Chuck Leviton’s Brilliant Imagery Boosts Successful Substance Use Recovery
It’s been two years since we finally found, cleaned up, remastered, and published Chuck Leviton’s guided imagery for each of the 12 Steps - the 12 Steps being the ingenious blueprint for substance use recovery that is at the heart of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and all the other AA programs that have helped millions of people around the globe.
Chuck’s uniquely brilliant work is accessible to everyone, in or out of a traditional recovery program. It suits people who believe in a higher power and those who don’t. He created it for one of his kids - maybe that’s why it’s infused with such loving care. Listening to his gravelly, sure-footed, non-judgy, regular-guy voice, exploring each of those steps is like having the very best sponsor on Earth - trustworthy, clear-eyed, no-baloney, steady as a rock – wishing you well and offering you tools for success, which you can take or leave.
Oddly enough, I was just musing over our 6-year search for those audios – they’d completely disappeared after the untimely death, first of Chuck’s wife and colleague Patti, and shortly after, Chuck himself.
And then, as serendipity would have it, that very same week I got a note from a Santa Fe hypnotherapist, Deborah Gallinger, who clarified further what this guy was about. I want to share it, because it might explain my 6-year search for those audios, and my delight at finding them.
Here’s Deborah’s note – enjoy! She tells a great story.
All best, Belleruth
My name’s Deborah, and I work as a clinical/medical support hypnotherapist. I was doing research tonight and came across your article highlighting someone I knew and held dear: Chuck Leviton. (Lost and Found: Chuck Leviton’s Extraordinary Imagery for the 12 Steps)
My heart jumped for joy to see his name, then nearly stopped at hearing of Chuck and Patti’s death. Quite the shock. Life is so precious...and fragile.
Many years ago, I traveled to Palm Springs for Synergy Seminars, to become certified as a guided imagery therapist. I took nearly every class Chuck and Patti offered. Chuck’s creative imageries, combined with his no-nonsense voice, helped participants to safely explore their inner landscapes, fears & childhood traumas—gaining valuable insight and connecting to inner resources.
After each imagery, he would lean back, ask if anyone would like to share their experience, and stroke his beard as he intuitively listened. His skill at creating and delivering imageries was equally matched by his kind, gentle way of helping a participant connect the dots, to better understand the personal meaning of their imagery experience.
The Kleenex box made its rounds...and was no stranger to my lap either. And just like that, Patti bounces in announcing, “Lunch is on.” This loving couple created a seamless operation, helping participants heal from their past while learning through participation, the art and skill of imagery.
As a clinical hypnotherapist, there are times when guided imagery is the best tool in my handbag. Creating on-the-fly, highly personalized imageries is a fun, spontaneous, co-creative endeavor—with applications as bold and wide as the sky.
My head bows in gratitude for what I have learned from Chuck and Patti. Chuck had very big shoes, and I wondered for years if I’d ever grow into them. What I discovered along the way is that his footprint provided the essence and confidence for me to grow into my own.
Chuck and Patti Leviton, may you be happy and well.
Deborah Gallinger, CCHt.