If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic event, you know the devastating impact it can have on your life and your spirit. Life-threatening accidents, illnesses, assaults, abusive relationships—or a tragedy like 9/11—all can leave deep emotional wounds that persist long after physical scars have healed. Survivors become “invisible heroes,” courageously struggling to lead normal lives in spite of symptoms so baffling and disturbing that they sometimes doubt their own sanity.
Now there is new hope for the millions affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Drawing on more than thirty years’ experience as a therapist and on the most recent cutting-edge research, Belleruth Naparstek presents a clinically proven program for recovery using the potent tool of guided imagery. She reveals how guided imagery goes straight to the right side of the brain, where it impacts the nonverbal wiring of the nervous system itself, the key to alleviating suffering.
Filled with the voices of real trauma survivors and therapists whose lives and work have been changed by this approach, Invisible Heroes offers:
• New understanding of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects of PTSD, who is most susceptible, and why symptoms can get worse rather than better with time
• Important insights into how the brain and body respond to trauma, why conventional talk therapy can actually impede recovery, and why the nonverbal, image-based right brain is crucial to healing
• A step-by-step program with more than twenty scripts for guided-imagery exercises tailored to the three stages of recovery, from immediate relief of anxiety attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, and insomnia, to freedom from depression and isolation, to renewed engagement with life
• A helpful guide to the best of the new imagery-based therapies, and how to incorporate them into an overall recovery plan
Belleruth Naparstek concludes with the inspiring words of survivors who have found their way back to peace, purpose, and a deep joy in living. Her compassionate, groundbreaking book can lead you and those in your care to the same renewal and healing.
In the wake of 9/11, there was much media coverage of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD-the long-term stress response whose symptoms include chronic pain, nightmares and panic attacks-and how to treat it. Naparstek, a therapist for more than 30 years, is an advocate of guided imagery, as opposed to talk therapy, and in this book she uses case histories to illustrate how it works; she also looks at recent research on the brain that shows why this method is effective and offers step-by-step instructions on using guided imagery, which she defines as "deliberate, directed daydreaming," for healing trauma. According to Naparstek, trauma damages the left brain, which is language oriented, and talking about the trauma can actually worsen symptoms. Imagery, on the other hand affects the right brain, the seat of the emotions. Guided imagery is "fast, powerful, costs little or nothing," says the author; it can be done alone or in groups, with the help of tapes that walk the stress victim through the process of finding images that help heal the trauma. Clinicians will find the entire book useful; people seeking help may not need explanations of the biochemical processes underlying PTSD, but will respond to Napartek's passionate advocacy of a simple, gentle healing method. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.