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Anger Management in Prison, Thanks to a Little Guided Imagery

27 Jan

A while back you posted a story by a corrections counselor, and this inspires me to share another story.  I, too, am a social worker who works with incarcerated youth.  They are all being tried as adults.  The jail where they are being housed has started to let one inmate listen to an imagery recording on anger and forgiveness.  He is on lockdown for fighting with another inmate who ruined his food.
 
He had only begun to listen to the audio, and maybe had heard it three times.
 
He became very angry about his situation and began pacing back and forth in his cell, trying to decide what to do.  He wanted to charge his peer when his cell door was opened.  He paced and paced, then he lay down on his bunk and continued to ruminate.  (This alone was progress, as in the past he reacted so impulsively, he would not have ever thought about his actions and consequences before acting.)

Well, he did choose to rush the other inmate.  However, the fact that he contemplated his actions prior was a great success.  Then, to culminate this truly wonderful story of hope and progress, when he described to me what happened, he said one of the things that helped as he cogitated over what do was, "I kept hearing the voice telling me not to do it.

“The voice?", I asked, wanting to assess him for auditory hallucinations.

"Yea! That lady's voice on the tape. I kept hearing her voice."

So he was already taking in the positive messages and feelings he had been experiencing, and making his own tapes inside his own head, where he can really use them.  Thanks for a great resource.  
 
p.s. Please do not print my name. 

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