Guided Imagery for Healing Posttraumatic Stress

© Netris | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
© Netris | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Have you or do you know someone who has suffered from a traumatic experience?  This experience may be perceived as life-threatening or overwhelming situations. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event meets criteria for a mental health diagnosis of post traumatic stress (PTSD). It is more about the response to the event over a period of time. Trauma can occur on multiple levels,  i.e. emotional, psychological, physiological, behavioral, and spiritual. The impact suggests a dysregulation or imbalance of the body and mind. Many trauma survivors are not in their bodies and they often do not know how to tap into their senses for self-regulation. They may feel a loss of connection to their physical body, to their support systems, or just everyday existence. Instead, the trauma-related responses may look like a myriad of symptoms, such as: anxiety, intense fears, flashbacks, worries, exhaustion, nightmares, avoidance, hypersensitivity, intrusive thoughts, feeling overwhelmed, low self-esteem, depression, numbness, substance abuse, or helplessness. Researchers are providing more data on the neurobiology (the brain and the nervous system) of trauma. More research is suggesting that helping a person with trauma, is not to recall the memories of the event, but to help them become unstuck.  Trauma impact can be experienced differently from one person to the next. Today, there are more widely accepted mind-body modalities to help treat trauma as compared to just the traditional talk therapy approach. I have found in my practice, that guided imagery to be effective with healing trauma. As you may know or begin to know, introducing guided imagery as a means to gently release and transform this energy, you will understand or experience yourself this transformational healing.

Guided Imagery is a technique that directs your imagination to help you access all your senses for the purpose of achieving a goal/intention. It involves the use of symbols, images, storytelling, and metaphors which can be used to create positive images in your mind, and everlasting change. Because trauma may be stored in the unconscious processes of the brain (where talking about the traumatic event does not reach), using guided imagery (which sense memory can be accessed in the area of the brain) can help reduce the physiological effects of the trauma, thereby gaining self-empowerment. The healing qualities of guided imagery for trauma may include, but not limited to: 1. brings balance and harmony to the mind and body. 2. reduce numbness. 3. self-soothing during a flashback or nightmares. 4. Confidence. 5. Improved sleep. 6. Reduces stress. 7. Reduce anxiety and depression.

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