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Imagery with Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma

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ATS-3B Workbook Cover

Imagery with Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma
Course ID: ATS-3B
Instructors: David Bresler, PhD, LAc, Marty Rossman, MD, Roxanne Whitelight, MA
CE Credit: 6.5 Hours
Prerequisites: ATS-3A

There is a rapidly growing awareness of the widespread prevalence of childhood abuse, ranging from neglect, through emotional abuse, to physical violence, molestation, and incest.

The emotional wounds which can arise from these early experiences are deep and produce a wide range of difficulties that emerge in adult life as depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality structures, somatization disorders, and addictions to both substances and processes.

Therapy with these patients is often particularly demanding on therapists as issues of trust, intimacy, and relationship are tested time and again.

Severe regressive crises requiring extreme patience and courage on the part of the therapist often interspersed with moving evidence of growth and development allowed by the therapeutic process of revealing the truth and working through the painful feelings and memories. Working with these issues is challenging to even the most experienced therapist and is not a simple matter of imaging or visualizing any particular magic transformation.

Yet there are many areas in this work where imagery techniques seem to facilitate the healing in important ways. The frequent utilization of dissociation as a survival tool in childhood offers the opportunity to skillfully use dissociation and related trance and suggestion-related abilities to support the healing process.

Imagery can be useful in helping people to recover lost memories, to connect with and work through feeling states that have been split away, to find and strengthen inner resources, to grieve their losses, and to build new self-identities that grow beyond the limits of their wounded-ness.

At the same time, we believe there are special precautions that one must be aware of in using imagery with people who have poor internal organization and vulnerable ego structures, and will focus on these issues as well in this workshop day.

This program discusses special issues and how IGI℠ can facilitate the healing of the "wounded child" and "present adult." It reviews techniques helpful for exploring the needs of the parts involved and explains how to help evoke the "inner healer" to stimulate the healing process.

False memory syndrome, working with strong affect and the issue of forgiveness are also addressed.


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