Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD) (276)
We received this question from a woman who was traumatized by a clumsy practitioner and then made to suffer an additional amount of time by the medical system, until she finally found some help. By then, she was the worse for wear, psychologically and physically. Sadly, we hear variations on this far too many times:
I am having a difficult time recovering both physically and psychologically from a traumatic hip injury caused by my medical treatment several months ago. The rehab specialist was very insensitive and aggressive and used the wrong equipment on my leg with such force that he messed up the proper functioning of my leg. It then took four months to get a doctor to listen to me or correctly diagnose the injury. I finally found a hip specialist who did, and had arthroscopic hip surgery in late January. By then, there was a lot of surrounding trauma and weakness to the back and hip, which has made recovery very slow and painful. I am still frightened and tense all the time, and worry that this is also impeding my progress. Which healing program do you think might help me the best, at least to start with?
I'm looking for guided imagery CDs to help my 11 year old grandson who we just discovered was being beaten by his father and step-mother for the past 2 years. He has been removed from that household and is now with his mom but is terrified that his dad is coming for him, terrified that he'll have to go back there, etc.
He also was mentally abused and has gone from a happy gregarious boy to a scared boy with no self esteem who says he "deserved" what happened to him.
He has trouble falling asleep every night. What do you recommend for him, especially to help him fall asleep? I use several of Belleruth's CDs for sleeping and depression etc. and I know guided imagery works.
I am a counselor who works in youth corrections. Many of our kids come from homes filled with abuse and neglect. They are very troubled, sad and angry. Because of their backgrounds and histories of inadequate parenting from their mothers and fathers, they lack skills in self-calming, even though that is what they need more than anything else.
These traumatized preteens and teens respond very well to meditation, tai chi, spirituality group and guided imagery, and I even use BR’s recordings for a group before they go to bed. It reaches them and settles them down in a very dramatic way. I want others to know about this, because these kids look like the most unlikely meditators and imagery-users in the world.
John Davis Hansen, MSW
Here is a wonderful poem I just rediscovered. It’s too good not to share with everyone.
I don’t recall the things of love
A smile warm from up above
A tender hug, caress or kiss
Such things as these were left amiss
Where were the eyes so pleased with me?
The caring glance I longed to see,
The joy and laughter of a home
Were merely dreams and that alone
Fear and worry, pain and grief
Were felt as drying autumn leaf
No safety of the hearth be there
Mere empty souls, could not but care
As they too lacked the skills of love
Felt not the warmth from up above
So blame is futile, blame is naught
The answer to this rhyme thus sought
But somehow in these words of woe
My heart finds peace, in writing so
The lines of memory, here and there
Give solace to my heart laid bare
And pity not the current state
As that was then and now is late
To change the past or wish for more
No all that’s left is what’s in store
And what’s in store is great indeed
For love provides my every need
And hearts alive can surely fly
So stride, shall I, with head held high
Corinne P. 2006
I have a son, now 26, who suffered a head injury, while skiing, when he was 18. Physically he is fine but emotionally and psychologically he is still struggling. While he has come a long way, it has been, and continues to be, a painful road (suicide attempt, drug addiction) and unfortunately he is not open to going for help. I was thinking of having him listen to your PTSD CD. I thought I would sit with him the first time that he listened to it, for support. He says he is willing to try it. I wonder if you have any other suggestions.
Our daughter was raped last year, and she has not been herself ever since. She quit school and stayed in the house for months, going out very rarely and only with one of us. She wouldn’t return calls to her closest friends. We tried therapy but she hated it.
Last month my parents got her the sleeping CD and WOW! what an amazing transformation! She’s coming back to her full self. She’s smiling again and interested in life around her again. We are so happy. I wanted you to know. No doubt she still needs help, but at least she’s interested in living again and what a joy to see her smile!
Grateful Georgia Mom
This study from the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine in Santa Rosa CA, examined the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements, on posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and psychological distress symptoms in veterans receiving mental health services.
Veterans meeting the clinical criteria for PTSD were randomized to either an EFT protocol (n = 30) or standard care/wait list (SOC/WL; n = 29). T he EFT intervention consisted of 6 one hour-long EFT coaching sessions, concurrent with standard care. The two groups were compared before and after the intervention (at 1 month for the SOC/WL group and after six sessions for the EFT group).
The EFT subjects had significantly reduced psychological distress (p < 0.0012) and PTSD symptom levels (p < 0.0001) after. In addition, 90% of the EFT group no longer met PTSD clinical criteria, compared with 4% in the SOC/WL group.
Thank you for your work, I've been enjoying your guided imagery for years.
Do you have a suggestion on guided imagery for someone with Alzheimers? My father is approaching the final stage. He has had an atypical journey so far. His sweet demeanor and patience have made the first stages less difficult than you read about in books and other people's accounts. It is still very difficult for him and my family, but he has not been violent or aggressive.
Right now he is beginning to say no like a toddler and is getting more frustrated than he had been. He is also doing a lot of chattering at times. Whether this is simply talking to himself or existing on another plane or talking to hallucinations I don't know. (Nor do I have any judgment or fear around any of these possibilities.)
This beautiful note got our attention at the office over the weekend. Sometimes with longstanding childhood sexual abuse (not always but frequently enough) guided imagery is just the added ingredient that’s needed in therapy to seal the deal on healing. This is one of those times.
I am currently working with a therapist who recommended guided imagery. I now own about 8 CDs and I don’t think I would have survived my severe Conversion Disorder/Dissociative Amnesia if she hadn't recommended them I listen to each CD twice a day. The impact they've had on my life is PROFOUND.
Evaluators from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System assessed the impact of a course of prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy on mental health and medical service utilization and health care service costs.
Data on VA health service utilization and health care costs were obtained from national VA databases for 70 veterans who completed prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy at the VA medical center. Utilization of services and cost data were examined for the year before and after treatment.