks, avoiding thoughts related to the event, arousal symptoms and feelings of guilt. The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs estimates that 30 percent of Vietnam veterans have had PTS in their lifetime, and 8 percent of the general population will experience it at some time in their lives. We use the term PTS, instead of PTSD, to validate the experiences of those struggling with symptoms long after the triggering event.

The underlying principle of the True Mirror Experience is that we are correctly visible to ourselves for the first time.  “The experience can be one of continuity, understanding and compassion, especially in the shadow of PTS,” said Mr. Walter.  “In contrast, natural expressions fade in plain mirrors and we generally stare, become overly serious or immediately self-critical.  With PTS, often mirrors don’t help much and often compound the stress.”

For more informaiton on Catharsis on the Mall, click here.

The True Mirror Experience has been installed recently at festivals like Burning Man, Gratitude Migration, Youtopia and O Positive. At those venues, we found that many people experience transformations of self-acceptance. The new installation at Catharsis is reaching out in special appreciation of the service of veterans. “Healing can occur through art,” said John Dalton, a collaborator on the True Mirror team. “We have partnered with experts in PTS to tailor our message to those who have experienced violent trauma in their lives.”

Contact: John Dalton | True Mirror Experience | 713 933 8317 | jmldalton@truemirror.com

Source : True Mirror
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