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A therapist asks what can a hearing-impaired person do - a person who suffers from posttraumatic str

08 May
A therapist asks what can a hearing-impaired person do - a person who suffers from posttraumatic stress, chronic pain, anger and depression - when she cannot hear either guided imagery or music?
Dear BR,
I have enjoyed many of your CD''s and tapes personally as well as professionally. I am a counselor and work with many stressed, depressed, PTS survivors, alcoholics and chronic pain patients. I find visualization very helpful to most of them once I get them involved.

I have a question along these same lines. I am dealing with a client with chronic pain, lots of anger and unresolved hostility, plus some mild PTSD symptoms. My problem is getting her to try visualization. She is very hard of hearing due to an injury. She never learned sign language, and is unable to enhance her hearing with hearing aids, plus she has a limited attention span with new topics.

Is there any other form of visualization that can work without music and being talked into the relaxed state that you are aware of?
JH



Dear JH,
She can read short scripts (in my books, Julie Lusk''s, or others) and then close her eyes and imagine them; or she could work with Bernie Siegel''s or Carl Simonton''s video affirmations, where there are beautiful videotaped scenes with affirmations written out and scrolled at the bottom of the screen... also, Charles Needle''s video slide show of his nature photographs is a beautiful, calming resource; or Jim Porter''s amazing videotaped nature scenes (I think his work is particularly gorgeous and soothing, because of the way his camera lingers on close-ups) - all of these will do the same thing as imagery (or close) with just gorgeous, meditative visual cues. So this is one possibility, if her attention span allows it. (Keep in mind that a lot of people with ADD or ADHD - kids or adults - who cannot maintain attention for left-brain, cognitive topics, will do just fine with right-brain assignments, like guided imagery.)

Another possibility would be to introduce her to energy work - the gentler versions to start, like Reiki, Therapeutic Touch or Zero Balancing to learn self-soothing kinesthetically, through her skin.

And finally, some of the new tapping techniques - EFT, TFT and the like, such as what you might find on Mary Sise’s DVD or through a local practitioner could be just the thing to help her break through.

(It is true that hearing-impaired people can do well with guided imagery and music in a group setting, unlikely as this may seem. They are able to energetically absorb the soothing effects from others, just by sitting among a densely packed group, all listening to the same thing. And you can also try an old Stan Grof trick, which is to play the music on big speakers and have the person lay on the floor and feel the vibrations through their skin.)

I hope this helps.

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