Ask BR: What Do You Suggest To Help With the Lingering Effects of Gaslighting and Low Self-Esteem/Co-Dependency

I would like to know which guided imagery audio you’d recommend:   Im a 72-woman single woman, doing well, but trying to soften the edges of having lived with a sociopath, and being raised by a narcissistic mother.  ...Still lingering effects of gaslighting and low self-esteem/co-dependency. 



Hello, Clara. 

Okay, understood – you got a double dose of negative “indoctrination” about your value, worth, and inherent beauty for a lot of years. And I suspect from the elegant, concise wording of your question, some positive input leaked in there, too, from others – maybe a grandmother, teacher, coach?? (Or maybe your very brains saved you. We therapists generally don’t give enough credit to intellectual capacity for saving psyches. In fact, there’s research showing that having ample brain power is associated with being less impacted by the same traumatic event experienced by people with less capacity.) 

Perhaps some of the guided meditations I’m going to suggest will help provide a healthy, nourishing, sudsy new “brainwash” to refresh your wiring and reinforce your boundaries, by installing positive messages into your neuro-system to counter and crowd out the toxic programming, and help guide you in new directions. It can’t hurt, and it’s certainly worth a shot. 

Some guided imagery to help you with this mission could be my Relaxation & Wellness imagery, with an added track of affirmations; Traci Stein’s Self-Esteem Day & Night, which gives you the added advantage of using the deep receptivity of the sleep state to augment your daytime listening; Emmett Miller’s Meditations for Releasing Shame & Embracing Self-Worth or Bodhipaksa’s How to Stop Beating Yourself Up.   

I suggest you listen to the sound samples and choose the voices, pacing, narrative and methods that appeal most to you. Take your time and start small, making sure this kind of technique works for you before spending your wad on it. You also may want to check out the section on each product page under “You might also like…” too.  

After making your choice(s), start out listening to one at a time, at least once or twice a day, for 2-3 weeks, then integrating a new one into the mix, eventually having enough of a selection to be able to pick whatever you’re in the mood for on a day-to-day basis.  

Wishing you the best with this.