Guided Imagery and PTSD: A Different Approach to Treatment

When I visualize a traditional therapist’s office, and then a military boot camp . . .

. . . I come up with two very different images.

It might seem obvious to those of us within the helping professions that, in order for treatment to be effective, we need to match the intervention to the person sitting in front of us.

But what if our own life experiences are so vastly different from our client’s that we’re barely speaking the same language?

And, is it possible we don’t even realize the degree to which unfamiliarity with another’s way of life impacts our ability to offer help?

That’s the situation my good friend Belleruth Naparstek found herself in when working with soldiers suffering from symptoms related to PTSD. She discovered that the typical approach we, as practitioners, take when working with soldiers didn’t translate well into the language and customs of the military.

I admire Belleruth because she didn’t allow unfamiliarity with military culture to stand in the way of getting help to wounded men and women who truly need it.

Her work offers an example of what can happen when we reach far beyond our own cultural inclinations and open our hearts to connect with the unfamiliar.

Take a look at the video below to see how she and one particular soldier bridged their communication gap in order to help him begin to find relief from PTSD.

Every time I post this video, people have asked where they can find these resources, so here’s the link.

Now I’m not an affiliate or anything, and if you decide to purchase anything from Belleruth or Health Journeys, I will not receive a commission. It’s just good stuff and I thought you’d like to know about it.

And there’s one more reason . . .

. . . according to the National Institute of Mental Health, millions of people in the United States suffer from PTSD, but less than half of those diagnosed with the disorder have received treatment.

As we think about the sacrifices of men and women who have laid down their lives in military service, I also want to highlight the challenges that many face when they return home.

If you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms related to PTSD, I hope you’ll share this video with them.

Now I’d like to hear from you. How might Belleruth’s experience in working with Sergeant Rauls change your approach with clients suffering from PTSD? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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149 Comments

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  3. As usual, Belleruth leads the way. I use her Imageries daily at the Cancer Clinic where I’ve been a volunteer teacher for the past 15 years. Thanks again, Belleruth.

  4. Jan Stroud; Clinical Social Worker; Barrie, ON Canada says:

    Very helpful and I believe this approach would be helpful with soldiers I work with. yhank you for sharing.

  5. Rev. Susan Scott, BCC, Spiritual Director, Avondale, PA says:

    I used Belleruth Naperstak’s guided imagery resources for myself as well as with hospice patients. What an effective this “alternate” introduction, designed for those who have been shaped by military culture … in this population, it’s bound to create more initial receptivity to the guided imagery experience she offers.

  6. Yes! The video is creative, succinct, and welcoming to those of us who have experienced mild to severe trauma. I am a three-hatter; trauma survivor, alcoholic/addict, and therapist. I’ve been working in Human Services for 33 years. My service includes the VA system, Indian Health Services, and now after 32 years, private practice. My husband is what I call a four-hatter. He is also a Veteran. We are both American Indian, and I am half Irish as well. Thinking culturally comes naturally to us. We spend almost no time in the work of feeling empathy for the cultural lives of our clients, including the military experience. Even though I am not a Veteran, my Father was a WWII Veteran and he raised us as though we were in boot camp, no feelings allowed. As a result of our low income, minority, oppression-centered early lives, we find that our approach has always been like the one Ms. Belleruth developed. It isn’t new, but the video clinches the effectiveness, a genius idea. I could go on and on about how much torment my husband and I were subjected to by Clinical Supervisors who told us we couldn’t laugh with our clients, be so “harsh”, use such common language, and generally demand that we become like them, all touchy freely without any use of the “hard way” in our approach. Since we are both severe trauma survivors, their relentless criticism created a hostile and threatening environment for us. We knew one important thing, first we had to stay clean and sober which meant some pretty firm self talk. We sometimes had abreactions which got us into deeper problems. Today we are finally free in our own practice to use the methods that we know are effective. We were always more successful in treating trauma survivors than the majority of our colleagues. We need to have a voice in the therapeutic world as those who comprehend trauma, mental illness, and addictions from both the inside out and professional views. The most important letters we have behind our names are BTDT, Been There Done That. Our client love it and we are grateful for the opportunity to work for their healing, particularly the hundreds of Veterans we’ve served.

  7. Liz says:

    Hi, wow what an incredible bridging of two divergent worlds! I work with First Responders and agree that many would find this appropriate because many were in the Military before. One cautionary note is that there tends to be a “general” group this approach will work for 100%, but my approach is more focused on the client’s emotion regulation state – if they are up and super anxious, I introduce the concept of calming activities that will bring their emotions down to a calmer state for their mind, emotional, physical and spiritual/religious aspects of self. It could be short audio meditations, playing golf or walking through nature, reading/watching/listening to a comedy, going to a support group, swimming, listening to music, attending church or listening to a spiritual/religious affirmation or teaching, etc. Obviously I would do opposite activation if client has a low emotion regulation (limited affect or avoidance behaviour). All I know is this was very refreshing and bold! It’s best to be a therapy-mut and just keep on learning…we tend to play a small role in recover! Thanks

  8. Shereen Fox says:

    Loved this intro. Reason being, he’s real! His language, demeanor and stories. I can see where this would help many give something so out of their character a try. Brilliant.

  9. Mary LMT, HHP California says:

    Usually, one may not take on to heavy a situation. But if so incountered, given what u know would need to be integrated into their level of understanding.. His voice is perfect for getting the public to understand. Heck, it can even be in a commercial for those with PTSD to be informed of alternative healing…

  10. Beth Owens says:

    As someone with a foot on both sides of this fence- a vet and a therapist- I have to say this is 100% spot on perfect. Meeting the client where they are instead of where the therapist is.

  11. b.c.philippe says:

    Well. It’s about time. I have been telling “privileged” psychologists and medical practitioners in the field to take a look at the raw primal authentic aspect of what we call life. The whole mindfulness meditation crap has never worked for most of my underprivileged, marginalized trauma survivors, and even returning veterans who have experienced and witnessed “hell on earth”. This is good that Belleruth actually listened and paid attention to the voice of the very human that we are all trying to help.
    Good work Belleruth and kudos to Dave, the brave man in uniform, who fought for those that really know what real pain is like. Your courage, Dave, has helped bridge this long dismissed and ignored gap that most “privileged” clinicians fail to see, clinicians who are all “minds” but not a lot of authenticity and heart, clinicians who have been “pampered” and “sheltered” from life’s horrible terror, clinicians who have never felt a single horror of real torment and suffering on a daily basis, most of their lives. Thank you, for bringing the truth into light.

  12. great intro.. I also favor integrative imagery which offers the client more choice and more power and reinforces the reality that it is an inside job.

  13. Bonnie says:

    This was very well done! In any situation, to effect change, you have to speak to someone in the language that they understand and that they relate to, in order to be heard. This is not only true in PTSD but also in other high-stress situations that are difficult for individuals and families to approach. So to speak, you have to talk the talk to help someone else walk the walk. This is very common in cross cultural exchanges for behavior modification. The discussion on the tape is like comparative psychology — the use of psychotherapy in a cross cultural setting.

  14. William Anderson says:

    That was awesome! Finally a therapeutic approach that doesn’t require a guy to shed his manhood!

  15. Kathleen Wagner, LCSW says:

    Thank you for this move toward treating the individual starting with where the client is. One size just does not fit all!
    And thank you Dave for sharing your story and inviting your fellow soldiers to give it a try!

  16. Charlene Ross says:

    Makes sense to me. the training anchors certain routines as normal. that is normal. alien to us. and that transition and speech normalizes. anything that bridges the gaps…helps. thank you Dave and others for having the courage to make the suggestions.

  17. K. Freeark, Ph.D. says:

    Dear Ruth and Belleruth,
    This is brilliant and so important! I just listened to it with my daughter who has many friends in the Marines. She also is the most passionate athlete I know, including rugby (to my dismay!). She immediately thought of friends in the military to whom she wants to forward this. She commented on how Dave’s tone becomes more mellow as he talks and was curious about how the transition to Belleruth’s voice and approach would be made. She knows military guys and gals and definitely thinks you are onto something with this. (Thank you because you have also helped me help her!)

  18. C. Agrimson says:

    Thank you so much for this alternative version–and what a good example of
    meeting clients where they are–and being a resourced, grounded and flexible clinician. Fantastic.

  19. Ruth, I have a case at the US Supreme Court, “Conversion Therapy” and am finding that very few members of my strict religious upbringing understand that I fell in love with Nancy and want to spend the remainder of my life with her. Our church believe we are mentally ill, sinning and demanded that we undergo “the cure”! This trauma triggered a bleeding ulcer and now a MALT Lymphoma, stomach cancer. My work is in “Cancer Aftercare” She is a retired school teacher. Please send references of how we cope with this lack of understanding by people who have loved us our entire lives! I moved to Washington, DC yesterday and went to an accepting church today, St. Mark’s Episcopal, an answer to prayers. Your current newsletter resonates. Thank you so much.

  20. Jan Hamilton, Ph.D. says:

    Ruth, I have a case at the US Supreme Court, “Conversion Therapy” and am finding that very few members of my strict religious upbringing understand that I fell in love with Nancy and want to spend the remainder of my life with her. Our church believe we are mentally ill, sinning and demanded that we undergo “the cure”! This trauma triggered a bleeding ulcer and now a MALT Lymphoma, stomach cancer. My work is in Cancer Aftercare” She is a retired school teacher. Please send references of how we cope with this lack of understanding by people who have loved us our entire lives!

  21. Jeanette says:

    I think it is important to meet the person where they are – my guess is the majority of men in the military are not upper class or white. Personally I’ve never cared for the this so-callled “soothing” voice either that is often found on relaxation tapes myself. I agree with Dr. van der Kolk that we therapists like to talk too much and assume that intellectual understanding is the cornerstone of healing.

  22. PETER R. ORTIZ, M.D. (RET) says:

    DEAR RUTH AND PELLERUTH,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRESENTATION OF GUIDED IRMAGERY TO PTSD, STARTING WITH THE MILITARY AND THOSE IN NEED. MY FIRST JOB ONCE MEDICAL TRAINING WAS FINISHED, WAS TO SERVE WITH THE U.S. NAVY DURING THE VIETNAM CONFLICT. I NEVER SAW COMBAT OR WAS NEAR TO SAME, BUT WHAT ALMOST DESTROYED MY HEART WAS OBSERVING THESE KIDS, AND THEY WERE KIDS, DRAFTED KIDS AT THAT RETURNING FROM COMBAT AND HAPPY TO BE ALIVE AND OUT OF HELL, BUT TOTALLY CHANGED FROM THE KIDS WHO HAD BEEN DRAFTED. THE VIOLENCE THEY WERE TAUGHT, WHICH IS NECESSARY, HAD TOTALLY CHANGED THEM. THEY WERE GLAD TO BE BACK AND OUT OF HELL, BUT THEY WERE BEING DISCHARGED INTO A SOCIETY WHO WAS SICK OF WAR AND, UNFORTUNATELY, TOOK IT OUT ON SOME OF THESE KIDS. AND THERE WAS NOT A THING I COULD DO ABOUT IT. SO I EMERGED FROM MY TWO YEARS OF SERVICE ALCOHOLIC, SUICIDAL, AND TOTALLY LOST. THE ONE REASON I DID NOT KILL MYSELF WAS NOT BEING AFRAID OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN ON THE OTHER SIDE, BUT IT WAS MY FIRM BELIEF IN REINCARNATION, AND I WANTED NO PART WITH HAVING TO REPEAT THIS SCENARIO. IN ANY EVENT, I AM STILL HERE AND DOING FAIRLY WELL, BUT PERIODICALLY A CLOUD COMES OVER ME AND I FEEL AS TOTALLY DEPRESSED AS I WAS THEN. I THINK YOUR TEACHING WILL REACH THESE KIDS, IF SOMEONE IS THERE TO HAVE THEM TRY IT AND STICK TO WHAT MAY HELP THEM. THAT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY IN THIS GROUP, OR ANY GROUP FOR THAT MATTER. SO IT IS ON WITH THE SHOW TILL THE CURTAIN FALLS, AND I TRUST YOUR TEACHING WILL MAKE THEIR SHOW AN ENJOYABLE ONE. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. LOVE pro
    I AM A GOOD FRIEND WITH NORM SHEALY, WHO I THINK HAS ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST MINDS I EVER MET IN THE FIELD OF MEDICINE.

  23. Stacy says:

    Wow! That was fantastic and it makes complete sense. Kind of like “toddler talk” (well nothing like that really), but you have to speak their language to open them up. Dave = Hero, no doubt about it.

  24. Ann Andrews says:

    This is so appropriate for the culture of people under fire
    in their jobs. It speaks their language in order to bring
    about rapport for this work of guided imagery. The guided imagery
    that I practice, gives the opportunity for changes peoples’ thinking about
    about their truama.

  25. That’s phantastic! And it definitely is so important to listen to the language veterans, still soldiers, or children of soldiers of ww2 have learned, internalized in their bodies. That’s what kept them alive – obviously! One has to listen in order to meet them where they are still moving around, in all these hell-like men-made disastrous situations. As therapists we have to do this step towards them in order to help them to begin gradually to trust that all these symptoms they are suffering from are normal responses of a human brain designed for an organism to survive.

    As I am living and working in Germany I cannot use this video with patients of mine, but I will be even more careful and pay more attention to my words and my attitude when offering guided imagery with patients like these.

    Thank you very much! it is very touchy!
    Cordula

    psychotherapist/ ECP
    Ulm, Germany

  26. Lisa says:

    This is brilliant! If only more clients would speak up & tell us HOW they really wish we would help them…and if only more practitioners would listen and act on it, like in this scenario. The day I started asking clients for honest feedback really began a new road of sharpening my skills as well as appreciating the ones I do have that I had taken for granted, yet really were important to my clients. This kind of co-creation of programs is so important.

  27. Grateful for this. I will definitely use it with my military clients. Very timely. Thanks!

  28. Janet Kahn says:

    Bravo for Bellaruth for being willing to step out of her “comfortable usual.” My work over the past 6 years with Veterans and their partners has taught me more than I can say. I have been and remain profoundly moved by how committed these folks are to our country and to each other. My research partner William Collinge and I developed a program called Mission Reconnect that is available via webstream and mobile app. We got wonderful guidance by offering workshops with Veterans and their partners in multiple settings before finalizing the videos and audios that make up Mission Reconnect. Some things we tried had to be let go of and are not in the final program, and the reasons were varied. One “meditation” involved a sound that was too high-pitched for people with tinnitus to tolerate. Another addressed the sensitive issue of self-forgiveness, but we headed their too quickly for people with whom the relationship had not yet been developed, and would not be developed as the program is designed for folks to use in their own homes. We are deeply grateful for the guidance we were given. This program was just tested in a randomized clinical trial with 160 Veteran/partner dyads in four cities from San Diego to NYC. We found that Mission Reconnect usage significantly lowered PTSD scores, depression, perceived stress and more, while it increased self-compassion and the capacity to respond to stressful events. I feel honored to have created something that turns out to be useful to people, and I am very clear that we did not create this alone.

    • Bravo, Janet! So important to go about the creation of your intervention the way you did!! Can you provide a link or more info re how to check out this app. It sounds wonderful and sorely needed.
      Best,
      Belleruth

  29. Jenny Kyng says:

    Thus is great and shows the importance of peer support. What a brilliant idea your patient came up with. Thanks to Dave and everyone else involved in this for publicising this breakthrough in trauma treatment.

  30. Pamela Wade, Psychologist, Australia says:

    Wonderful. thank you.

  31. This made me laugh out loud in a good way! I’m not a professional therapist. I’m the daughter of a WWII soldier, and I’ve been through my own kinds of war. EMDR and DNRS helped greatly. But I could never easily get going with guided imagery; I scoffed at it. And now I know why.

  32. Donna says:

    Thank you for this. It makes so much sense and reminds me again of the first lesson in grad school,
    “Start where the client is at.” sometimes the answers are staring at us in the room if we just take a pause and tune in..Amen to Belleruth for truly listening to Dave. Together you have created the start of a healing process like never before! And thank you Ruth for this platform. I feel so fortunate to have access to all of the information that is provided here. Gratefully yours.

  33. Well done!

  34. Jean Harris says:

    Thanks for sharing this video. Truly powerful when we understand another person’s journey… it is a great intro. Really sums up even for hard core Type A civilians who believe their invincible stories, see no reason to relinquish their hold on them to open up and unwittingly deprive themselves of the ability to connect with the true self. I know of what I speak. When I was told multiple times to seek help to address my emotional pain after decades of successive losses, I stubbornly ignored this option until the health of my mind, body and heart became severely compromised after being depleted physically, emotionally and spiritually along with setbacks after multiple surgeries. Very thankful for the one thing that saved me; my relentless pursuit to find a way to heal my broken spirit and heart, learn to love, to comfort my grief and to have compassion for my vulnerabilities. Through health professionals, supportive family, friends, research and resources like NICABM I am building new pathways in connecting to uncovering the essence of my true self. Therefore deeply appreciate this village that continues to raise me up and give me support and encouragement.

    On this Memorial Day weekend as well as all year round I retain the outlook to be in honor to all members of the military like Dave in the video… who are and have served our country or lost their lives like my brother, Capt. Merton Cabot Harris. I am in deep gratitude for your service in keeping our country safe!!

  35. Hello, Belleruth here. I so appreciate the thoughtful insights and sharing of clinical experiences in this forum (not to mention the generous encouragement)!!

    And hearing from delightful old colleague-friends like Doug Canterbury-Counts, whom I forgot I met at a John Wellwood workshop on relationships, eons ago!! What a pleasure!

    Many thanks to NICABM for providing the platform and making it all possible.

    We’re getting scores of emails, asking for the specific audio program that has Dave Raul’s intro on it. So I’m posting it here to save a little time:
    It’s called Mind-Body Exercises for Self-Mastery and it can be found here:
    > http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Mind-Body-Exercises-for-Self-Mastery/594/

    Thanks again to everyone for the interest, enthusiasm and insights. All best, BR

  36. This was excellent. Having gotten to know some ex-soldiers, it makes perfect sense. It is also interesting to hear the metacommunication in the way his voice softens through the course of the introduction. It meets the client where s/he is and gradually paces them down to a level where they can more easily assimilate the imagery. What a great guy and how wonderful that Belleruth was able to recognize what he had to offer.

  37. Carol Metcalfe Social Worker says:

    Thank you for sharing this video. I think it will be very helpful in working with first responders.

  38. Diana Appleton says:

    Bellaruth’s description of Sgt Rauls was so helpful. He reminds me of a 65 y/o Viet Nam Vet that I see. He is the tough guy who wants help but believes it’s not possible for him. He’s been through too much loss and feels too betrayed by the VA. Also, he grew up with an abusive alcoholic father. He has seen multiple therapists in the past but never stayed. He has made some progress but not enough to give him relief from his lifelong PTSD and chronic depression. As I listened to your recording, I realized that he needs a Way In to be able to receive permission for Self Soothing.

    I believe he would do well with your and Sgt Raul’s PTSD relief recording.

    Thanks so much for your video.

  39. Arlette says:

    I thought this was great. I would’ve liked to of heard Ruth’s guided imagery as well

  40. Sachelle Le Gall-Singh says:

    How powerful this is! Allowing ourselves to understand the cultural implications of individuals is so critical to the success of our clients. This is such a stellar example of this. It also takes humility on our part as therapists to recognise when we need to listen to our clients-we can learn so much from them. The soldier used the drill as an anchor whichin mindfulness work allows the client to orient themselves to a space providing calm and a kind of resolved focus . This will allow them to gain greater value from the guided imagery. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Pat griffin says:

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    Pat Griffin 667-315-5688
    Patgriffin2014@gmail.com

  42. Mikaila says:

    I love this! I wish I had heard this before guided imagery. I am a soft spoken individual and some people assume I’ve had an easy, peaceful, life. Even being a soft spoken person who projects peace, I thought guided imagery was a bit of fluff. I gave it a chance because my therapist, who had earned my trust over time, encouraged me to just stick with it. I found it to be extremely powerful, over time. I grew up in a hard assed home with unspeakable violence and had severe PTSD in my 20’s. EMDR, therapeutic breathing, Reiki, counseling, guided imagery and acupuncture helped me so that I no longer suffer nor take meds. Thank you for sharing this. I love it!

  43. Carrie Payne says:

    I studied with Akhter Ahsen for three years and have used Eidetic Imagery for years. It is the essence of so many treatments – including EMDR and Energy Psychology. I have Belleruth’s book and love her work. He has written many many books back as far as the 50’s.
    Carrie

  44. Lynn says:

    This is a great example of adapting to the person we are with. Not one way for all. This can be true for the language of youth as well as people from other countries and cultures. I learned so much from doing groups with men who were mandated for group therapy and as the only woman had to find a way to connect with them. Thank you for this piece.

  45. Maria says:

    I love this! I am not a veteran and that specific introduction wasn’t directed at me but it still resonated very much. One of the biggest issues I’ve had seeking help from mental health professionals is that it’s so obvious they don’t understand my reality. They assume their world is also my world, with the result often being that if I don’t accept the help they offer, or I try it out and it doesn’t work, I’m to blame basically. Because they “know” the methods work and if they don’t I most be the one doing it wrong. Examination if the method is in fact suited for me and my needs rarely happens. I have a similar experiences from self help and/or spiritual practises that are often made by well meaning, but fairly functional and rather priviliedged, people not taking more complex psychological issues into account. I really see it as a cultural problem in both cases, not being aware of how your laguage and use of it can in fact be excluding or alienating for a lot of people you are trying to help.
    I really appreciated this post, thank you.

  46. Carol says:

    I found it interesting, since our subconscious mind associates its feelings with the set and setting that already knows. A smooth way of desensitizing former associations with pain, hopeless and helpless feelings of isolation, and suicidal urge that no longer is serving the highest best of this population.

  47. Margaret says:

    This really gives food for thought and I can so relate to it from the perspective of treating rage full clients who I often have to meet before taking to a calmer place.

  48. Jen says:

    A wonderful example of real collaborative healing.

    So honoring – really connecting with the wisdom and experience of those who have the courage to heal themselves.

    As a mindfulness, somatic based psychotherapist from a working class background I’m delighted that the field of trauma is shifting what has often felt like a middle-class and top-down approach to well-being.

    • Maria says:

      Yes. Thank you.

  49. Silvia Silberman says:

    Very impressive. Cultural gaps are all around and we seldom acknowledge them. This is a good example
    Silvia

  50. Sandy says:

    Really love this intro! Many clients I see believe my life has just been sitting in a chair at a desk. It’s when we are able to connect as humans, imperfect beings living daily challenges that stretch us, threaten us and make us work, that the sessions get traction. I believe in meeting the client where they are and help guide them to where they want to be. If they can share any kind of future thought at all, at least we are on the way to keeping them safe and can create a commitment with them, a pact, to keep them safe. Then as helpers its up to us to further build that relationship of trust, dignity and respect with them. When we move in that direction, the sky’s the limit. Over the last 9 years I have worked with many survivors of trauma and violence as children. By the time they get to me as adults, there can be many years and layers of mental health issues, addiction, crime, sexual issues, children they’ve had and further violence added to the mix. The process of excavation begins with the help of many community supports, but the bottom line is developing that relationship of trust and respect. Just as they are.

  51. I loved the intro. I work with 14 adolescent girls who average an 8 on the ACES. I want to try this guided imagery them as another tool to help them deal their trauma.

  52. Thank you for this. So helpful to think outside the box and have the courage to try something different.

  53. This entire video and this man’s intro are just fantastic. Nice work!

    But the cultural divide with a lot of therapists and those with PTSD isn’t only with those who have been in the military. A lot of the differences are class differences as well as military culture.

    I’m not a veteran, though my father was, but this speaks to me.

    I hope other therapists will learn from Belleruth Naparstek and read her book, Invisible Heroes. The reason SO MANY survivors of trauma, like me, ADORE her is because she listens. I have not met in her person. I mean she listens to what we say about what works and doesn’t.

    YEARS and YEARS and YEARS ago she was trying all these different techniques, knowing and SAYING that talk therapy is not only not helpful but sometimes makes people feel worse. Therapists often don’t listen to us when we say that and many did not listen to her. It’s a shame but I’m glad people are listening now.

    And, with social media, we survivors of trauma can share with one another, directly, and tell each other about the tools and approaches that work, like hers, which is great.

    I just want to encourage ANY therapist who isn’t having a lot of success with trauma survivors to read her book. She gets it (as does Sebern Fisher) in a way few do. It’s a marked relief from most in the profession and I’m SO GLAD she’s getting the air time and respect she deserves for the work she’s done so long and well and affordably for so many of us.

    Christine “Cissy” White
    Trauma Survivor, Health Activist, Writer with a Guided Imagery practice that wonderfully.

  54. Ruth Shaw says:

    We find our calling in live in the strangest of places. Thank you Dave for being part of the solution.
    ‘Safe spaces’ also work wonders for women who need to go deep inside and re-discover their power.
    S

  55. Ada,MD, Italy says:

    Thank you for this powerful example of collaboration between so different worlds.
    Thank you also for your continuos work in deepening the understanding of trauma and all its different layers and dimensions

  56. Hoo Rah!! … I met Belleruth at a weekend on meditation and psychotherapy with John Welwood somewhere around 1985 … what a gift she has been to me personally and professionally in the years since … this addition by Top is a real asset or the many who just can’t get started … I’ve got two men right now that are going to get this link as another vehicle that may help their own healing … the link itself is therapeutic in the true sense of the word … tending the Garden …

    … and thanks to Ruth and all the grunts that keep NICABM serving us all ..

    Sending the Love,

    Sgt. Doug Canterbury-Counts, USMC 69-75

  57. Ruth Greenthal, Ph.D., clinical psychologist , Evanston , IL says:

    This is terrific!!

    Ruth C. Greenthal, Ph.D.
    Licensed clinical psychologist

  58. Rich says:

    My wife sent me a link to this…WOW! That was something I have never experienced in therapy, that’s why I quit going.
    MSgt thank you, excellent presentation, I’d have a drink with you any day!

  59. I use a technique call Bonny method of guides imagery and music. Music becomes the therapist. The first piece we play has to be where the person is at the moment. Sadness, anger, what ever emotion he is bringing. The they can go to deeper places and heal.
    Is it’s important to be with our clients wherever they are.

    • YEA!! Bonny Method!! I have to wonder if a marching induction might not be a wonderful way to connect the kinesthetics of tension with the grounding of repetitive motion and then on into the deeper working pieces.

  60. Susan Goodman says:

    I am very impressed with what has been presented here. As a therapist and with a son in the National Guard and a police officer, I can truly see the value in the way this tool has been presented to assist this population.

  61. Ada Andrist says:

    In my opininion, to be able to meet someone where they are is so rewarding for a therapist. Validation at its best!

  62. Stephanie Speake says:

    Hi all, I am in my last year of a Master’s in clinical counseling degree, emphasizing somatic psychology. I so appreciate this is brilliant and back to basics approach. I find it more than appropriate for the population it is intended for. To me, this is truly meeting the client where they are at.
    Thanks for changing the status quo, getting real, and sharing this us. I am excited to be entering the field in this exciting time of reinvention and authenticity.

    Blessings and peace.

  63. Zena Jacobson says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s an eye-opener.

  64. Fantastic!
    This will even help me as an art teacher caring about the trauma students have have and are unable to move forward.
    Thanks so very much.

  65. Nicki G. says:

    What a wonderful enlightening for this man.I feel some force came to him that made sense. And with that awakening he was able to make it his own and his and other comrades. I wish that he my Fathers time of war there could have been help for him. World War 11.United States Marine. I know loss too, my Dad could not take it and he left my Mom and me.I salute the Men and Women and I will always remember. Thank you Dave

  66. Nicki G. says:

    Wha

  67. Phil Baum says:

    If you haven’t been in the military you probably don’t have a clue about the reality of immersion in that world especially if it involved active warfare and even if it didn’t.

    My take: it’s best to let the vets guide you with regard to what’s what.

    Integrate that with your therapeutic methodology and you’re likely to help both yourself and the veteran.

    Stay open.

    Phil

  68. I really like this video. I have seen a number of videos that offer approaches to clients with military or paramilitary background. I work with injured workers and many are construction workers who find this “touchy feely stuff” difficult to get into. I agree that meeting people where they are is a more beneficial way than stating this will help you and the client either feels a failure or is angry with the approach.

  69. As both a clinical social worker and mother of a Marine, I thank you so much for showing us another way to approach military members and their families. Often we try to model ourselves after the psychotherapy “experts” to feel secure that we are doing things (like guided imagery) the”right” way. This is one area where applying the conventional approaches doesn’t really mean you are doing it “right”! Thanks for reminding us to “start where the client is”. (Funny, I heard that in “Social Work 101” over thirty years ago! You think it’d be easier to live it out in my practice. Appreciate the reminder!

    • Hah!! I learned it in Social Work 101, too, Patty! Not sure I knew exactly what they were talking about, I suppose, but I thought I did, and that was good enough for me! Thanks for the wise commentary.

  70. PIERRE H. says:

    I SUFFER FROM PTSD. I HAVE OFTEN HEARD SO-CALLED HELPFUL ADVICE FOR IT. MOST OF THE TIME, I DISCARDED IT AS COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS LITTLE ABOUT IT, AS COMING FROM A PLACE OUT OF TOUCH WITH MY REALITY. I AM NOT A SOLDIER AND HAVE NO MILITARY EXPERIENCE. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE HERE. ALTHOUGH FOREIGN TO ME, I CAN RECOGNIZE HOW TRUE I CAN SOUND FOR THOSE IT IS INTENDED TO. IT TOUCHES THEIR CORE. IT TAKES THEM HOME. IT CONNECTS THEM TO WHAT THEY KNOW AND RESPECT AND GIVE OR GAVE MEANING TO THEIR LIVES. IN IT, THERE IS A CRUCIAL ELEMENT OF SAFETY AND, FROM IT, THEY CAN RELAX AND LET GO.

    • Maria says:

      Yes, thank you. I tried to express something similar in my comment but this really touched me. Thank you for expressing it so well.

    • Wow. Thank you for this heartfelt and brainy summary..
      Wishing you well.
      BR

      • PIERRE H. says:

        THANKS FOR YOUR OWN COMMENT. I FEEL TOUCHED THAT I COULD SPEAK FROM BOTH MY HEART AND MY HEAD IN AN INTEGRATED WAY AND THAT THIS WAS PERCEIVED BY YOU. IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THE PERSONALITY ENNEAGRAM, I AM A TYPE 4 (HEART) WITH A 5 WING (HEAD). I HAVE STRUGGLED ALL MY LIFE WITH THESE TWO AS THEY WERE ALWAYS IN SOME DISCONNECT. I MAY HAVE FINALLY SUCCEEDED AT BRINGING THEM TOGETHER SOMEHOW.

        NOTE: THERE IS A ‘T’ MISSING IN MY INITIAL RESPONSE SO THAT MY TEXT SHOULD READ AS FOLLOW: “… HOW TRUE IT CAN SOUND…”

  71. Jody Roberts, psychotherapist says:

    thank you for these videos. i find them most helpful in my practice

  72. This is really interesting. I have recently had several clients with PTSD, a soldier, a policeman and an EMT- I am really curious about whether a guided imagery cd with an intro like this might help. Thanks for the introduction and link.

  73. Bill Harding says:

    Of Course! For Sure! Cultures, especially democratic cultures, include diversity. So we open our hearts and we let all sorts and styles enjoy the day. We modify our ways to get the job done. Focus on the goal – communion – and maybe a little bit of consecration.

  74. Penn says:

    Excellent stuff!

  75. Holly Seerley, MFT says:

    Has me in tears listening to Dave’s honest, true voice expressing himself I his way, knowing the pain he has been through, and admiring his perseverance and willingness to “try anything” and them find a way to help others who might not hang in fit what seems like too much softness. Dave’s voice will speak to so many.

    Bless you Dave. And bless you Belleruth Naparstek!

    Holly Seerley, MFT
    Also a survivor of family suicide & PTSD

  76. Pat Eagleman-wichita,Ks. says:

    Very good!

  77. Betsy says:

    This is brilliant. Thank you for posting.

  78. I will pass this on to several of my Meditation students.
    Thanks
    Jerry Ashmore
    Sr. Dharma Teacher
    Kwan Um School Of Zen

  79. Annie says:

    I remembered it from a course ( trauma/ PTSD) some years ago.
    First, I couldn’t believe it and at that time thought it was a joke.( why? Cultural difference)
    Now some years later ,I know that I also can have some difficulties with listening to certain
    Voices. For a relaxation cd ,for some reason I prefer to listen to the voice of a man.
    There is one app with a woman with a pronounced lisp.When I first heard it I was completely stressed.
    So , I can for 100% understand that soldier.
    At a certain age , we builded up our own history and that is different for everyone!
    We all carry or own backpack with memories of the past .
    So,I think that perhaps we can say we start all from a different place when we start with some kind of meditation,relaxation……..

  80. sol says:

    In my opinion if we psychotherapists,healers,ect , open our heart and let our intuition flows and listen to it,won’t need to think or realized whats best work when we treat different people

  81. Liz Pechous says:

    It would be great if this was something someone could purchase to have on their iPhone or Android phone. Is the MP3 downloadable on a phone?
    Thank you for this!

  82. Merrilee Baker says:

    Ok, now I am thinking…I work with remote Indigenous people across a huge cultural divide. Many are calm and quiet (listen deeply and take a while to respond to questions) but many move quickly from emotion to reaction such as yelling and rage (especially parenting). I adapt my voice and way of being to reflect who I am with and I am wondering if this is why I am finding it difficult choosing a way to present mindful parenting to a group. One to one voice and body language can be intune (I first heard about it in NLP & now mirror neurones). But if I had to think of a way to introduce a session to a rowdy mob I could take some pointers from this intro. But I don’t think I could do it. Like this intro I would need a rowdy person to intro it. “Right you mob, get over here, listen up!” I will stick to doing the intro for people who are quiet, maybe even a bit introverted. So maybe look deeper than group culture (work, religion, way of being) and consider the individual. Make use of the mirror neurones to connect. But if you are producing tapes it is good to have a wide range and consider who you are trying to reach.

  83. Hang-Nga says:

    My brother was a soldier and I suffer PTSD vicariously…This is helpful.

  84. Joseph Izzo, LICSW, Psychotherapist, Washington, DC says:

    Many thanks to Belleruth for being open to the client’s experience and military culture of machismo. In the presence of intense stress and danger, being on the offense seems like the best defense. Unfortunately, this “badass” attitude doesn’t work well in the civilian culture. I highly recommend that therapists who want to work with military personnel get involved with Give an Hour (www.gah.org) for the training & experience of working with the warrior class.

  85. Maureen says:

    Excellent work! My focus has recently changed from working with the military to working with Correctional Workers. It would be wonderful to have an intro that would engage other first responders in a similar way as many would not relate to the culture of the military. So, perhaps an intro geared to law enforcement?
    Thank you for this great tool.

  86. Kevin Henry says:

    It makes my heart sing when we helping professionals find courage to step out of our own over-learned mind-sets sufficiently to permit the openness, creativity, and freshness of approach necessary to be of real service to those significantly different from ourselves lead the way. This is such an example, a sterling pointer toward the essential qualities of real-world help, and a beautiful teaching toward our finding that courage and good sense within ourselves to be the people of service we hope to be. Thank you for it. And please thank Dave for his invaluable contribution.

    With singing heart,
    Kevin

  87. Sheila says:

    This is awesome. So on point for understanding culture.

  88. Anne says:

    Brilliant

  89. Wholistic therapist says:

    This is fantastic, having spent 17 years with an ex Royal Marine, who had had 15 years of service from the age of 17… I was this Love and Light lady involved in many forms of healing, I just thought I had to Love and keep loving, after all those years of trying to reach him with out any of this new knowledge on trauma, I was nearly dead myself…. When I left.. I would notice the only way I could in the rare moment reach him would be if I would write out the point I would want to get across, sort sharpe with the reason why and what felt like to me bark them at him, and on occasion it would work, I was able to get him to let go of the knife under the pillow… After all the years of verbal abuse, and psychotic episodes and hearing the awful stories, over and over, I felt I had been in the marines myself… The time he would show emotion was at Christamas when there were programmes of old soldiers being honoured he would sob.
    And his eyes would relax and I could see his light… I so wish I had had the amazing information that is now available for service people… The suffering is unbearable, I sobbed listening to Dave, and what he went through I with his son, who in my world sacrificed himself to show his dad what he had going on, and now so many will benefit, please God. I know my ex would have been right with Dave and would have been compelled to go with it… The level of terror they have lived really needs to be addressed by one who has been there to met them first to be lead to a trusted person…I watched my ex, he trusted a soldier more than his own mother who loved him. This is great work thank you for sharing.

  90. sarah bird says:

    You have my ATTENSHUN Dave! having worked with Vets and active personnel in Georgia with a now retired Trauma counselor and Psychotherapist Harold McRae, I learnt this approach from him. Thank you for having the courage to speak out and enlighten both therapists and those in need of our services. Best to you and yours.

    Thank you for sharing again Ruth and Belleruth for your wonderful work.

  91. Taney says:

    I cried while I listened to this video as it really touched home in more ways than one. As the daughter of a WWII concentration camp liberator, who never spoke of his experience but who carried the trauma with him for life and turned to alcohol to deal with it, I have experienced first hand what untreated PTSD and alcoholism can do to the person and to the entire family. As an adult nearing retirement, I have carried this trauma with me my entire life as well, helplessly watching it interfere with every aspect of my life, living with fear, anxiety, stress and depression. I, like Dave, scoffed at meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness, etc. primarily because of the music, the incense, those sweet voices, the ties to religion, and on and on. I resisted, and I continued suffering. Not until someone passed me this website two years ago and I began listening to all the wonderful professionals, did I begin to take imagery, mindfulness, etc. seriously, so much so that I have embarked on a master’s degree in relaxation, meditation and mindfulness at age 60. Dave’s intro to the guided imagery lines up perfectly with a concept in music therapy: you have to meet the person where he is before you can bring him to a state of relaxation or to an energized state, if that is what is indicated. If he is excited or agitated, play exciting music and gradually change the music to bring him down. If he is sad, begin with sad music and gradually play more lively music. So it makes perfect sense to me to meet the soldier with the tone that he is accustomed to and slowly bring him to a state of calm or mindfulness. Kudos to Dave. Kudos to Belleruth. and Kudos for nicabm for all the wonderful work you do. And I wonder if Dave would consider not only doing the intro but also leading the imagery itself, shifting from the drill seargent voice into a slow, calm relaxation inducing voice. Anyone have any thoughts on that? On its effect?

    • Wonderful idea!

      • I’d buy that CD. I feel like a woman’s voice is like growing an internal mother vibe inside and I’d love to add his to the internal father and tough voice which for many of us feels more authentic anyhow.

  92. Fantastic experience sharing, thank you so much both of you. This is fantastic, seriously interesting and incredible. It makes complete sense though, Katherine

  93. Juan R Rodriguez, SFC Retired U.S. Army says:

    Very nice introduction. I found it appropriate for the target audience.

  94. Bonnie McLean, Doctor of Chinese Medicine says:

    Which CD has Sgt. Rauls intro> This is one I would like to get. Thanks

  95. Janice Smylie says:

    Belleruth is very well respected in the field of clinical hypnosis. (I’ve been happy to promote Belleruth’s guided visualizations to my clients, for years.) The new introduction to the PTSD album is a little shocking at first. However, I can see how this very forceful, instructive and informative ‘get to reality’ direct speaking could connect to military lifestyle people, and get them to ‘Just Do It’.

    Being instructed to step outside your comfort zone and do what is required, might work well for people who have been directed to step outside of their comfort zone many times in the line of duty. The volume and cadence lowers a little at the end of the new opening… although perhaps not as fully ‘leading’ a person from high tension towards calm, as a professional like Belleruth might do.

    The main point is getting connected: anything that can get people connected to the resources that will allow meaningful healing to occur becomes a good choice. In the face of great personal loss, this man did not ‘take the easy way out’. Instead of complaining into the wind, he got heard, stepped up to the plate, and made a difference. I admire people who take action on their beliefs, and especially this soldier.

    • Janice, I hear you. Many civilian therapists are shocked by this intro. But, believe it or not, many current and former service personnel find that opener *comforting*, because it’s what they heard and did (or something very much like it) every morning, day after day… and we keep getting told, over and over, that there’s comfort and reassurance in the familiarity of the language, the humor, the references, the culture. .. In fact, I was just talking to a retired Navy officer the other day, who just discovered this intro, and who was telling me how much he loved hearing this, and how strongly he related to it. A great reminder of the power of culture!!

  96. Kathy Rolfe, retired in Boston says:

    I listened to this last Friday, 6/27 and pretty much cried through the whole thing. I was what is called a “Volunteer First Responder” at the Boston Marathon. I witnessed both bombs and saw all of the victims of the first bomb as they were brought through my Security sector which includes the front of the Medical Tent. In the past year I have had individual therapy (which wasn’t very helpful), EMDR therapy (which was short term and helpful) and attended an 8 week group therapy program with other “invisible victims”. I thought I was doing well and even worked again as a Volunteer Captain at this year’s Marathon. I was surprised by the intensity of my reaction to your video and called to order your materials. Your customer service rep was wonderful but also a bit concerned that I may not be ready for the package of the book and 9 CDs – I ordered them anyway but am now having second thoughts. Do you have any suggestions? Also, having experienced other traumas during my 68 years, I’m starting to believe that untreated trauma is cumulative and the Marathon experience has given me the opportunity to heal them all but, it’s scary. Thanks!!!

    • Dear Kathy,

      Thank you for your volunteer service, and hats off to you. I’m originally from Boston, and I love you for helping in such difficult circumstances. You say ‘I thought I was doing well’. You *are* doing well. Nobody heals in a straight line. And it’s awesome that you volunteered again – that is huge.

      But to answer your question, that set will not be a problem. Those nine exercises are perfectly geared to slowly acclimate you, using basic relaxation first, leading up to the more emotionally evocative grief and trauma imagery. It’s actually the ideal approach. With the book explaining and informing you, even more so. You’ll be prepped enough to handle a reaction if you have one (you’ll need those self-soothing skills for a while when out and about, too), but you’ll also be less likely to have one, because of those skills.

      The problem comes (for some people, not others) when they just hop right into the Healing Trauma imagery with no prep.

      That is why, at the very least, we recommend listening to Relaxation & Wellness first, to help people develop Relax-at-Will skills before moving on to the trauma imagery. We’ve found this to be especially the case with people suffering from recent trauma that has not been processed; or when early abuse memories are just starting to bubble up the surface, years later. Good to play it safe with some basic relaxation skills first, in those cases.

      However, keep in mind that even with jumping cold turkey into the PTS imagery, many people do fine with it – even love listening to it. Often this is the case with pain that has had time to season, and an adult survivor who is ready to heal – they may burst into cathartic tears, but not the distressing kind.

      So please keep this in mind. You are a recent survivor of trauma and vicarious trauma, so you should use relaxation first. Again, the set is not a problem – the relaxation is built in as the first phase of healing.

      Hope this clarifies your question! Blessings and best wishes. Belleruth

  97. Kenneth Rietema, Social Worker, Darmstadt, Germany says:

    Great demonstration of how one’s way of listening, thinkiing and speaking need to fit the person we are experiencing. Ia Am a Viet Nam era veteran and a retired DOD civilian social worker and really hear Sgt. Rauls loud and clear. Loved it.

  98. Judith, Grandma, Nevada says:

    Wonderful breakthrough for soldiers, EMTs etc.

  99. Catherine Light, retired, Encinitas CA says:

    I want to add that in addition to her CD’s, I think Belleruth’s book “Invisible Heroes, Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal” is an invaluable resource for practitioners. It is also extremely readable for the person who is healing from trauma. She addresses many origins of trauma, understanding what goes on in trauma and in the process in recovery, the neurophysiology behind these processes, and accounts of how people have healed even from the worst of traumas. There are examples of what others have used to heal, and imagery suggestions/scripts covering a variety of conditions. These printed materials can bypass the interference that arises when someone reacts negatively to a particular voice or style on a CD. A practitioner or survivor can insert their own style and emphasis as needed to bridge the gap, then use one of the recorded CDs for ease of use. However, there are so many heroes like Sgt Rauls that a CD just for them is wonderful!
    Regarding PTSD Awareness Day, one of the profound messages in the above-referenced book adds hope to PTSD Awareness Day – people can heal!

  100. L.Carpenter/Coach/Valencia,CA (LosAngeles) says:

    A quick thank you for all the advice on PTSD. I will purchase the Dvd’s from Belleruth. Too much trauma in the world! Sad that all the para-military men of service (Police, Firemen) do not use these materials plus a therapist on regular basis. I admire the people who have worked out this program. Thank you all, Linda Carpenter

  101. Joya,counselor, Guelph, on., Canada says:

    Excellent! Good for George getting Dave to finally listen. Hurray for Dave actually calling Belleruth to explain the problem to her & how it could be changed & fixed to better reach the soldiers. Kuddos to her for being the excellent therapist who listened to him, took his advice & they worked together to make that exciting and more helpful guided visualization.
    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

    Joya

  102. Martha Holschen, GCFP Bothell, WA says:

    As the wife of a career soldier, daughter-in-law to a career Marine and friend to many more soldiers, I can tell you this: This video will get their attention. They have been taught to “suck it up and keep on marching” from Basic Training. The challenge will be to get this into the hands of those who need it, but have no clue that they need it, much less how to ask for it. This sort of aid is far over due. I watched an Uncle, permanently disabled in the Korean War die slowly from his own nightmares. One eventually stopped his heart in his sleep. That is a sad way to go. Raising the awareness of how real PTSD is, not just for soldiers, but anyone recovering from serious traumas, can only be done by sharing the value of the real outcomes from people using things like this video as part of their own process. PTSD has been around as long as there has been violence. It only got named a real identifiyable mental health issue in the last few decades. Pretty sad. The loved ones of those suffering can speak volumes for the struggles these folks face. The violence in their homes can be directly related, without a doubt. I can imagine how this fits into the bigger scheme of world peace. How about you?

  103. Toni Mullins antique dealer prospect, Ky says:

    So thankfull is there something to help our soldiers. How greatful I am to them. I can’t even imagine the horror of what they’ve experienced.I can only hope this type of imagery can become available to all of our heros.

    Thanks

  104. Allison, psychologist, yoga teacher, Binghamton, NY says:

    Which specific CD has this introduction? Thank you!

    • Belleruth Naparstek says:

      Thank you for all the generous and informative commentary! Here is a link to the program that has this intro:
      http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Mind-Body-Exercises-for-Self-Mastery/594
      Hope that helps.
      All Best,
      BR

      • kelly helsel says:

        I have gotten several guided imagerys from healthyjourney.com.iit has a lot to do with the sound of voice. They have samples you can listen to a head of time. Deepok chopra also has a great series.

  105. natasha says:

    Love it! Tx for putting this out. It’s heartening to have trauma addressed in this authentic way for this sub culture.

  106. Anna Hemmendinger, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada says:

    I want an equivalent tape for type A Criminal Lawyers with whom I work!!!

  107. Valerie Palmer Canada says:

    My Dear Ruth,

    I am hearten by the continue info that I gain from your website. I am a survivor of childhood trauma and I am now 70. I am still working on those issues. As of the last few years so much info has come my way. I knew for years, in fact over 40 years ago that my problems were PSTD but could never find any real help. EFT and many other healing modalities are now available for those seeking healing. Everything on your website has provided some awareness and bought help. I thank you from the bottome of my heart.

    Warm regards Valerie

  108. Diana, Former Teacher, Writer, Northeast says:

    Wow! He hit the nail right on the head! Dave is amazing and I tell you what… Guided Imagery got me through an extremely difficult illness and although I’m not fully well my mind and spirit are in tip top shape… and I think your work is to blame… well, in great part to blame! Thank you!!!

    I know someone kind of like Dave who could use it if he could only get to it…. stay with it long enough to actually get to the imagery. Got any young post adolescent male versions? :)

    • Valerie Palmer Canada says:

      I find the word ‘blame’ negative. There is NEVER any blame only lessons. When we take responsibility 100% for our own lives blame is never in the equation.

      • Belleruth Naparstek says:

        Valerie,
        I think that word was meant ironically.
        All best,
        Belleruth

  109. interesting subject--Cant wait tolearn more--thank you says:

    thank you for all this information, vert interesting and enlightening.
    rose

    • Satur says:

      Let’s just say I wouldn’t be ginvig you the amount of time I am ginvig you if I didn’t think you were a VERY SPECIAL PERSON INDEED.You go through life and come across plenty of moaners, whingers and down right selfish people, who are of sound mind body, spending their days complaining about how unfair their life is. Then you come across someone like you, who has put their life on the line to keep us all safe, who has experienced the worst this world can throw at you and now suffers in silence.I cannot even begin to know what life with PTSD is like but thanks to finding you on Twitter I am at least understanding what it is. Every single day someone who hadn’t even heard of PTSD now knows what it is thanks to you.

  110. Su retired communications / North Port, Fl says:

    When ego has been scraped from the layers of collected debris, and the spirit is able to breath, the outcome of knowing our true self is consciousness with no limits! I loved this and am grateful to have had it gifted to me! Namaste

  111. Robert Fortney, M.Div, M.Ed., NCC, LPC says:

    SPOT ON!!

    Robert

  112. Julie, ohio says:

    I loved this! I feel that this could be utilized in so many ways, not just with soldiers. This would be so helpful for teens, drug/alcohol abuse, anyone whose stress has a certain group of people related to it, using a similar introduction as this one. I have always felt that if people had a better way to treat their stress they would never have to use drugs/alcohol. This could be that very treatment. Thank you for creating this, I’m positive that many people have been touched and helped by this. I hope you are able to get this information into many hands and helpers.

  113. Nurit Nardi, Biodyanmic CranioSacral therapist, Stress Coach, New Paltz, NY says:

    I have been practicing imagery for transformation based on Colette’ Aboulker Muscat teachings for the past fifteen years and am using the work for many emotional and physical stresses with great success. I have also served in the Israeli military and am well aware of that culture.

    I believe that Belleruth is right on the money. Always meet the person where they are at. The art of Imagery as I experience it, is to create a concentrated mix of language and images tailored to that particular person’s inner construct and circumstances, to create a quick jolt while gazing inside.

    I look forward to hear more about the work with the militarily or first responders in general.

  114. Mary, LMHC, MA says:

    Thank you for sharing this again.
    Belleruth’s work is amazing and incredibly effective! I have found, however, that many people are initially quite skeptical, finding it quite “weird” or “woo woo”. I love how the sergeant’s intro addresses many aspects of that resistance.

    Is there a way that I can access only the sergeant’s intro (without the conversation between Belleruth & Ruth, which is directed more towards clinicians) so that I can make that portion available to my students prior to them using the guided imagery?

    I am wondering if there is a link that only includes that or is there a recording that can be purchased with his intro at the beginning of a guided imagery practice for PTSD?

    Thanks for all of your wonderful work

  115. Shehnaaz Danak, LCSW, MO says:

    I watched this video the first time. I liked the approach and spefically the focus on understanding the client’s history and connecting with it by being culturally sensitive. I look forward to checking out health journeys site.

  116. Bill, Social Worker, California says:

    A great example of ” meeting our clients where they are”. Thank you.

  117. Kate, Prison Mindfulness Institute, Providence RI says:

    I teach mindfulness and emotional intelligence skills in prisons and have used Belleruths’ tapes many times. Of course prisons are filled with PTSD. I was a bit leery at first thinking that the prisoners would think the music and imagery was too ‘woo woo’ but in fact they most all of them became very relaxed and calm and reported they loved it. Highly recommend these tapes.

    • Belleruth Naparstek says:

      Kate, I was concerned about the same thing re incarcerated listeners. Imagine my surprise years ago when I first tested some new guided imagery with a group of prisoners and discovered that this population responds better and more positively than practically any other I’ve ever demonstrated guided imagery to. Such a lovely surprise. Go figure!! :) Thanks for sharing that.

      • Vanessa says:

        – Dear Krista, the truth of your words is so biufteual it hurts. I love your biufteual heart. Fear can only breed more fear. I think that all those people who offer love and acceptance as a reward for some standard of behavior are doing so because they have the same fear in their hearts that they would try to destroy us with. They do not truly believe the love of Christ. They do not truly believe the unconditional, perfect, and completely sufficient love of God our Father. They are afraid that they will not measure up to His standard (which of course they couldn’t without his grace) and so they create misery for themselves and everyone in their power. I recently heard faith described as resting your full weight on Christ like dropping down in a strong and comfortable chair after a weary day’s work. Those who manipulate and harm us have no idea what it means to have faith, to rest. And so they use religiosity and a twisted gospel to justify themselves and their cruelty. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. What makes me feel loved? My darling husband and dearest friend who knows me and my frailties more intimately than anyone else, and still comes home to me everyday with open arms, encouraging words, and sweet, unconditional love.

  118. Mary Kay says:

    Brilliant and on-point empathy–what a gift!!

  119. J D Gold, psychologist, Santos, FL says:

    To Christina in San Antonio:
    Make an appt with some psychotherapist or at least call or see a completely trusted best friend today! Compassion Fatigue is possibly what you are going through. In any event, this distress is not something you must do completely on your own, inside your own head. You need someone’s help for a while to put your distress in perspective and to regain your balance. This is a multi-step process often starting with putting your distress into spoken words to another person, and then moving into many possible helping practices including meditative breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and other practices. Just because you feel too overwhelmed to feel success with guided imagery right now doesn’t mean that another method along with putting your distress into words with another person cannot help you deal with this. Good luck!

  120. John Harare Zimbabwe says:

    thank you

  121. Julie. Psychtherapist. Perth, Australia says:

    thank you

  122. Cristina S Peelman, Teacher, San Antonio, TX says:

    Sometimes it is necesary to use other peoples way of looking at the world to reach them. I had no trouble relating this way to young children, but when it came to teens it was almost imposible unitl I could see things from their point of view. I’m the one going through these conflicts and I can’t seem to fit into the program. I guess what I need is ti think of how I best settled when I was younger, i’m not sure how to this, but I know I’m no longer any heip to those who couldn’t cpe with life. And I am the one needing some help in cooping with life. If yo have any ideas I welcome them. I’m not able at the moment to concentrate on imagery when I can’t hold a thought fo ver long. I’m in pain, can’t function and am unable to follow through with my plans. If you have any ideas i would appreciate it. Thank you

  123. Karen, holistic therapist, Australia says:

    This is really great, its encouraging that there a people who actually listen to the different people and start helping the people where they are at and not expect the client to fit the so called text book image.

  124. Konstanze, psychotherapist, Germany says:

    What a great example of linguistic/cultural pacing. Thank you
    I’ve found that the principle of this intro holds true for the work with other subcultures as well. Working with teenagers for example is facilitated by being open to their language and even using their metaphors i.e. ‘pacing’ with your languaging. Working with stiff-upper-lip people is enhanced by introducing your work in their linguistic and mental paradigm, etc. Somehow, I feel, we have to be able to be chameleons: not play-acting, but drawing from our “other sides” experiences. If we don’t have these, we need to learn about them.

  125. Heather Prince, life coach Uk says:

    This is so interesting how ‘institutionalised’ soldiers become. As a soul it is not in our heart to harm or cause death to another soul. This creates trauma within the soul. We need to evolve to understand that wars go against our life lesson of LOVE IS ALL THERE IS.

  126. Marion psychologist south africa says:

    This is so moving my whole body is tingling and alive with goosebumps. Thank you

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