Online Mindfulness Therapy provides one of the best approaches available for reprocessing traumatic memories and healing from the emotional suffering associated with PTSD.
Learn how to reprocess traumatic memories so that they do not continually reactivate emotional trauma.
Learn how to reprocess and heal the intense underlying traumatic emotions that are associated with PTSD.
Please feel free to contact me to schedule Online Psychotherapy sessions via Skype with me.
During these Skype sessions of Mindfulness Therapy I will teach you how to apply mindfulness, including mindfulness meditation for healing all forms of anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD, depression, and addiction recovery and other forms of emotional suffering, by applying the well-tested teachings of Mindfulness Meditation Therapy.
This approach is very effective and you can expect to see noticeable changes after 3-4 online sessions with me.
Online Mindfulness Psychotherapy is highly effective for controlling anxiety and depression without using medications. It is far better to treat the root cause of your anxiety or depression as opposed to just trying to manage symptoms.
The main healing factors cultivated during mindfulness-based psychotherapy are Consciousness, which is essential for overcoming the reactive habits that cause psychological suffering, and Inner Compassion, which is what promotes healing and resolution of psychological suffering.
“I changed more after 2 weeks of online counseling than after 2 years of talking therapy. My anxiety used to affect every part of my life. Now I feel alive again and enjoy life so much more. I thoroughly recommend this mindfulness therapy to anyone looking for treatment for anxiety or depression.”
- All sessions are with Dr. Peter Strong via Skype
- Schedule a session to see if Mindfulness Therapy is right for you
- There are NO upfront payments. You make your payment via PayPal after each session and only if you are completely satisfied with the therapy session
- You should expect to see significant improvements after 3-4 sessions
Online Mindfulness Therapy for trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Table of Contents
- Online help for overcoming PTSD
- What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
- Symptoms of PTSD
- Treatment options for PTSD
- Online Mindfulness Therapist for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- How to process traumatic memories in PTSD
- Mindfulness-based Image Reprocessing for PTSD
- PTSD Non-medical treatment
- Mindfulness Psychotherapy for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Online Therapy for PTSD
- Get the help you need for managing and overcoming PTSD
- Online Mindfulness Meditation Treatment for PTSD
- Online Therapy for Recovery from Trauma and PTSD
- Can abuse or trauma be healed?
Online help for overcoming PTSD and emotional trauma
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong and I’m a professional mindfulness therapist and I offer mindfulness therapy online. If you’re interested in mindfulness therapy for help with recovery from trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, then please see my website and learn more about mindfulness therapy and email me to learn more, to ask any questions you may have, and to schedule a Skype therapy session with me.
So during these online therapy sessions I’ll be teaching you how to apply mindfulness and mindfulness meditation for aiding your recovery from emotional trauma and PTSD. There are two basic principles that we developed during these online mindfulness therapy sessions for PTSD.
The first is the essential skill of breaking free from the habit of reactive identification with your thoughts and with your own emotional reactions. This is by far the biggest problem that creates all forms of emotional suffering, including anxiety, depression and trauma.
So, when thoughts or emotional reactions arise, our tendency is to become completely identified with them. We become captivated by our thoughts and our memories. We become prisoners of our thoughts and our memories and we become basically controlled by them when we become identified with them.
So mindfulness training is all about learning how to change the relationship that you have with your thoughts and traumatic memories and emotional reactions so that you do not become identified with them, so that you can see these mental objects without becoming a prisoner of the content of the mind.
We train in developing what is called Objective Consciousness, where we become established as the Observer, the True Self that can see the contents of mind as objects and without becoming identified with those objects. We train in seeing the traumatic memory without becoming the trauma; we learn to see our emotions without becoming those emotions; we learn to see thoughts and beliefs without becoming those thoughts and beliefs.
So that’s the first most important part of mindfulness training, learning how to develop what we call “independence” from our mind, from the thoughts, from the memories, from the emotions that arise in the mind.
The second part of the trauma recovery will involve working with the imagery of the trauma itself. Working with the imagery, changing the imagery, so that it does not cause the emotional trauma, the emotional reaction. It’s very easy to do this when we start to develop a conscious, mindful relationship with our trauma.
If we continue to react to it, we can’t see what’s there and if we don’t see the nature of that imagery then we can change it. we become a prisoner of it. But, once you start to uncover the imagery and see how it actually works you can change the structure of that imagery.
One simple technique is to make the imagery smaller, because the imagery of a trauma is generally very large and it has to be large in order to create the emotional trauma. If you can make the image smaller then you will reduce the ability of that memory to produce emotional trauma. There are many other things we can do as well with mindfulness, but these are two areas: we work on changing your relationship to your trauma and also changing the imagery itself that is responsible for producing the emotional reactions associated with the trauma.
If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness for trauma and PTSD recovery, then please go to my website and he e-mailed me to schedule a Skype therapy session.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
PTSD describes a condition of chronic fear and emotional distress that results from exposure to events that are intensely overwhelming to such a degree that the mind is unable to process and “digest” the experience. Such traumatic experiences can be primarily sensory in nature or emotionally overwhelming or a combination of both sensory and emotional overload.
It is my belief that these unresolved traumatic experiences take the form of imagery – traumatic imagery – that encode the emotional trauma and fear experienced at the time. These usually take the form of traumatic memory images.
Technically speaking, it is these memory images that are the “cause” of re-experienced trauma rather than beliefs or narrative, which we regard as the conditioned product of the trauma, but not the cause. Memory images are not static but dynamic and may change over time. If they become stronger and more traumatic it is because the imagery becomes bigger and more intense; if the traumatic images become weaker and less traumatic it is because the imagery becomes smaller and less intense in color and other details. The intensity of trauma is encoded in the imagery.
The key to healing is to help this imagery change in that direction of healing by deliberately and consciously experimenting with changing the imagery directly, and this is a very important part of PTSD recovery during Mindfulness Therapy.
Typical traumatic experiences include:
- The direct experience of war, natural disasters, car accidents and other physical events involving destruction and sensory overload.
- Rape, sexual assault, physical assault, kidnapping.
- Child abuse, either physical or emotional or both.
- Loss of a family member or close friend.
- Sudden change in health, medical procedures
The full list can be extensive. Theoretically, any experience can lead to PTSD if the mind is unable to process the sensory and emotional components of that experience.
Symptoms of PTSD
Since the trauma is not processed properly, the main symptoms of PTSD are recurrent memories, including flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts along with intense bursts of emotional reactivity. This creates extreme stress and hyper-agitation that leads to anxiety and depression. These emotions in turn can lead to further emotional reactivity in the form of persistent irritability, anger and rage, guilt, shame and self-hatred, feelings of hopelessness, insomnia and addiction. The combined effect of this emotional storm can result in an inability to make decisions, poor coping skills and increase in accidents. The depression leads to a general state of lethargy and lack of interest in life.
All this unprocessed emotional energy often and usually leads to behavioral reactivity such as addiction and risk-taking activities and suicidal ideation.
The body also reacts to this continuous stress. Studies have shown a correlation between PTSD and heart disease. There is often a loss of apatite and general decline in physical health.
As to be expected, relationships suffer and family life falls apart for many.
Treatment options for PTSD
The focus of treatment should be aimed at helping you reprocess or continue the psychological process of digesting the traumatic memories and healing. Psychotherapy is recommended, but it should be very focused on helping you resolve and heal the underlying emotions of anxiety and depression.
Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy is often recommended. The focus is on changing the patterns of cognitive reactivity and reactive beliefs that feed the underlying anxiety and depression. I specialize in Mindfulness Therapy, which takes this a step further by helping you reprocess the emotions that fuel those reactive thoughts and beliefs.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) has also been used with success. It helps you reprocess traumatic memories. I teach Mindfulness-based Exposure Therapy and Mindfulness-based Image Reprocessing, which can be incredibly effective for reducing the intensity of traumatic memories.
Medications are sometimes prescribed for PTSD to relieve the secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used for PTSD. While antidepressants may help you feel less sad, worried, or on edge, they do not treat the causes of PTSD. This is important to fully understand. You have to focus on healing the core emotions directly to fully recover.
Online Mindfulness Therapist for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Let an Online Therapist specializing in Mindfulness Therapy help you recover from your PTSD or struggles with Traumatic Memories
Many people prefer the privacy of online therapy for working on difficult emotional problems. I provide online therapy via Skype for the treatment of anxiety, depression, addictions and for healing from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
I specialize in Mindfulness Therapy, which is particularly good for anxiety and promoting healing from emotional trauma because the central focus is learning how to re-experience your trauma without becoming re-traumatized. There is a core focus of investigating the structure of the inner imagery of both the event (injury, rape, natural disaster, illness, substantial loss, death of a loved one, significant life-changing event, etc) and the associated emotions themselves, which also exist as imagery in the mind.
Imagery is how the mind associates emotional energy with a memory, thought or belief. Change the imagery and you change the emotion. This is called Mindfulness-based Image Reprocessing, and it works very well for PTSD and recovering from intrusive traumatic memories.
Typically, traumatic images and memories are large in size and seen to be very close. In the case of flash back traumatic memories the images are so large that you become consumed by the image, literally re-living the experience.
The images have other qualities that cause them to be traumatic and highly emotionally charged, such as intense color and details. An important point here to comprehend is that it is these image qualities – size, proximity, color, detail, etc, that are the actual cause of the emotional distress, not the memory itself or the actual event.
The trauma is not defined by what happened but on how you see the event in the mind. We know this is the case because most of the time people recover from trauma, even the death of a family member or comrade. Now, how do we recover? What happens during grieving? The answer is more to do with the natural way that the mind digests and processes the memory imagery than anything else. Time heals everything because during that time the imagery changes – it becomes smaller, more distant and more faded in details and color.
Check your own experience to verify this. What happens in PTSD is that the traumatic memories become stuck, frozen in form; they are not processed by the mind, they are not digested. We have to do this manually through Mindfulness-based Image Reprocessing.
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong, and I am a professional online therapist. I specialize in Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of anxiety and for the treatment of depression and addictions, and also for working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Mindfulness Therapy is a more advanced form of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, that helps you work with the underlying structure of your trauma, the emotional trauma that is creating your symptoms. Whatever the source of that trauma, it has an underlying structure, and that structure is in the form of imagery. We literally create an internal picture both of the traumatic event, and also of the associated emotions that were activated by that traumatic event.
So, whatever the source, whether it’s a disaster, or whether it’s the result of military activity, or the trauma experienced by medical personnel, fire-fighter, or witnessing a disaster…
There are many cause of trauma, some of which are well known and others are less well known. But, the characteristic of all trauma is that it represents an experience that was overwhelming and that the mind was not able to process, was not able to resolve and integrate into the general memory. So, it remains, essentially, stuck.
It remains stuck in the form of an internal image or set of images that are resistant to change. Those images persist, and a very import ant part of Mindfulness Therapy for PTSD is seeing these images, which become clearer when we start to explore them with mindfulness, with this quality of conscious awareness where we become an observer, observing this internal structure of the emotion itself.
This process is very effective, indeed, and many people will see quite substantial changes after relatively few sessions. The reason why it is so effective is simply because we are exploring the underlying cause, that imagery, rather than just treating symptoms with medications or conventional talk therapy.
If you are interested in working with an online therapist for PTSD and you would like to schedule a session with me via Skype, please go to my website and email me, and then we can discuss if Mindfulness Therapy is a good approach for you to choose, and if you feel comfortable with this approach then we can schedule a Skype therapy session.
So, please if you would like to talk to an online therapist about your PTSD and get the help from an online therapist for your Post-Traumatic Disorder, please CONTACT ME and then we can discuss this further, Thank you!
How to process traumatic memories in PTSD
Welcome. So I’d like to talk a little bit about the role of traumatic memories in PTSD. So typically visual memories are processed naturally by the mind and they undergo certain changes in their properties over time.
So typically a memory will start off large and intense in detail and color and will seem very close. But over time the image becomes smaller in size. It seems to become more distant. There’s a spatial reorganization of its position in our visual memory and it looses details and becomes more fuzzy, in effect. So this is a natural process by which the mind processes visual imagery.
Now in the case of traumatic imagery this process doesn’t happen, so the traumatic imagery remains at its original level of intensity in the mind. It remains very large, very close, and typically very high in the psychological visual field and very intense colors and details and other properties that essentially keep that experience alive, because imagery is the primary way that the mind organizes emotion. So intense large imagery will create intense launch emotions.
So the primary issue that we have to deal with when we’re working with PTSD or any other kind of traumatic or disturbing intrusive imagery, is to find ways of reprocessing the imagery, helping it resolve itself in this natural way.
Change the imagery and you change the emotion
The typical kind of ways that we can examine to help it resolve is to make it smaller, to make it further away in how we see it in the mind, to change the color of the imagery. Often changing it from an intense color into black and white can have quite profound effects on the emotional intensity of the image.
So we have to do this consciously, and that is where mindfulness comes in. So the way we do this is that we mindfully meditate on the traumatic image. Look at its details and then start exploring changing the details of how we see that image to help it resolve. We often describe this as helping to digest the sensory overload that is encoded in that imagery. So that’s something I have termed mindfulness-based imagery processing, and that’s very much a part of my approach to working with PTSD.
It is quite remarkable how quickly a person can recover from trauma when they learn how to change the traumatic memory imagery. Sometimes a simple conscious change like shrinking the whole picture down to the size of a grain of sand can profoundly reduce the emotional intensity of the memory of the trauma.
We are, in effect, training the memory to heal itself, through trial and error, finding what changes help it heal until it becomes no different than any other memory.
Grieving, and the recovery from the death of a friend or relative works in much the same way – through changes in the structure of the associated memory images. This is how we heal, naturally. During mindfulness therapy, we are simply speeding up the healing and recovery process.
If you would like to learn more about this and about how to work with traumatic imagery and intrusive imagery that you may be experiencing, then please email me and let’s schedule a therapy session via Skype and I will teach you how to work with your traumatic memories and imagery using the mindfulness-based methods that I’ve developed and found to be very effective. So please contact me if you’d like to learn more.
Go to my Contact Page to schedule online mindfulness therapy via Skype for help recovering from PTSD and Emotional Trauma
Mindfulness-based Image Reprocessing for Traumatic Memories in PTSD
Welcome. My name is Peter Strong and I’m a professional psychotherapist specializing in Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression and also to help with PTSD.
The particular method that I’ve developed over the years and found to be extremely effective for helping people recover from emotional or psychological trauma is called Mindfulness-based Imagery Reprocessing.
So this is part of Mindfulness Therapy. What is mindfulness? First of all, well mindfulness simply refers to a form of conscious awareness, which is not reactive. So we’re able to be fully present with whatever we’re focusing on without reacting either emotionally or cognitively or judging events or even labeling the object. We don’t talk about it. We simply observe it with full conscious presence. So that’s a characteristic of mindfulness and it is extremely important for many things, but particularly for recovery from emotional suffering, including emotional trauma and PTSD.
So when we apply mindfulness to emotional trauma, we are actually talking about developing this quality of full conscious awareness of our traumatic memories and particularly the imagery of those memory memories, the pictures that we form in our mind that generates the emotional trauma that can go on many years after the event.
So the primary cause of emotional suffering is to be found in that imagery itself, and the imagery has certain properties, which cause it to trigger emotional pain. For example, its size. Intense emotional experiences tend to be large in size. That’s how we see them in the mind. Emotional experiences that have a very low intensity that don’t affect us typically are very small in size.
The position of the image is also very important. So it make sense when you think about how we usually talk about emotional experience as being overpowering or overwhelming. This kind of language is referring to the emotion and it’s position, how we see that in the mind. So typically, again, overwhelming emotions such as emotional trauma are seen at a high position in our psychological field of vision, how we see things internally. They tend to be at a high level above us.
That’s why we use language like “we feel overwhelmed.” Literally, the image is over us. And, typically, when an emotion is not overwhelming, when it’s neutral or has little effect on us, then the imagery will reflect that and typically that imagery will be at a lower level in our psychological field. So when we are feeling very good and happy, in a state of emotional wellbeing, typically we might say, “I feel on top of things now. I feel on top of the world.” This language is a clue that points to the internal psychological imagery of the emotion.
Other factors we look at are the color of the image. So again, intense traumatic images typically are seen in great detail, great color is one of those features of the details of the imagery, the color. And when memories become faded that color becomes a lot more muted, less intense in color. So color is another feature that is part of the structure of traumatic imagery. The color is a factor that creates the emotional trauma.
Other factors which may include how close the image is, that is related to its size. So typically intense images are very close in our visual field and less intense memories tend to be further away in our internal psychological field of vision.
There are many other factors that we can explore during mindfulness meditation on our traumatic memories. How hot or cold the imagery is; how hard or soft it is, and many other properties like that that are basically visual in nature. The more we see, the more we can change; and the more you change the imagery, the more the trauma heals until it resolves completely.
So when we are examining our traumatic imagery and memories with mindfulness we are learning to explore this imagery without reacting to it. Learning to see the details of how that imagery actually works and how it creates the emotion, the structure of it.
So if it were very large we would want to try and reprocess that imagery and make it very small. We see it at a high level in our visual field we might want to try and move it to a lower level. If it’s too close we might want to move it further away. So we can effectively change the imagery of our memories and change them in a way that leads to the resolution of that emotional pain.
So this method is very effective. Mindfulness-based imagery processing. We are really taking consciousness and exploring how to change that imagery in a way that leads to healing.
Now this would normally happen by itself. Memories do become smaller, more distant and faded over time. But with highly intense traumatic imagery this process of reprocessing, of digestion, of change, doesn’t happen. And typically that imagery remains stuck in its original form and whenever the imagery is triggered by events or thoughts or any other external triggers, then what happens is that imagery is reconstructed in the mind in its original form.
So the real problem with PTSD is that that imagery has not processed properly and has not resolved. So in mindfulness therapy we work on completing that process of resolution of the imagery, we help it change. We Help it, if you like, learning how to change itself, how to move in a direction of change that leads to the resolution of the emotional pain so that the memory becomes like any other memory, typically quite neutral and not traumatic in nature.
It’s important to understand this. It is the is the structure of the imagery that causes the emotional trauma not the event itself. That’s not the cause that’s a trigger that caused that imagery to form but it’s because that imagery became stuck and did not process itself to resolution. That is the cause of the trauma.
So if you’re interested in learning more about how to work with your emotional trauma or other traumatic memories that you’re struggling with, including intrusive memories, then please contact me and tell me more about your particular condition your own needs. And then I will explain to you more about how we can work with that using mindfulness. And when you feel ready we can schedule a therapy session via Skype.
So mindfulness-based imagery processing is part of the Mindfulness Therapy approach that I teach online. It is a very important part. There are other aspects as well. So if you would like to learn more please contact me. Thank you.
PTSD Non-medical treatment – Online Mindfulness Therapy via Skype
Welcome. My name is Peter Strong. I am a professional online therapist specializing in Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of anxiety, for the treatment of depression and also for helping you overcome post traumatic stress disorder and help you recover from traumas as well.
So PTSD and emotional trauma simply refers to very intense emotional experiences that the brain is not able to process by itself automatically. We need to process it by some form of psychotherapy. Medications have a place for controlling symptoms of PTSD but medications are not sufficient to treat the underlying psychological process that creates your emotional trauma or associated emotions like guilt or shame or anxiety or depression.
So if you’re looking for a non medical approach if you’re looking to treat your PTSD without using medications then I would advise you to take a look at my websites and learn a little more about how Mindfulness Therapy can help you overcome your PTSD.
During online therapy sessions. I will teach you how to work with the traumatic memories through a process called mindfulness-based imagery processing, and also to work with the associated core emotions such as anxiety, panic attacks, and depression that are associated with emotional trauma, and that we call mindfulness-based emotion reprocessing.
The key to working with trauma is to actually develop a stable and non-reactive relationship with the traumatic memory.
That’s the first step. We have to reprocess that memory and we do this by actually meditating on the memory itself and developing more and more consciousness around that memory. The real issue is the fact that we tend to react to the memory unconsciously and we tend to identify with the memory unconsciously.
We become overwhelmed by it we become controlled by it. We relive that memory, essentially. So by meditating on the memory, the traumatic event, you’re actually learning to change that conditioned unconscious process to a conscious relationship. That is critical. Otherwise we are simply again to relive and re traumatize ourselves and that will simply feeds the PTSD.
So we build a conscious relationship with the emotional trauma we then began to explore the imagery of that trauma.
So emotional trauma is created by internal psychological imagery. It might be as simple as the memory itself, the memory image with intense details and color and clarity of the image. That is what actually creates the emotional trauma. It becomes very real because of the detail and sharpness of that memory image.
So when we begin to explore how the imagery works, we look at these details, we can begin to change that imagery.
When you change emotional imagery, you change the emotion.
That is a fundamental principle that we utilize during Mindfulness Therapy. I can’t emphasize this enough. One of the key components to recovery from emotional trauma and PTSD is to change that emotional imagery.
Try this yourself
One very simple technique that many people find surprisingly effective is to actually simply change the size of the imagery that they see, the size of that memory picture that gets triggered in the mind during a flashback. If you take the image and make it ten times smaller, that will take away a considerable amount of its emotional intensity. Just shrinking the image down will make it considerably less intense.
So this is one way that we can reprocess the traumatic imagery: we just make it smaller. We train the mind to make the memory image smaller and each time we do this it loses intensity. And when is sufficiently processed then the trauma basically is resolved. We can still remember the event but not experience the emotional re-traumatizing.
So that’s one very simple and it is something that you can even try yourself. But I will teach you how to do this in great detail.
There are many other ways we can work with this imagery and I’ll explain this to you as we explore how to reprocess your emotional memory.
The other part of working with PTSD is working with the associated emotions: the anxiety, the guilt, the depression, whatever it might be. That emotional content also needs to be processed. And we do that and very much the same way.
We first built a conscious relationship with the emotion itself, seeing it as an object in the mind in a similar way that we would see the memory image has an object in the mind. So that’s the first thing. Being able to meditate on the emotion without becoming reactive and without identifying with it.
The emotion will also have its associated imagery, which may be different than the memory image and may be more abstract in nature, but all emotions have associated imagery, and the same rules apply. When you change that imagery you change the emotion.
So we work on establishing a non-reactive relationship that doesn’t feed the depression or anxiety. And then we look at helping that emotional imagery change, and when it changes sufficiently then the depression or anxiety goes away, it is basically a resolved.
So this is a brief overview of how we can apply mindfulness for overcoming PTSD. If you’d like to learn more to please go to my website and then reach out to me by email if you would like to discuss this further. So this is a non-medical approach, it does not use medications. It basically helps you change the underlying psychological process that causes your PTSD.
So I look forward to hearing from you and helping you overcome your PTSD or emotional trauma.
Go to my Contact Page to schedule online mindfulness therapy via Skype for recovery from PTSD and Emotional Trauma
Mindfulness Psychotherapy for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong. I am a professional psychotherapist specializing in Mindfulness Therapy, which I offer online via Skype, for the treatment of anxiety, for help with depression and also for helping in the process of recovery from PTSD and processing traumatic memories whether they are due to that traumatic events like an accident, a car accident, or of course, the traumatic events that may occur during war, or other violent assault, or even the traumatic events simply of witnessing a traumatic a violent assault. Many police officers and first responders struggle with processing traumatic memories that they encounter in their line of work.
So there are many different approaches of course to working with PTSD, but I find the mindfulness approach to be particularly effective. And the reason is because it focuses on the exact mechanism that is going on in your mind that creates that emotional trauma.
And there are two basic processes that we work on here. The first is learning how to change our relationship to how traumatic memories so that we do not become consumed by emotional or cognitive reactivity. We have to learn to witness those traumatic memories without becoming overwhelmed. So that’s a very important part of Mindfulness Therapy, learning how to do that. And I will teach you how to do that in our online therapy sessions together.
Another very important part of processing traumatic memories is to change the imagery of the memory, how you see that memory in the mind is what actually re-traumatizes you. That imagery, the structure of the imagery, is what encodes the emotional pain. So during Mindfulness Therapy we explore the imagery of the emotion and we explore changing that imagery. When you change the imagery of an emotion you change the emotion.
A simple example of that is how large the image is that you see when you recall the traumatic event and how close that image is in your mind’s eye. Typically intense traumatic images are very large and very close. So that feature of the imagery, being very large and that quality of being very close, is what actually creates the emotional trauma.
Now normally for most people we are constantly processing our memory images and changing that imagery quite naturally and unconsciously. Typically images start off large and close and vivid and over time they become small and distant and faded. That’s a natural process that the mind uses to digest experiences, especially emotionally charged experiences.
However when the emotional charge is too high as in the case of a traumatic memory, then that normal processing doesn’t happen and the imagery becomes stuck, frozen in time. And this is what lies behind flashbacks and intrusive memories that keep coming back and re-traumatizing us. It’s simply that the imagery has not changed, it becomes stuck.
So during Mindfulness Therapy we work a great deal on exploring that imagery and then changing it to help it resolve and heal. It is really quite an effective method. It’s something I call mindfulness-based image reprocessing and it can produce quite dramatic changes in a very short time. Once you see the imagery and start exploring how to change that imagery to allow that memory to try to digest, essentially, so that it no longer causes emotional pain.
So those are two of the aspects of Mindfulness Therapy that we explore. The first is learning how to witness the memory without reacting and without feeding that emotional pain through reactivity, and the second part is reprocessing the memory imagery itself. When you combine both of these approaches you can produce remarkably consistent changes and promote recovery in a relatively short time, within a few weeks. It should not take years of work to recover from emotional trauma.
So if you would like to learn more about mindfulness-based psychotherapy for recovery from PTSD or for working with the associated emotions around PTSD that often form as reactive emotions to that initial trauma; emotions like guilt shame, anger, and so on.
These can all be worked on very effectively using the well-tested methods of Mindfulness Therapy that I use and have developed and refined over the last ten years. So if you would like to schedule online therapy with me via Skype, do please go to my website and then contact me by email so we can schedule a Skype Therapy session, and then you can see for yourself how effective this approach can be.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) first came to the attention of doctors during the First World War when relatively large numbers of soldiers returned from combat exhibiting intense emotional distress in which they seemed to re-live the terrifying events of war long after the event.
However, war is only one context in which PTSD arises. Later, it became clear that this phenomenon of delayed emotional reactivity could result from many other contexts such as accidents and illness, physical assault, rape or witnessing acts of violence and devastation, natural or man-made. Childhood abuse is now recognized as one of the major sources of PTSD.
In general PTSD can be defined as severe recurrent emotional anxiety reactions that originate from an intense and traumatic experience. A trauma occurs when there is a combination of sensory and emotional overload that cannot be processed and integrated into the psyche. A war scenario provides many intense visual, auditory and contextual stimuli that are completely foreign to the average person, as does sexual abuse, rape or witnessing a car accident.
Context plays a very important part as in the case of childhood abuse, where the child’s model of how his parents should behave cannot be reconciled with the parent’s actual behavior. The experience of intense fear that accompanies trauma becomes encoded into the internal memory imprint of the associated sensory experiences.
The unprocessed sensory experiences and associated emotional reactivity become submerged and repressed in the subconscious mind as a core emotional complex. When the appropriate stressors are present or when the suppressive activities of the ego are weakened, as is the case during sleep this repressed emotional complex is activated leading to a repeat experience of the emotional trauma, often with the associated visual imagery in the form of flashbacks.
Like other core emotional complexes, the repression is never complete and negative emotional energy leaks into present experience leading to general anxiety, phobias, recurrent anger, sleep difficulties, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and substance abuse. These can be described as the layers of secondary reactivity that form around the primary trauma reaction and which, in their own way, shield the core emotional complex from further processing and integration by the psyche.
Online Therapy for PTSD
There are many approaches to treating PTSD, some involving medication and others focused on psychotherapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a particularly useful approach, because it focuses on the client’s actual patterns of habitual negative thinking and beliefs and attempts to change these into more positive and functional forms. The form of cognitive therapy described in this article is called Mindfulness Meditation Therapy (MMT), which can be defined as the direct application of mindfulness to an emotional complex to facilitate transformation and resolution.
Mindfulness describes a particular form of awareness that is present-centered, direct and non-reactive towards an object of awareness. It is best described as the combination of PRESENCE and INVESTIGATION in which there is an openness of mind and heart to fully experience and know what is present in our field of awareness.
Presence is one of the most important components of sensitive listening as when we are listening to a friend who is suffering. As we know from experience, simply being there with him or her in this way with complete attention and presence is often more important than what we say or do. In this same way, learning to be fully present for our emotional suffering is highly therapeutic and is perhaps one of the major contributions to the healing process.
The other aspect of mindfulness is simply learning to recognize all the patterns of habitual reactivity that takes us away from being fully present for our emotional suffering. Meditation in the context of MMT refers to the direct application of mindfulness and presence to the emotional suffering itself, which becomes the object of our meditation.
In general, during MMT, we allow the emotional complex to unfold and differentiate into more and more subtle content. This differentiation into specific feelings, memories and sensory content leads to direct transformation of emotional complexes and literally makes the complex easier to digest.
Traumatic memories have a specific internal structure in the form of intense imagery. This imagery may be photographic in quality, revealing the actual memory of the traumatic event, but more often it also includes abstract elements of color, shape and movement in something resembling a surrealistic collage. Whatever the form of the imagery, this internal representation is an essential part of what is required to produce intense emotional reactions.
This is referred to as the Structural Theory of Emotions, where emotional energy is encoded in the specific sub-modalities of size, color, intensity, movement and texture. An intense emotion is likely to be encoded in intense colors such as red and orange and the imagery is likely to be large and close in the person’s inner visual field, whereas neutral emotions are likely encoded in neutral colors such as pale blue or white and appear small and far away.
It is by becoming aware of this internal structure of the imagery that encodes the emotional energy of the trauma that we can explore the possibility of changing the imagery and thus changing the emotional intensity of a traumatic memory. This concept is developed to an art in the therapeutic modality called Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. Just as language is made of words that represent internal experience, imagery represents the natural language of the mind – the mind thinks in pictures and uses inner imagery to organize experience and memory.
The Structural Theory of Emotions proposes that by changing the structure of the imagery it is possible to change the intensity of the emotional reaction. Thus, if the color changes from intense red to soft yellow and the imagery becomes smaller and further away, it is very likely that the emotion will be much less intense. However, for this to work effectively the imagery must arise experientially from the emotional felt sense, rather than be created through deliberate visualization.
Similarly, the direction of change must arise experientially, rather than be imposed externally. In this way, the client maintains close presence with his inner experience and knows that what happens is meaningful and relevant to his or her specific transformational process. This is why mindfulness is such an important part of the transformational process, because it allows us to be exquisitely sensitive to what is meaningful and what is not. The investigative dimension of mindfulness also provides the best approach to uncover the detailed inner structure of the emotion and provide meaningful content.
A central focus in MMT is to uncover this internal structure of the traumatic memory and then to investigate this experiential content. There is no attempt to interpret what arises, only to experience fully and know completely whatever arises. This process essentially de-constructs the emotional complex into smaller parts that the psyche can digest and integrate into more stable configurations that do not continue to generate emotional suffering.
Of course, this requires considerable preliminary preparation so that the client can experience the internal imagery without becoming overwhelmed by it. This preliminary phase of MMT is focussed on establishing the Mindfulness Based Relationship (MBR) in which there is sufficient stability and non-reactivity to allow the imagery to unfold into present awareness.
There are many approaches to achieve the right MBR, such as watching the imagery as if projected on a screen or placing the imagery at some distance in front. Through mindfulness and careful investigation, the client can discover for himself what works best for establishing the MBR. However, once a client begins to witness specific details about the imagery, he inevitably finds it much easier to establish the MBR, because the specific content gives him a specific focus and this tends to prevent hyper-reactivity.
The MBR is an essential part of the transformation process for many reasons, the primary reason being that it allows the compacted emotional complex to unfold into more manageable parts. At another level, the MBR allows the client to fundamentally change the way that he relates to his inner emotional experience and he begins to break free from seeing himself as a victim of the emotional trauma. This in itself is an essential requirement for change.
Throughout the whole process of MMT, the client is repeatedly exposed to the source of his fear, but in new ways that don’t involve being overwhelmed. This exposure desensitization effect is regarded by most schools of psychotherapy as an essential part of overcoming PTSD and Mindfulness Meditation Therapy provides a very subtle and specific way of doing this.
Go to my Contact Page to schedule online mindfulness therapy via Skype for help recovering from PTSD and Emotional Trauma
Get the help you need for managing and overcoming PTSD
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong. I specialize in Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of anxiety, depression, addiction and also for working with traumatic memories and PTSD.
So I’m often asked what’s the best approach for overcoming traumatic memories and managing PTSD preferably without the use of medications. My answer is that I really recommend that you work with a therapist who is experienced with working with trauma and one that really understands the structure of trauma, how it actually works in the mind.
I find that Mindfulness Therapy is one of the best approaches for working with PTSD because it does just that, it looks at the actual structure of those traumatic memories and how they work. And it looks at the patterns of reactive emotions that typically arise around the traumatic memory, whatever those emotions may be, such as anger, depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, you name it. There are many different kinds of emotional reactions that develop in reaction to that emotional energy that is stored up in the trauma.
Look at the structure of your traumatic memories
So that’s what I mean by the structure of your trauma. We need to look at the actual memory imagery, itself. And we need to look at these patterns of habitual emotional reactivity that really feed that traumatic memory and stop it from healing.
So working with imagery, let’s talk about that a little bit.
So really we need to understand that trauma is simply emotional energy that the mind is not able to process, it is not able to digest it and assimilate that emotional energy. And what happens is that it becomes tightly associated with the memory image itself. The image is what triggers the trauma. Remembering the site of an accident, or if it’s in a war scene, then it might be the death of a comrade, or if it’s even move closer to home, it might be the trauma associated with childbirth or the trauma associated with having a medical procedure, or even grief is a form of trauma.
It is very difficult for the mind to process that intense emotional energy, and when it gets stuck one is unable to process it, then it constellates around the imagery. This is the source of flashbacks, for example, that many soldiers experience when they return from the battlefield. It’s the imagery that causes the trauma. That’s the important thing to understand here. So during Mindfulness Therapy we work on exploring this imagery, looking at its structure in detail, and then exploring how to change that imagery to help it reprocess and become digested and assimilated so that it no longer triggers emotional trauma.
There are certain characteristics we always look for in emotional trauma, in the imagery, and that is the size of the imagery and how close it is in our visual field when we remember it. How large is it and how close is it? Typically, with a flashback it’s so large that we are basically reliving the scene, we are in the image, and that’s what really stimulates that emotional trauma. It causes you to relive the event as if it was happening right now.
Train to become the Observer through meditation
So seeing that is really important. So the first thing we focus on is trying to create some distance, if you like, between you and the memory image. We do this by developing your position as the Observer looking at the image to break that habit of reactive identification, which is the technical term for what happens in a flashback, where you literally collapse into the picture and you become the picture, or part of the picture. That’s reactive identification. We lose our perspective and we become dominated by the memory image.
So we need to train ourselves to be able to maintain our separate position as the observer.
We do this by the process of mindfulness meditation where we are literally meditating on that traumatic memory image. But now we’re doing it consciously on our terms and that brings a dramatically different result and outcome. We train with it. We learn to sit with it. We watch how we react to it. If we start to collapse into the image then we watch that, we see it clearly and we stop it before it takes effect.
Change the memory imagery through Mindfulness-based Image Preprocessing
We start to manipulate the structure of the memory image too. For example, make it smaller. It’s quite remarkable how much relief you can get by simply taking that memory image and making it really small, making it the size of a grain of sand, and taking that memory image and then placing it somewhere that feels right. It might be to place it on the floor; it might be to place it on a beach with other grains of sand.
These kind of simple ways of working with the memory imagery can be very, very powerful indeed and they basically read train the emotion to heal itself. Because when trauma does heal it does so by changing its own imagery. So that’s a natural process of work. And during our meditation sessions we are actually learning to speed up this process of change in the imagery. That’s how emotions heal they become smaller.
So we explore the imagery, we explore making it smaller. We explore moving it further away so there’s more separation between you as the observer and the memory image. We might explore changing the color of the image. So, intense traumatic imagery has intense color. And again you can produce quite remarkable changes by actually reducing the intensity of the color. You can turn down the color. When you are conscious, when you’re actually observing it, instead of reacting to it or becoming identified with it, you can then actually start to change it. And the more that you change the imagery the more that it heals. There are lots and lots of different ways of working with the imagery.
Then the second part of working with PTSD is reprocessing the emotional reactions. Now many of them will also change when you can reprocess the trauma itself because those emotional reactions are feeding off the traumatic emotion itself; that is the fuel that feeds the emotional reactions of fear, of depression, of guilt, of shame, or whatever it might be, or helplessness.
So that’s one thing, but the second thing we can do is take this active role yet again and meditate on those emotions themselves, and look at their imagery and help that imagery change. Again the same process. When the imagery changes, the emotion changes. It will happen naturally over time for most people. The imagery becomes smaller, etc. It becomes more faded, it loses a lot of its detail, its color, and its size becomes significantly smaller.
In meditation work with mindfulness we are actually simply speeding up this process of healing.
So that’s a brief description of how we can work with PTSD. So if you’re looking for someone to work with to help you overcome your PTSD I invite you to contact me, and tell me more about yourself and your particular struggles. Ask any questions you have about Mindfulness Therapy and how this can help you with your specific needs, and when you feel ready we can schedule an online therapy session via Skype.
So being able to work via Skype is very popular. It’s more convenient and it’s very comfortable for many people. It is less clinical in nature. So we don’t pursue clinical treatment in online therapy; what we do is we work on changing and healing the underlying process that produces your PTSD symptoms.
So if you would like to learn more, please contact me and schedule a session. Typically you’ll see quite big changes within three to four sessions once you start applying the mindfulness techniques that I will be teaching you during these sessions. It is a very, very interesting and effective way of working with emotional trauma. And I look forward to meeting you and help you.
So please contact me if you would like to get started with online therapy for your PTSD. Thank you.
Go to my Contact Page to schedule online mindfulness therapy via Skype for help recovering from PTSD and Emotional Trauma
Online Mindfulness Meditation Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Welcome. My name is Peter Strong, and I am a professional online therapist. I provide online mindfulness therapy for anxiety, online therapy for depression, for stress and for addictions. I also provide online therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
So, what is PTSD? Well, basically it is the inability of the mind to process a traumatic event. A trauma is defined as an even that has extreme sensory and emotional components that the mind is simply not able to process, so, that memory and associated emotions around that memory become stuck. And that’s why a person suffering from PTSD will constantly re-live that memory in the form of flash-backs or recurring memories or intrusive thoughts and other forms of reactivity of the mind.
Essentially, the mind is trying to heal that trauma and that’s why it reoccurs, but the mind is stuck, it does not know how to do that.
So, during Mindfulness Therapy, which is my specialty, we work on changing the underlying structure of that memory and the traumatic emotions associated with that memory. We look at the way we see the memory and emotions internally, because that is what needs to change – our internal picture. Imagery is the natural language of emotion and each emotion that we experience has its own individual imagery structure inside – how we see it internally.
During Mindfulness Therapy sessions we look very closely at this imagery to see how it works. Often, we find there are certain themes. For example, the imagery is too large, too close and it has very vivid or intense color. These properties are what actually produce the emotional distress, the anxiety, the terror, not the actual historical event itself. It’s how we see that picture internally.
When we bring mindfulness to this internal picture, we begin to see the structure and we can begin to change that structure, we begin to discover ways of making the imagery smaller, moving it further away, changing it’s color, and other things that we can change consciously that actually have the effect of defusing and resolving the emotional trauma.
So, this is one central piece of Mindfulness Therapy – actually chaining the internal imagery of the trauma. Change the imagery, you change the emotional intensity and eventually that traumatic memory is able to resolve itself and become integrated into our general memory. We stop experiencing those recurring symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
To learn more, please visit my website and CONTACT ME. Email me and we can schedule a therapy session via Skype to help you overcome your Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. So, please visit my website now and contact me.Thank you!
Online Therapy for Recovery from Trauma and PTSD
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong. I’m a professional psychotherapist based in Boulder, Colorado and I offer online therapy via Skype for anxiety, for depression, for addictions, and also for working with trauma and PTSD. So if you’re looking for an online therapist to help you overcome your trauma then please reach out to me and ask any questions you may have about online therapy and the approach that I use.
Feel free to schedule a session with me. The first session is a trial session where we determine if this is the right approach for you. If it is the right approach then we typically would meet once a week for a while, maybe three or four weeks. And during this time I will teach you how to work with your trauma, your emotional trauma, using the techniques of Mindfulness Therapy, which is what I specialize in.
So online therapy is a good option. It’s certainly very convenient. But as long as you use Skype or similar video platform then there’s no difference whatsoever between having your sessions over Skype online or in person. There Is no difference as long as you can see each other.
So the mindfulness approach that I teach basically helps you process your emotional trauma or traumatic memories more effectively. It’s a very focused strategic approach. It is quite different than conventional counseling or talk therapy. This is much more focused on the mechanism that produces trauma in the mind.
So the first part of Mindfulness Therapy is learning to develop a balanced and non-reactive relationship with the traumatic memory. This is essential. The biggest problem in the early stages of trauma recovery is that people become identified with the traumatic memory, with the emotions that are triggered by that memory, by reactive thoughts and beliefs that are triggered by those emotions.
And when we become identified with the trauma then that basically feeds the trauma and stops it from healing and recovering, which it will do always under the right conditions and with time. So we have to stop reactivating the trauma. We have to develop a different relationship with it so that we do not become consumed by the emotional trauma every time you think about it.
So that is the first part of mindfulness training and we do this by meditating on the trauma itself. We deliberately bring it into the mind and practice developing more and more freedom from those patterns of habitual reactivity that feed the trauma. So we learn to sit with the trauma developing more and more freedom. This is called developing “equanimity” and that’s a major factor in mindfulness training. You can sit with very distressing emotions or memories without becoming identified with them and without reacting to them. It just takes training. Reactive processes are habitual by nature when we can train how out of those habitual processes with a little guidance, and I will teach you how to do this.
The second very important property that we develop in Mindfulness Therapy is compassion. So that means developing a compassionate relationship with the traumatic emotions that the get triggered by the memory. Again, the problem is usually that we try to avoid those emotions or we get into patterns of becoming identified with them again, overwhelmed by those emotions, or we try to avoid them through some form distraction or even through substance abuse. We try to get away from them. But this is the wrong approach. They will not heal if you do not develop a compassionate relationship as well as a non-reactive relationship with those emotions and memories.
The third part of recovery from trauma and any other intense emotions that are associated with that trauma is to change the imagery of the memory image and also the emotions.
So the traumatic memory has its particular memory imagery and that imagery has certain properties that make it difficult to heal, to recover from. So typically, if it is very intense, if the memory imagery is very intense, then it is going to be very large in size. It’s going to be very close, and it’s going to be very detailed, in terms of color and content, it’s going to be very sharp in detail. But particularly it’s very large and very close. So that’s part of its imagery and that’s what keeps the memory traumatic. It is the imagery that actually causes the trauma, not the content per se. The imagery, the qualities of that imagery, is what feed the traumatic emotions.
So we work on changing that imagery, the memory imagery. We work on changing it. Classically, make it smaller. That’s one of the very first things we focus on. Can you make a memory image much, much smaller and can you move it further away? These are some simple interventions that can have incredibly powerful effects on helping that memory image become less traumatic. So that’s one thing, we work with those memory images.
We can also work with emotional images. That is the imagery of the emotions themselves, whether it’s fear or whether it’s terror or anxiety or depression or grief. All of these emotions have their own imagery that sustains those emotions. So as well as developing a non-reactive relationship and a compassionate relationship with those emotions, we also investigate their imagery and we explore changing that imagery.
Change the imagery to heal trauma
So when traumatic emotions heal they do so by changing their imagery. And this happens quite naturally. For example, in the case of grief, which is one type of traumatic image, traumatic experience the imagery changes from being very intense and very large and very close to becoming less intense, more faded, smaller in size and further away, until we can say that is a distant memory now. So that is how the mind actually processes traumatic or intense emotions. It changes their imagery. During Mindfulness Therapy and mindfulness meditation we speed up this process, this natural process, by deliberately exploring how to change that imagery consciously and then finding what works.
So that’s another very important part of recovery from trauma is working with the traumatic imagery and the imagery of the emotions themselves, directly. We call this Mindfulness-based Image Reprocessing and this is a technique that I developed some years ago now and have been perfecting over the last five or six years when I’ve worked with people recovering from trauma and PTSD. The approach is very good if it really does produce quite remarkable changes in how people start to see benefits within three or four sessions.
Once you start learning how to work with your memories and your emotions using mindfulness you can practice these techniques at home between sessions, which then greatly accelerates the healing process. So if you’d like to learn more about online therapy for trauma recovery, then please do go to my website and send me an email and let schedule a Skype Therapy session. I work with people all over the world who have an interest in mindfulness and his application for healing emotional suffering.
So if you would like to start some sessions with me please contact me. Thank you.
Can abuse or trauma be healed?
Emotional trauma refers to intense emotional and sensory experiences that the mind cannot process and digest or resolve. The trauma is produced by psychological imagery, either memory imagery of the event or abstract imagery of the fear triggered by the event. This imagery becomes “stuck” and the mind is unable to process this traumatic imagery. The imagery becomes intrusive, which is the mind’s repeated attempt to reprocess that imagery and reduce it into a form that can be “digested.”
If left untreated, trauma undergoes reactive conversion into secondary reactivity such as intense anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, shame and addiction.
Mindfulness-based image reprocessing is a well-tested method of helping the mind digest these traumatic images.
The key principle is that through mindful awareness we can explore this imagery and help that imagery change, and when you change the imagery you change the emotion. This process of image processing is quite normal and is how the mind processes emotional memories naturally. Through mindfulness therapy we simply speed up this natural healing process.
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong. I am a professional psychotherapist based in Colorado, but I offer online therapy via Skype worldwide. The advantage of online therapy is, of course, twofold, mostly convenience. And the second factor being one of greater comfort for you as a client. It’s much less intimidating being able to talk to a therapist online rather than go into a therapist’s office. That is what most of my clients really like about Skype therapy.
So as long as you can see each other, then there’s no significant difference between Skype therapy compared to meeting with a therapist in person. The most important thing is that you see each other because that’s important for communication. But other than that, it’s a very, very effective way of getting the help that you are looking for and is especially convenient if you are living in an area or living abroad where it’s difficult to find the right kind of therapist to work with.
So convenience is a big factor as well. Also, many people seek me out specifically because they’re interested in Mindfulness Therapy. So I specialize in the use of mindfulness for working with difficult emotions, and that includes anxiety, depression, addiction and also emotional trauma. So I work a lot with post-traumatic stress disorder. And using the techniques of Mindfulness Therapy, I can help you overcome the emotional trauma caused by intrusive memories. This is the most disturbing part of PTSD; the intrusive memories of traumatic events, sometimes caused flashbacks.
But the important thing to understand here is that you can overcome emotional trauma with the right approach and the right tools. It’s very important that you do heal emotional trauma to prevent it from basically igniting secondary reactivity such as depression and extreme anxiety and addiction. These are secondary reactions to emotional trauma.
So emotional trauma is basically any form of experience that the mind and brain is unable to process, say unable to digest that experience.
So whether that’s an experience of death in a war scene or whether it’s seeing an accident on the road or some other traumatic event, natural disaster. All of these kinds of experiences are not commonly encountered, so the mind is not equipped to deal with that amount of intense emotion and intense sensory experience, also. So it becomes overwhelmed and that emotional trauma becomes suppressed and does not heal.
So how do we go about healing emotional trauma? How do we work with PTSD? Well, the methods that I find most effective and that I will teach you during our sessions together is called Mindfulness-based Imagery Processing. This is a very simple approach that can be remarkably effective for working specifically with traumatic memories.
So what makes a memory traumatic? Well, it’s not just the experience itself, but it’s how the experience is represented in the mind in the form of imagery. This is the real underlying issue with emotional trauma. So that intense emotion gets encoded as intense psychological imagery, that might be memory imagery from the actual event or it can be a different kind of abstract imagery that represents the terror or fear that was triggered at that time.
But the main principle here is to understand that the organizing principle that keeps trauma alive and stops its being processed is the imagery. That imagery becomes stuck, if you like, in the mind.
So working with emotional imagery is very important and it’s really the most important thing we need to do to heal the traumatic experience.
So typically traumatic imagery has certain characteristics that keep it in place. One of those is that the imagery is too large in size, too close. In the case of a case of a flashback it becomes so close that it basically completely consumes us and we are effectively reliving that experience. We’ve become part of that imagery. So the traumatic memory imagery will often be very vivid in color.
So these are the kinds of characteristics that keep that emotional imagery in place and keep producing the emotional trauma. However, that imagery is itself the product of habitual conditioning. It gets stuck in the mind, if you like. The problem is simply that the imagery does not change.
So we can overcome this by bringing in consciousness, which allows us to work with that imagery and change it. So even very simple changes such as reducing the size of the image can have a dramatic effect on reducing the intensity of the traumatic memory. Moving it further away can greatly reduce its impact. Changing its position. Typically, intense emotional imagery is very high. So we can move it down.
We can change this habitual imagery when we focus conscious awareness on that imagery, which is what we do with mindfulness-based image processing. We look at the imagery. That is what is keeping that trauma in place. And when we change that imagery, we change the trauma. We help it heal. We help it become digested and processed in a natural way.
This is how the mind processes emotions in general and emotional experiences. It basically changes the imagery of that experience. And often the imagery is diminished so much that it becomes forgotten, becomes insignificant. But it’s the imagery; that’s the key here. When we can change that imagery, we can promote the healing of the trauma.
So if you’d like to learn more about how to work with trauma and heal the underlying emotional imagery that’s sustaining that trauma, then please contact me and let’s schedule a Skype therapy session.
This approach is very detailed and very focused and very practical. And I will teach you how to go about working with that emotional imagery and how to practice at home between sessions. That’s really important. The more you can change the imagery, the more the trauma will feel.
So this approach is very effective because it’s very practical and very focused on the mechanism of trauma. And most people see quite dramatic changes within the first three or four sessions.
So please contact me if you would like help in healing from traumatic memories. Thank you.
Does this interest you? Send me an email now. Tell me about yourself and how I can help you. Schedule a trial session via Skype now.
Peter Strong, PhD is a professional psychotherapist, online therapist, teacher and author based in Boulder, Colorado, who specializes in the study of mindfulness and its application in Mindfulness Psychotherapy for healing the root causes of anxiety and depression and PTSD.