Are disease and mental traumas like wearing a mask? Can you remove that mask and be healed? It’s an interesting metaphor for the healing of the ills that plague mankind. My colleague, Eric Nelson, writing for the January 31, 2016 edition of Communities Digital News, notes that art therapy gives a glimpse of the power of visualization for healing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But he suggests that there something far more reliable and permanent for healing all kinds of disorders. Here’s Eric:
“Give a man a mask,” said Oscar Wilde, “and he will tell you the truth.”
A clever adage, to be sure. But for creative arts therapist Melissa Walker, it’s actually the process of unmasking the invisible wounds of her patients that enables them to discover what’s true – and what’s not – and to experience lasting healing.
“Imagine you are a high ranking military service member deployed to Afghanistan,” said Walker during her talk at last year’s TEDMED conference in Palm Springs. “Incoming mortar rounds are exploding all around you. Struggling to see through the dust and the smoke, you do your best to help those wounded and crawl to a nearby bunker.
“As you regain your vision, you see a bloody face staring back at you. The image is terrifying, but you quickly come to understand it’s not real. This vision continues to visit you multiple times a day and in your sleep. You choose not to tell anyone for fear of losing your job or being seen as weak. You give the vision a name, ‘Bloody Face in Bunker,’ and call it BFIB for short. You keep BFIB locked away in your mind, secretly haunting you for the next seven years.
“Now close your eyes. Can you see BFIB? If you can, you’re beginning to see the face of the invisible wounds of war, commonly known as post traumatic stress disorder.”
….medical pioneer and religious reformer Mary Baker Eddy….discovered that by helping people grapple with whatever mental or physical image might be frightening them – rather than simply insisting that “it’s not real” – they were able to experience complete and permanent healing. Unlike the various forms of “visualization” and “positive thinking” we hear about today, however, hers was a decidedly prayer-based approach inspired by and grounded in the Bible’s many accounts of curing both mental and physical trauma….