My therapist told me that it might be better to restrict myself to guided meditation that doesn’t involve trying to visualize. I used to really enjoy doing visualizations, but now I am plagued by negative images, the opposite of what I’m after, and cannot see the positive any more. This frustrates and upsets me. What should I do?
We got this question from a woman who says she cannot part with her things. So, in honor of Pack Rat Day, we’re posting her question and BR’s answer.
I’m a 56-year-old woman who cannot part with my things – old papers, my kids’ baby clothes, their old school projects, yellowed, ratty music programs, and even letters from people I barely remember. I listen to your tapes nightly in the tub and love them. Got any advice for me? Thank you, Ellie.
Hi BR - LOVE (!) your CDs; thank you for your beautiful work. I have all your programs that your website’s search engine says relate to PTSD.
My question: a decade ago, I developed a phobia of spiders. (I’m getting chills and shudders, even as I write this.) Our beautiful new home in a new city was overrun with 'predator spiders' (huge, Amazonian creatures!) and about 20 different other species - hard to believe, but anyway - we moved.
I went to therapy for quite some time; no help. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety (no kidding :-) and am on meds. I am doing extremely well, but every time I see a 'beast' in the house (just the 'typical' critters of Spring) I go into full panic mode. This is only for spiders - no other bug produces the long-lasting panic in me.
We got this question from a caring daughter-in-law to a Holocaust survivor heading into the end of her life with exacerbated symptoms of posttraumatic stress. She needs a simple, soothing narrative, delivered in a simple way she can operate herself. Does such a thing exist, her daughter-in-law asks. It does, we answer.
We got this question from a weary California therapist, who is struggling with her own discouragement, distress and disorientation following the November election, and whose clients are presenting her with the same issue.
Belleruth gives her some bullet points on preventing burnout and compassion fatigue under these circumstances. They have wide applicability – this is an issue for parents, educators, journalists, friends and managers, too.
I have a question about self-care and coping with stress as a therapist. Now and then we might meet with a client whose issue mirrors something we’re dealing with ourselves. We offer our support while maintaining our professional distance… but it doesn’t usually happen two or three times a week. It has been lately, especially here in California where so many of us are still struggling with the outcome of the November election.
A certain percentage of people dealing with cancer don’t like or can’t relate to aggressive cellular imagery that envisions immune cells going to war against cancer cells and zapping them into oblivion, even though that’s more or less what happens inside the body on any given day. This woman, undergoing treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer, wants to know if there are gentle images she can use, and if so, what...
A woman coping with a trifecta of challenges: postpartum depression, possible grief, and posttraumatic stress suffered during pregnancy, childbirth and after, wonders if there are any resources that can make a dent on these complex challenges.
Here’s her question:
Hello, I'm suffering from postpartum depression and ptsd from several traumatic events I suffered in pregnancy childbirth and after. I was wondering if there are any tips or guided imagery that will help me best.
We got this question from a social worker who herself was experiencing a deeply unsettled transition time in her life, who wondered if we had anything recorded from BR’s book, Your Sixth Sense, to help her access more of her intuitive capacity to help her out.
I met you many years ago at a conference in Hilton Head.
I am entering/trying to create a new chapter in my life and wanting to return to and expand on my prior varied experiences with guided imagery, energy medicine and spirituality.
A therapist dealing with her own major losses, traumatic grief, anger, panic attacks and PTS asks which meditations would be best for her, to complement and fortify the work she is doing in psychotherapy.
I recently lost both parents - my mom after a long illness, and my dad killed himself a few months later.
After an argument with me, he went upstairs and shot himself. I found him. It was a huge trauma, and I have been in great distress ever since.
We got this excellent question from a practitioner who wonders if there’s research support for closing one’s eyes while listening to guided imagery.
His sense is that people have more access to their unconscious and sub-conscious when their eyes are shut because when we shut down the frontal cortex, the imagistic mid-brain becomes more active. He asked what BR thought about this.
Check out his question and Belleruth’s answer: