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The Richards Trauma

TRTP aims to help individuals release and overcome the impact of past traumatic experiences by addressing both the cognitive and physiological aspects of trauma. The process typically involves guided visualization, cognitive restructuring, and techniques to regulate the nervous system, allowing individuals to reprocess and release traumatic memories.


What is TRTP and how does it work?

Judith Richards, TRTP Founder explains...

In summary, TRTP™ does not merely address the symptoms of trauma. It deals with the underlying cause of the problem, removing the emotional charge from the past and returning the person to a state of empowerment, returning the sympathetic nervous system to calm.


TRTP™ is an elegantly simple, yet comprehensive, step-by-step process which resolves extreme trauma and trauma-related issues – anxiety, depression, fears and phobias. It achieves results quickly, effectively and safely – generally in three stages.

It is a truly eclectic therapy. It is a very structured, yet dynamic process. It includes components of Gestalt, Mindfulness, Ego-state Therapy, Choice Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Parts Therapy, Emotion-focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dream Rehearsal Therapy and others.  It is a dynamic, rich and sequenced series of steps, which, if separated would not be anywhere near as powerful. It is unique. It allows space for the individual client’s needs to be met.


TRTP™ works at a subconscious level in the mind and in the body. (Levine, van der Kolk, Rothschild, Ogden).  TRTP™ is in alignment with the two requirements stated by van der Kolk, Levine and other trauma experts:


For trauma to be resolved – the person must (somehow) be moved to an empowered position in regard to the trauma; and


The body must (somehow) know that the event / events are over TRTP™ initially deals with the underlying, unconscious core beliefs which keep a person stuck in patterns of thought, emotion and behaviour. In dealing with this at the beginning of the process, self-sabotage is avoided during the following therapy.

Who is Judith Richards?

Judith Richard's is the creator of the Richard's Trauma Process.


Judith is a person of extraordinary strengths and courage, with a history that beggars belief… a life remarkable and profound in its content and experience. Judith has an intimate understanding of trauma.  She knows it inside out, back-the-front and sideways. So what happened to her?  Judith’s journey through life introduced her to trauma from a very young age. This paved the way to re-victimisation – further more extreme and more extensive abusive experiences as an adult. And she survived. More than that – she has thrived.

For many years she suffered extreme physical and mental illness as a result of her psychological trauma and physical injuries. AND, she never gave up. With great courage and determination, she persisted, learning and discovering that there is a way to capture a life worth living. There is a way to the other side of trauma and its myriad symptoms. The result of this journey is The Richards Trauma Process.  TRTP is fast, effective and safe. It resolves the issues of extreme trauma and is equally as effective in dealing with lower levels of anxiety, depression, fears and phobias – any issue which is trauma-related.

What Makes TRTP Different From Other Modalities?

Trauma is not stored in the conscious mind. Trauma is stored in the subconscious mind and in the body. (Levine, Van der Kolk, Ogden) TRTP works where the trauma is stored, and addresses it there.
TRTP also arrests client self-sabotage before it begins. It does this in the first session, by changing the unhelpful negative unconscious core beliefs to the positive. For example, if the unconscious has the belief , ‘It’s not safe to get well’ – self-sabotage will be the result. The unconscious will keep the client safe, according to its own beliefs. If this unconscious core belief is changed to ‘It’s safe to get well’ – then obviously, a positive outcome will be achieved more quickly, without the unconscious attempting to keep the client ‘safe’ in unwellness.

Pressure Points

Let's dive into Chronic Pain

As a physiotherapist, I am qualified to deliver the full range of therapies required for trauma associated pain conditions. I can treat just the pain, or alternatively, I can treat just the trauma. However, typically they are interrelated in the treatment process which targets both in a gentle and supportive approach.

Chronic pain is pain that has lasted for 3 months or longer, even once the original injury or cause has fully resolved. It is also known commonly as persistent pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, somatoform/somatosensory disorder, and complex regional pain syndrome.


Chronic pain is often felt as ‘all body pain’ and can lead to exhaustion and mental health issues. 
Pain is complex, and research in this area is increasingly pointing to the relationship between chronic pain, the biopsychosocial AND the emotional aspects of the pain sufferer. Chronic pain results in neuroplastic changes. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change its connections, and neurogenesis means the ability of the brain to make new connections. Chronic pain leads to changes within those connections, which ultimately makes the body more sensitive to pain, and the brain can create sensations of pain even without external pain stimuli.

For example, people can feel pain from a breeze or clothes touching their skin. This is called pain sensitisation. Research suggests that chronic pain can be relieved by working directly where the pain sensations start from, and that is in the brain. The reasons why some people develop chronic pain and others don’t are not fully understood. But we do know that underlying beliefs about pain and illness, and belief in the capacity of the body to get well make an enormous difference.
There is a range of secondary symptoms/conditions with Chronic Pain including:


Sleep Issues


Cognitive issues: short term memory loss, poor concentration, ‘brain fog’, hypersensitivity to light and sound


Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Helplessness


Issues with weight regulation


Hypersensitivity to weather changes and light touch


Recurrent infections from a depleted immune system

The longer pain remains untreated, the greater the risk of the body becoming sensitised to pain, and the pain becoming chronic. Therefore, timely and effective treatment of acute pain is essential to prevent transition to chronic pain.


Chronic pain and pre-existing trauma

As a physiotherapist who is also an experienced trauma therapist, I am particularly interested in clients who have experienced extreme trauma where helplessness, fear, stress or anxiety can manifest as physical pain. The relationship between chronic pain and trauma is well documented. 


Who gets it?

Research suggests that 1 in 5 of us has chronic pain. It affects men, women and children of all ages, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. The challenge is that it is unpredictable and is personal. No two people will ever feel the same pain. One in five GP consultations involves a patient with chronic pain and almost five percent report severe, disabling chronic pain. It is estimated that less than 10% of people with chronic non-cancer pain gain access to effective care, despite current knowledge would allow 80% to be treated effectively, if there was adequate access to quality pain services. Chronic pain is the most common reason people of working age drop out of the workforce—with back problems and arthritis alone accounting for 40% of forced retirements—while 90% of people with severe or very severe pain report some interference with work. Pain can also affect you mentally:  One in five Australian adults with severe or very severe pain also suffer depression or other mood disorders.  One in three Australian adults with severe or very severe pain have high or very high levels of psychological distress. There are high rates of generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance misuse. There are high levels of suicide ideation, plans and attempts in people with chronic pain, and physical health problems have been implicated in over 20% of suicides in Australia. There is no one simple solution because chronic pain is complex. It’s not uncommon to see people resort to increased medications, social/illicit drugs, alcohol, and other harmful substances just to escape the pain. The good news is, there is a better way.



There is a tsunami of psychological pain out there - anxiety, depression, PTSD, bullying, rage, deep despair, violence on the streets and in homes, addictions to substances and

self-destructive behaviours.

Estimates put the number of Australians who live with PTSD as high as 3-4 million. This is a huge proportion of the population who are not living productive or enjoyable lives.  This obviously comes at a huge economic and social cost to society. The leading cause of death in 14 to 44-year-olds in Australia is suicide.

The history of recognition of trauma is interesting as over time theories regarding the symptoms, causes and treatment resulting from trauma have greatly varied. The earliest references were found in 1900 BC where the term ‘hysteria’ was applied to woman and a constellation of symptoms that had no obvious physical explanation such as sudden loss of sight, loss of ability to walk or uncontrollable shaking.

Hysteria was then explained for the first time in a physiological way by Anton Mesmer in the nineteenth century. He was the first document that these hysterical symptoms could be present in both men and women and his approach for treatment, touching his patients with magnetic rods, is considered to be the predecessor to hypnotism due to the convincing manner of describing his techniques his patients and the strong suggestions of recovery.

"Traumatised people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word, they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult, if not impossible to function normally under these circumstances.  While some people are able to recover from trauma on their own, many are not. The inability to rebound from such events could subject one to PTSD along with a myriad of physical and emotional symptoms."

Peter Levine (Author and Trauma/PTSD Expert)

In the 1850s with the advent of the railways in US there was a huge increase in accidents and deaths with passengers and bystanders and victims complaining of ‘PTSD like’ symptoms with no apparent physical cause. The term ‘railway spine’ was coined and it was recognised as a disorder with many associated symptoms. During World War I when men fighting on the frontline witnessed horrific events, many soldiers began demonstrating symptoms of ‘hysteria’. The medical profession was unprepared for the huge numbers of soldiers with these issues and it therefore drew much attention. It was not considered fitting to diagnose these men with a “woman’s illness” so a new label had to be created and it was often referred to as “The Red Badge of Courage”. 

It wasn’t until World War 2  that the formal diagnostic category was developed. The term ‘gross stress reaction’ was published in the first diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-1) in 1952. After the Vietnam war another wave of young men were traumatised in combat and there was no official diagnosis to give them and therefore, no coverage for treatment. The American veterans lobbied to construct a diagnosis and the American psychological Association came up with ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ as the operational diagnosis in the DSM.

PTSD is unique among other psychiatric diagnoses because of the great importance placed upon the causal agent or the traumatic stressor (Herman, 1992). Traumatisation is seen as being caused by an event, not because of some weakness or failing in the person. Along with the diagnostic criteria of being exposed to a traumatic event are symptoms including intrusive recollections, avoidance/numbing symptoms and hyperarousal symptoms. Once these symptoms have been present for a duration of one month it meets the criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD.

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