Quick Relief for Trauma and PTSD By Helene Rothschild

Do you struggle with trauma or PTSD? Did you feel unsafe in your childhood or adult life from abuse? Are you working in a field where you see tragedies that happened to people and animals? You may be, among others, a firefighter, police officer, nurse, doctor, or paramedic. 

Are the traumatic experiences staying with you and affecting your life in negative ways? For example, do you have difficulty sleeping, dealing with your loved ones, or being in the present and in joy because the scenes are haunting you?

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 35 years, I have helped many men and women overcome their traumas using a process I developed. HART stands for Holistic and Rapid Transformation.

The therapeutic process uses the power of imagination. If you close your eyes and imagine a scary animal in the room, you will feel fear and your body will react as if it is really there by tightening. However, if you imagine a positive scene where the room is filled with things you love, your body will relax and you will feel safe. Therefore, the emotional and physical body does not know what is in reality, and only responds to what you imagine or visualize.

The other key factor in HART Therapy is the fact that we make decisions from every experience. Those positive or negative decisions affect our lives. For example, when you see a tragedy or experience trauma, you may decide that you and/or people are not safe. That negative thought can cause you to be very anxious, and keep you up nights worrying about your safety as well as your loved ones. Can you relate?

1. Relaxation

To begin, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and relax in a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. Now rate your calmness from 1-10, 10 being high.

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Then imagine you are in a safe place in nature or wherever you feel safe. What are you seeing or imagining? How do you feel there?

And now imagine a color that helps you feel safe and calm. (Blue or green are common colors). Allow that safe calming color to come into the top of your head and go throughout your body helping you feel even safer and calmer. Take two deep breaths.

2. Identifying the Negative decision from a Negative Experience

Now allow yourself to imagine that you are in a movie theater so you are detached from the scene. And allow yourself to project onto the screen a traumatic experience. What negative decision are you making from this negative experience? (Example, I and my loved ones are not safe.) And now white out the scene; the movie theater screen turns white. Take two deep breaths.

3. Creating a Positive Scene to Make a Positive Decision

Now allow yourself to visualize a positive scene. (For example, you and your loved ones are all safe and happy.) What new positive decision are you making from this positive experience? (For example, “My loved ones and I are safe.”) Take two deep breaths and open your eyes. To feel grounded, rub your hands together and put them on your legs.

Now rate your calmness again from 1-10. Do you feel calmer? If you are not feeling better, then do the process again, because you may have made more than one negative decision from the disturbing event. (For example, “I am not good enough.”)

The HART healing process can be helpful to quickly release any negative thought or image. You deserve to feel good, and you are good enough no matter what happens or does not happen.

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