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Severe Childhood Abuse Survivor Asks What Else He Can Use To Complement Trauma Imagery

01 Dec

Question:
 
Dear Belleruth,

First of all thank you for the PTSD Guided Imagery Mp3's. They are, perhaps quite literally, a life saver. I've been in therapy for severe childhood trauma and I listen to your MP3's on my iPod ... well ... I can't imagine not having them and it's been a wonderful compliment to my therapy sessions.  And every time I hear you say "You are healing ... you will continue to heal", I feel deeply moved beyond words.  The sound of your voice, your help and guidance that comes across makes you the most dearest and treasured friend I've never met. : )

I would love if there are other MP3's specifically for PTSD you plan on making available in the $10-$20 range.

Again, thank you, Belleruth. God bless you for the tremendous gift and resource.
John S. in Chicago

Thank you very much, John, for the lovely words. I’m gratified that the imagery is working for you in this way.  That was Steve Kohn’s (our wonderful composer) and my hope when we created it together. 

We’ve actually been finding that this imagery seems to work best and most consistently with seasoned wounds like yours, of a more long standing nature – childhood abuse, past assaults, childhood illness, Vietnam and less recent wars, accumulated trauma from years of domestic violence, natural disasters from a few years ago, and so forth.  Our newly returned OIF and OEF soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan seem to do better with selected segments from the Panic and Stress Hardiness audios because they’re briefer and more self-management oriented. We’ve concluded that for recent events, the wounds may be too fresh for the deeper and more intense kind of imagery that you’re using.  Simple self-regulation and relaxation, and a little help with sleep are the first order of business for this situation.

As for what other imagery you might use that’s trauma related – I’ll stick to the ones I’ve done, since you already have a positive connection to my voice: 

  • Grief is a huge issue for PTS survivors.  So much sadness and loss – of people, places, trust, confidence, and life as it was once experienced. So the Ease Grief  imagery is usually very helpful and an important alternate to the PTSD imagery.  Like the trauma imagery, you need to be ready to feel your feelings again before you use this,because it’s designed to evoke emotion.

  • Sleeplessness usually accompanies posttraumatic stress. Our Healthful Sleep imagery is a big help for many people, and believe it or not, has been known to substitute for medication with a lot of people.

  • Panic Attacks often occur along with PTS, either right away or after a period of time.  If this is the case for you, this imagery does a nice job in giving you some control back over these episodes.

  • The Anger & Forgiveness imagery is a beautiful, healing thing to do, but only if you’re truly ready to forgive.  It’s best not to push this and to keep in mind that some people are never ready.  Respecting your own internal sense of what you want and need to do is the most important thing.

I hope this helps.  Take care and be well.

Belleruth
 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award