My first #Emerging Proud interviewee of 2017 has an amazing story of resilience to tell. Heather Hargraves’ interest in the neuroscience of altered states of consciousness started due to the affects of a car accident Heather experienced when she was 21.
“When I was injured, not only did I have to deal with that, but afterwards my brother died and I had to identify his body. I was diagnosed with PTSD and even won the label of Personality Disorder as a result due to the emotional dysregulation I was experiencing. Through my research, I now know that it happened at a key (neurological) developmental milestone – 2 years of disassociation followed.”
Heather has channeled her pain into researching the therapeutic potential of altered states of consciousness, due to the tremendous healing she has gained personally.
Heather from Ontario, Canada, is an MA candidate in Counselling Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Paul Frewen. Her thesis is investigating a new form of EEG-neurofeedback based on the therapeutic potential of altered states as revealed on EEG. Heather has recently published research investigating the Mindful Breath Attention Score (MBAS) as a measure of focused attention during meditation in an online sample. Heather also holds a BAH in Philosophy from the University of Windsor. Heather is currently a Research Assistant with the Centre supporting the Uniting Our Nations program with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students in Thames Valley District School Board.
I am so grateful to Heather for her willingness to share her story so openly, and for her commitment to researching this field in order to change perceptions around perceived mental illness.