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Privacy Policy

We at the Nova Institute for Health respect your concerns about privacy and value the trust you have placed in us. We have created this statement to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. We do not collect personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us. Providing such information is strictly voluntary. This policy is your guide to how we will handle information we learn about you from your visit to our website. 

Use of Links

Throughout our web pages, we provide links to other servers which may contain information of interest to our readers. We take no responsibility for, and exercise no control over, the organizations, views, or accuracy of the information contained on other servers. These sites have their own privacy notices, which we suggest you review if you visit them.

Linking from your web site to our site does not require permission. If you have a link you would like us to consider adding to our web site, please send an email to info@novainstituteforhealth.org with the subject “Link request.”

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If you would like to publish or otherwise use information, logos, or other images that you find on our web site, please send your request to info@novainstituteforhealth.org.

Accessibility

This website is designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities, and to comply with federal guidelines concerning accessibility. We welcome your comments. Please contact us at info@novainstituteforhealth.org.

Reading or Downloading

We collect and store only the following information about you: the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example, aol.com, if you are connecting from an America Online account, or princeton.edu if you are connecting from Princeton University’s domain), the date and time you access our site, and the Internet address of the web site from which you connected to our site. We use the information we collect to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, and to help us make our site more useful to visitors.

We will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our site unless you choose to provide such information to us. Providing such information is strictly voluntary.

Donations and Email Lists

If you make a donation to the Institute or sign up to receive news and/or event information, we will not share your name and contact information with outside parties except as might be required by law. If you sign up for one of our lists, we will only send you the kinds of information you have requested. You may always opt-out of receiving future mailings. Please see the “Opt Out” section below.

Sending us an Email

You may decide to send us personally identifying information in an electronic mail message containing a question or comment. We may use personally identifying information from your email to respond to your requests. We may forward your information to other employees who are better able to answer your questions. We may contact you in the future about our programs that may be of interest.

Change Your Contact Information or Opt Out

To change your contact information or opt out of receiving communications from us, please send an email to: info@novainstituteforhealth.org. Please put “new contact information” or “opt out” in the subject line. You may also call 443-681-7600.

Questions About Our Policies

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this web site, you can contact us at info@novainstituteforhealth.org.

Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.

  • Persistence: “People did not simply progress through this sequence and experience healing. The healing journey was a recursive, back and forth process. They found helpers, used the skills/resources that those helpers provided, found other helpers that provided more resources and used those skills and resources. As this process continued, people experienced a gradual amelioration of their suffering. Although many despaired at times, all demonstrated the quality of persistence—they refused to give up.”
  • Safety & Trust: “To connect to helpers, it was essential for people to feel safe in those relationships and able to trust that the person would be a helper and not a barrier to healing. Persons whose wounds included a violation of trust were especially careful about testing the safety of new relationships.”

Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”

  • Reframing: “A particularly important skill was the ability to reframe—that is to look at suffering through a different lens.” This does NOT mean minimizing trauma or pain, but rather it often means the opposite: understanding what happened was wrong, unfair, or uncontrollable and that we are not to blame for it.
  • Responsibility: While we don’t have control over what happened to us, we are the only ones who can help ourselves heal. “A third essential resource that people acquired or refined was the ability to take an appropriate amount of responsibility for their healing journeys. They participated actively in the process of healing. Once again, some participants already had developed this skill, and some acquired or refined it from their helpers.”
  • Positivity: “Another resource that people acquired or refined during their healing journey was choose to be positive—that is to have some optimism about their situation.” People have varying predispositions to positivity. In the study, positivity was important in helping people heal. This doesn’t mean a toxic positivity, but rather simply finding some good in life and feeling hopeful about our situations.

“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad. 

When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.) 

“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”

  • “Moving from being wounded, through suffering to healing, is possible. It is facilitated by developing safe, trusting relationships and by positive reframing that moves through the weight of responsibility to the ability to respond.”
  • “Relationships with health professionals were among these but were not necessarily any more important to the healing journey than other kinds of helpers, which included family members, friends, spirituality and their God, pets, support groups, administrators, case workers and supervisors.”

Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.” 

Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”

 In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.” 

  • Helping Others: We find meaning in helping others. “Understanding that suffering gives the strength and experience to help others in similar situations.”
  • Hope: We begin to have hope that we will not always feel this bad. A Crohn’s patient said, “I think gradually I realized that I was going to feel better. I did have days when I actually didn’t vomit, when I did feel better. And I think gradually I came to believe that maybe I could have a normal life again.”
  • Self-Acceptance: We see our inherent value and understand that we are not to blame for our suffering. A participant living with HIV said, “I’m really proud of myself. I think that now I still want to live. I don’t want to die, and I really love myself a lot. I have a lot of comfort in myself.”

Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding. 

There is some debate about whether people always experience suffering on the path to healing.

Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors. 

“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”

Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.

Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.

Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.