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What Can I Listen to for Flashbacks and Feeling like I’m Being Strangled…

12 Feb

Dear Belleruth:

Which of your CD's can help me get rid of my flashbacks and strangulation feelings that are due to my PTSD?  
Please advise.

Thank you,
Linda P.

Dear Linda,

I'd start with something fairly neutral and relaxing for a couple of weeks, like the Relaxation & Wellness or General Wellness, to see if you find it calming at all. 

You could also start with Healthful Sleep instead of or in addition to those two titles I just mentioned.   A lot of trauma survivors start with this imagery and get a double benefit from it: it's good 'starter' imagery, just as the two titles mentioned above are; and most trauma survivors have trouble with sleep anyway. 

In any case, after a couple weeks (maybe once or twice a day) of the calming, self-regulating imagery, if you find yourself responding well to it, and that you’re feeling a little more balanced and steady, then you could move on to the Healing Trauma imagery, also listening once or twice daily for a couple of weeks.

You may want to listen to the whole thing several times a day – some do – or you may just want to listen to brief segments of it at first (it's more intense and emotionally evocative, so some feel they’re not up for the full ‘dose’ right away). But it’s been found to be very effective and get the job done for many.

If it feels right, after a couple of weeks of the trauma imagery, you may want to alternate it with the ‘starter’ audio(s). Mixing them up keeps it fresh.

And if you want suggestions for what else you can do - body work, other kinds of meditation, journaling, group support with other survivors, etc - you might want to pick up my book in the library or buy it online - it pretty much covers everything along those lines. It’s called Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal.
Hope this helps.

Wishing you the best.

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