BR’s Guided Imagery Talk at USC This Week; Tips on Staying Safe after Leaving Your Abuser

I've briefly diverged from my usual stay-at-home behavior, giving a lot of talks this past couple of weeks. I’m glad I did, because I’ve learned a lot from all the people I've met and spoken with.

Aside from some terrific, practical insights, ideas and resource recommendations, I also got a score of powerful, new stories on how a simple, inexpensive, portable, uploadable, audio intervention called guided imagery can make difference in people’s lives. It was good to get that message, over and over again.

My next stop this week is L.A. to be part of an exciting afternoon gathering sponsored by USC’s and Keck Hospital’s Institute for Integrative Health and the Center for Health System Innovation.

I’ll be speaking on guided imagery, talking about who can benefit from it, who not so much, under what conditions , what the latest research shows and some solid practitioner tips.

This started out as an in-service training for staff, but was recently opened up for the public by Drs. Carol Peden and Marc Weigensberg, and Tveen Kirkpatrick RN from the Norris Cancer Center, where guided imagery is used a lot. 

It's scheduled for Thursday afternoon, October 27, from 1-3. It’s a good idea to RSVP by October 24th to [email protected], because after that, it's first come, first seated. There’s more info on the flier.

And as for those post-exit tactics I promised last week for those ready to liberate themselves from their violent abuser in as safe a way as possible, here they are. (And as I said, I know this sounds psycho-paranoid, but it’s not. Your life could depend on advice like this.)

Safe Escape Tactics:

  • Plan for ultimately setting up your new home in a well-populated area – maybe a Neighborhood Watch area or an apartment building. 
  • Create a misleading trail to a fake location several hours away from your house. Call hotels, schools, and real estate agents, so that when your partner starts investigating your whereabouts, you can lead him to the opposite direction and buy yourself some serious, extra time.
  • Get a new mobile phone and number. Needless to say, this means Caller ID and an unlisted number.
  • Be stingy and judicious with giving out your new address. Don’t volunteer it on anything online. Use a Post Office Box. You can also sign up for an address confidentiality program with your state, and get your address removed from your voter registration.
  • Don’t forget locks for the windows and doors of your new place, plus outdoor lights, motion detectors, an alarm system and smoke detectors. 
  • Get yourself a protection order and keep it with you. Also, be sure family, friends, your kids' school and your co-workers have copies too.
  • Frequent new places and put in place new patterns. Go to work in different ways, maybe even at different hours. Change any weekly appointment times, and find a new church, coffee shop, bank or book club.
  • Let your boss know what’s going on and change your office if you can. Get escorted to your car and park close to the entrance and near other cars.
  • Have a techie friend check your computer for spyware. You may need a new one.  
  • Arrange with your kids to have a safety plan and alert their school that there may be the possibility of kidnapping.
  • Share with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, mental health professionals, doctors, police – no more secrecy, no more isolation!
  • Stay focused, alert and aware.  Have your phone at the ready, poised to dial 911.

Okay, that’s it for now.  Stay safe and be well.  

All best,

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