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What's Good Imagery for Loss of a Baby; and for Adults Who Survived Childhood Abuse??

12 Feb

A therapist asks Belleruth about guided imagery for 2 different populations she works with: parents who lost a baby within the first year of life; and women who’ve survived childhood sexual abuse.

Dear Belleruth,

I facilitate a support group for parents who have lost their baby following a miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death, termination for medical reasons, or any other loss within the first year of life. I also work with moms and couples individually.

Do you have guided imagery that is specifically for loss/death?

I do have your Healing Trauma CD, which is so gentle and loving, just what is called for. I plan to use it with young women who experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Do you have any advice about this?

Thank you for the beautiful work that you do!

Giselle

 

Dear Giselle,

That is beautiful and brave work that you do. Not everyone has an aptitude for sitting with such profound suffering.

Yes, we have guided imagery for healing grief. It would work well for the loss of a baby. You can find it here.

As to the young women survivors of childhood abuse, I would recommend starting with something like Relaxation & Wellness as a stepping stone meditation to lead up to the more emotionally evocative and intense imagery of Healing Trauma. Although the latter is arguably the most healing imagery we’ve got, it can be a bit much as an ‘opener’, certainly for survivors of recent trauma, and sometimes even for survivors of long-ago, seasoned, childhood trauma (although a large percentage of adult survivors of childhood abuse are very ready for it).

Also, just so you know, within MP3 format, we have 2 different options for the affirmations track on that trauma program – one has the original version, where the second to last affirmation that says “I know that I am held in the hands of God and I am perfectly, utterly safe.”

Most people really love that image. But some trauma survivors get really angry and upset at the God reference…. as in, Where the heck was God when I was getting terrorized by my predatory stepfather?’ And it can undo the peace and healing that was happening up to that point. As a result of that feedback, we’ve created a ‘God-free’ version that is also available digitally.

I hope that’s useful info. Take care of yourself and best of luck with all that you do,

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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