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with help of therapist and imagery, meditation and EMDR and EFT, woman reclaims life

12 Jul
A sexual trauma survivor reclaims her life, after years of nightmares, flashbacks, anxieties, phobias and avoiding life, thanks to a skilled therapist who specializes in this problem, and imagery, meditation and EMDR and EFT..
I wanted to let you know that I’m one of those people who was severely traumatized as a child, through repeated sexual molestation by a relative, and then retraumatized as an adult, through domestic violence and multiple rapes, courtesy of my husband.

I was very nonfunctional for over a half dozen years that spanned my thirties and early forties. I barely left the house, except when I absolutely had to. I was subject to terrible waves of anxiety, shaking and nausea at the thought of taking my car to the carwash or going to the grocery store. I didn’t sleep because of nightmares. I was pathologically thin and suffered from anorexia. There’s more but the main point was I didn’t think there was any hope for me, for ever having a normal life. Each day was something to get through.

By luck or divine intervention or both, I wound up at the doorstep of a wonderful therapist, who happened to be an expert at hypnosis, guided imagery, EMDR, EFT and Somatic Experiencing. These are all techniques that I have since learned are first line therapies for what I had - post traumatic stress. That was a happy accident. I didn’t know what to look for in a counselor.

I was taught to use self-hypnosis and imagery for when the anxiety started building. I also used it to help me sleep. I was surprised at the way it worked so well. I was told that this was precisely because I was a trauma survivor. We survivors of incest really know how to go into a trance. We do it all the time, whether we’re trying to or not.

I attacked specific memories and images through the EMDR, EFT and SE techniques. They made an immediate difference in some things. Others were more resistant. To this day, I still startle when surprised by loud noises or a sudden touch I didn’t see coming. But I am a different person, after only two and a half years of various therapies and aids. I will continue with them to make sure I get all the benefit there is to get.

I can honestly say I am well on my way to being happy and fulfilled. Most of my anxiety is gone. I gathered the courage to leave my husband. I have gone back to work, as a counselor in a domestic violence shelter. I sing with joy in my church choir. I have made wonderful new friends. I am normal weight and I almost never obsess about food. I am deeply grateful for each day. I love my new strength.

I wanted people who have suffered similarly to know this. I remember how hopeless I once felt, and I know there are others who feel the same. It seems like another lifetime and a different person now!

God Bless.
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