We got this exquisite, heroic message a few years ago, in response to my email request for input when I was writing the Caregiver Stress imagery a few years ago.
I recently came across it and again marveled at the beauty, wisdom, self-awareness and courage of this rock star of a mother – it’s an essential manual for anyone facing similar, heartbreaking circumstances.
She helped me enormously with writing the narrative I eventually recorded, but more importantly, she’s just such a dazzling role model, who offers such excellent advice, even though she’s not trying to give it.
We received this question from a woman who was traumatized by a clumsy practitioner and then made to suffer an additional amount of time by the medical system, until she finally found some help. By then, she was the worse for wear, psychologically and physically. Sadly, we hear variations on this far too many times:
I am having a difficult time recovering both physically and psychologically from a traumatic hip injury caused by my medical treatment several months ago. The rehab specialist was very insensitive and aggressive and used the wrong equipment on my leg with such force that he messed up the proper functioning of my leg. It then took four months to get a doctor to listen to me or correctly diagnose the injury. I finally found a hip specialist who did, and had arthroscopic hip surgery in late January. By then, there was a lot of surrounding trauma and weakness to the back and hip, which has made recovery very slow and painful. I am still frightened and tense all the time, and worry that this is also impeding my progress. Which healing program do you think might help me the best, at least to start with?
I have a son, now 26, who suffered a head injury, while skiing, when he was 18. Physically he is fine but emotionally and psychologically he is still struggling. While he has come a long way, it has been, and continues to be, a painful road (suicide attempt, drug addiction) and unfortunately he is not open to going for help. I was thinking of having him listen to your PTSD CD. I thought I would sit with him the first time that he listened to it, for support. He says he is willing to try it. I wonder if you have any other suggestions.
Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand investigated whether a brief psychological intervention, using relaxation and guided imagery, could reduce stress and improve wound healing in surgical patients.
The randomized controlled trial was conducted with 60 patients (15 male, 45 female). Inclusion criteria were English-speaking patients over 18 years of age, scheduled to undergo elective laparoscopic gallbladder removal. Exclusion criteria were cancellation of surgery, medical complications, and refusal of consent.
Participants received standard care or standard care plus a 45-minute psychological intervention that included relaxation and guided imagery, with take-home relaxation CDs for listening for 3 days before and 7 days after surgery.
Are the guided visualizations safe for persons with a history of traumatic dissociation and a traumatic brain injury? I introduced a client to the Panic Attack tape and she felt "funny" and dissociated at the end of the session. We did some grounding exercises to return her into her body, and she was fine, but she is questioning the safety of follow-up work with these tapes. Thanks for any feedback you can offer!
Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, Devon, UK, performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the efficacy of guided imagery as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain (MSP).
Six databases were searched from inception up through May 2010. All controlled clinical trials were considered, if they investigated GI in patients with any MSP in any anatomic location, and if they assessed pain as an outcome measure. Trials of motor imagery were excluded. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by 2 reviewers.
Years ago, a woman and her fiancé were traveling in a private plane when they got into trouble and plowed into a hillside. He died as a result of burns, and she was severely injured herself, with burns covering all but the soles of her feet.
She was in a coma for quite a while. When she regained consciousness, the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami designed a series of massage treatments to try to relieve her intense pain.
Researchers from the Division of Child Psychiatry at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital evaluated the effectiveness of teaching guided imagery to acutely injured pediatric patients in the PICU, as compared to a one-on-one inquiry about pain-related experiences.
Forty-four hospitalized children and adolescents were assigned to one of two intervention groups, the imagery arm (N = 24) or the inquiry arm (N = 20). Pain was assessed pre- and post-intervention using the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale and a 0-10 Likert pain rating scale, while the Pediatric Trauma Score was given to assess the severity of each child's injuries.
Some of you know I’ve always cast a wary eye on Virtual Reality as a technique, mainly because its cost makes it unrealistic for most people and situations; and because instead of directing focus inward, the way hypnosis and guided imagery do, to increase internal locus of control and empowerment for self-driven change, it takes end-users’ attention outward, so that they must depend on the VR machinery to create sensation.
Except for the relative few who are congenitally incapable of doing self-directed imagery for relaxation, this seems like a self-defeating, redundant, expensive option. These researchers deserve great praise for their integrity. They published a study where the findings ran counter to their hopes and wishes for VR.
Posted: May 25, 2007Categories: InjuriesA friend asks a question for another friend - an angry 15-year-old who self-injures - if there is any guided imagery that might be of help to her, and BR makes some suggestions..Read more »