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Guided Imagery Helps a Trauma Survivor Feel Safe for the First Time in Decades

16 Dec

Dear Health Journeys and BR,

I have been living with the effects of trauma over many, many years. Some of the forms it has taken is in negative thinking and poor self-image. I also have great anxiety about my safety. As a result, my life has gotten more and more rigid, narrow and constricted, despite my efforts to continually reassure myself that I am no longer at great risk.

Twenty-plus years of therapy helped me identify these issues and understand them better. Then EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) did a good job of helping me erase a suicidal tape that was running through my head. Then I found your guided imagery! 

I have been listening to Healing Trauma/PTSD together with Anger & Forgiveness for four weeks and I can honestly say that I am giddy with delight at how my whole sense of safety has increased. I have become much more attuned to the present moment and can now notice and appreciate of the options I have; I feel empowerd, with an easier way of being in the world. It is a feeling of more space for me to realize my path forward.

Some of the trauma experiences have been locked in my body without direct access to the actual memories. However, somehow today, I actually felt a shift viscerally, very physically! Later on, I was able to process my trauma experience with my therapist, in a deeper way than I ever have been able to. For the first time I didn’t have the usual sense of jarring, fear and near loss of consciousness. I feel so GOOD! I feel so safe and alive and jubilant! I am not exaggerating the joy I feel in just being.

Anita

Ed. Note:  BR wrote this back to Anita:

Dear Anita,

Thank you for sharing this. It helps a lot to hear stories like this - not just because it makes us happy (which it does), but because it helps us understand how these immersive, non-linear therapies help heal longstanding trauma in a deep, body-based way that is frequently inaccessible otherwise. We are happy for you and wish you the very best on your wonderful journey of discovery.

Belleruth & HJ Staff

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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