We pray for Paris! – Jill Raiguel, MFT

My heart and prayers go out to the people of Paris, especially to the victims, their families and the first responders.  As I sit in prayer and meditation this morning, I know millions are sending light and prayers.  The media coverage gives us a chance to participate in our world as a community pulling together to help heal.

But, with a non-stop, super-saturated TV news, we can get overwhelmed and sucked in to the Paris trauma. As I wrote about a couple of days ago, some of us can even get vicarious or secondary trauma. So, if you find yourself glued to the tube, starting to dream about this tragedy, or having fears about it, STOP! Do something fun.  Watch a comedy. Read a magazine with nature pictures. Take good care of yourself, you are your most precious resource.

 Jill Raiguel, MFT, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, former adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona and psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric. She has a private practice and trains others in her work.  Visit http://www.jillibean.com or jillraiguel@gmail.com




Are you or someone you care about susceptible to secondary trauma? Are you being traumatized by TV and movie violence? You can even be traumatized by someone just telling you about a traumatic event. That could be a car accident, a fire, an abuse, a frightening experience.
Some of us, especially people like me who are highly sensitive, are very susceptible to vicarious or what I call secondary trauma that I discuss in my book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. I like the word secondary because the event is not happening to you directly, but you can be victimized secondarily. For example, if I watch an explosion on the news too many times, I can start to relay the visual in my mind and that could cause me problems.
I’m reminded of this when I see the news playing and replaying explosions, or accidents, or bombings over and over again. I’ve had clients who get traumatic stress symptoms just from watching the news or their favorite CSI show. Symptoms can include: anxiety, panic, flashbacks, nightmares, depressions, agitation, heart racing, and/or depression.
Here’s what I do to take care of myself and avoid secondary trauma. I limit watching TV news; I even mute violent replays of the same story. I avoid violent movies. If I’m watching a DVD, I fast forward the violent parts. If a friend is telling about something traumatic and it starts to overwhelm me, I ask him or her to tell me the short version. And, I explain why so I don’t appear rude.

Jill Raiguel, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, shamanic and soul retrieval practitioner. Visit http://www.jillibean.com or jillraiguel@gmail.com.


My friend and mentor of over 40 years just died after a seven-year fight with lung cancer. I know she is free now of her diseased body, but she will live on in the hearts and minds of many of us who knew her. Before she died I wrote a tribute to her and, with my Kleenex and courage, I read it to her before she died. I figured she deserve to know what was in my heart. As part of my tribute to her, I’m sharing it with you.
Over 45 years, wow, how did that happen? Let me tell you some of the highlights of this remarkable woman, Lynn, that have made me the woman and the professional I am. She was my role model.
I first met Lynn when I was just 22 and needing field work for the masters in counseling. I drove my little beige VW bug east from Oakland out into the hills of Livermore. I wound through the subdivisions to Mendenhall Jr High School. Lynn was waiting with her hug and eager smile. I still recall what I was wearing, long skirt, sweater and green suede boots. “Let’s get to work,” she said. She gave me the sixth grade and I lead 12 groups of teens every week. I loved it.
Even though I was young and new to the field, Lynn encouraged and validated me. She was the first professional who let me know this was what I should be doing for the rest of my life. That year we forged a connection and a friendship that has lasted over 40 years now.
We attended workshops and classes together. For three years we developed our psychic skills three mornings a week.
I’ve hosted Lynn’s work here; she’s attended workshops of mine.
Many years later Lynn visited me in Southern California and we drove to a desert retreat. At dawn we all walked to a hill and Lynn and I sounded as the sun rose and the full moon set. Magically, the coyotes howled in response for probably 30 minutes. What an astounding dance of joy and celebration.
After my car accident and mom and dad died. Lynn called and offered to have me come up to their home and rest and recoup. I did, and it began to re-fill and nourish me. Only a special friend would do that.
Shortly after that, Lynn said, “With all those losses, you’ve had a soul loss.” I didn’t know what that was, but YES. Lynn and Stan and I went to my first shamanism workshop at Easlen with Hank Wesselman. Not only did I have a soul retrieval, but I returned to his trainings several times and learned the work. Now, I practicing it exclusively .
I could go on and on with memories of our adventures, but that’s not what I will treasure about Lynn. It is this…. her unconditional love; her generous spirit; her joy; her strength.
And, I know the best memorial I can create for Lynn is not a monument in some place, but a living one. I try to be like her in my work and in my life. Live with joy in my heart; have a generous spirit; love with abandon. Lynn, I’ll remember you always.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is the author of several books and articles in= cluding Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Having been a pyschotherapist at Kohut psych Medical Group and a adjunct professor at Cal Poly, Pomona, Ca, she now has a private practice using her shamanic and alternative methods. Visit http://www.jillibean.com or jillraiguel@gmail.com


Jill Raiguel, Marriage & Family Therapist

Do you know people who are stuck? Are you depressed or apathetic? Do you have a habit or pattern that has not cleared up? Do you find yourself saying, I am just not myself? Are you stuck in one area of your life? Nothing seems to help. Do you feel like your spirit has died?

These can all be indications of “soul loss,” or self loss, a technique that is part of shamanism. Usually just a few sessions, the process takes about an hour. During the session, conducted in a very safe and gentle manner, the life force is strengthened, energy blocks are removed, and the soul is called back. Sessions can be done long distance. I have done over 2000 sessions over the last 13 year years. Even though I have been a brief issue oriented therapist for almost 40 years, I have found shamanism to be faster and more effective.

I had a “soul loss’ after a severe car accident. Even though I had tried other traditional and non-traditional modalities, I was not getting better. Six years later, I was not myself. I felt apathetic, I lost my enthusiasm, I didn’t feel like ME. I learned these are symptoms of what traditional medicine men and women call “soul loss.” Many times after a trauma, car accident, surgery or loss, part of our life essence leaves as a survival strategy. Although sometimes it comes back, often it does not.

In a workshop with Dr. Hank Wesselman, his wife, Jill Kuykendall, soul retrieval practitioner, I recognized that part of my soul had checked out. After the session, I felt joyous and deeply grateful but a little skeptical. However, a few days later I noticed I was singing and humming to myself. A longtime friend said, “You are so excited, I haven’t heard that excitement in your voice in years.” People comment I look younger, lighter. I feel like I’ve had a spiritual B12 shot.

Since then I have been trained in the “soul retrieval,” and started seeing clients. This process, usually one sessions, provides a method for bringing spiritually “missing pieces” back, for healing the dissociation from shocking loss, traumatic rape or abuse, or devastating divorce. I often get referrals from other practitioners who send me their stuck clients. I see them one time creating a breakthrough, and then I send them back to their practitioners. As with any healing process, the results vary from person to person, but it can be life changing.

If you have a question or want to learn more email jillraiguel@gmail.com or visitwww.jillibean.com. Her book new book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, is available now.


I’m starting a series of little essays called: DO YOU KNOW PEOPLE WHO…? Here’s the first. Let me know what you think?

DO YOU KNOW PEOPLE WHO FEEL ENTITLED TO THEIR ANGER? I was. I was so angry at my dad for being an alcoholic, for not going on family vacations, for not being emotionally there for us growing up. Not until I was in my 30’s did I realize the cost. People didn’t want to be around me because they thought I had a chip on my shoulder. People stayed away from me, and that hurt me terribly. The cost become greater than my payoff of making my dad wrong. So I began to express it. First, I wrote it all out; then I bravely talked to my dad. I’m lucky that he listened and even said he was sorry. Many people don’t get to resolve their issues with the actual person.
Being entitled to your anger keeps you stuck. Nothing will help you release it because you are attached to it. So, what should you do? Start by asking yourself: what is the cost to holding on to old anger? And what am I getting out of it? Usually people are getting to make the other person wrong; they are getting to be a victim; they are getting to be right. What’s cost? Things like: it cost me getting close to people; it cost me happiness. Only when the cost gets greater than the payoff, can you release anger that you feel entitled to.
Over 30 years ago I heard a concentration camp survivor interviewed. Even though she related horrible losses, she was radiant. The interview ask her how she looked to vibrant. She said, “If I had held onto my anger, Hitler would have won.” I have never forgotten that.
This is just one of the emotional life skills lessons from my book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Visit http://www.jillibean.com or amazon.com to find out more.


In the late spring and early summer with this year, I had two medical procedures that required hospitalization. I’m completely well now, but I want to tell you my own experience using visualization to reduce and eliminate my pain. As is the policy, the doctor gave me a prescription for pain medication. I never took it, not because I’m tough, simply because I didn’t have any pain. My doctors, friends and family thought that was quite remarkable.

I knew from my studies over the years that using guided visualization could manage and greatly reduce pain but now I had a chance to apply it to my life in a very real way. First, I listened to Health Journey’s CD, Successful Surgery, before my procedure. I already knew that being in a peaceful, relaxed state can reduce pain and potential complications, so now I could practice it. Second, when I came home I continued to visualize myself in a calm place in nature. For me, its the beach. Third, as I was recovering on my couch, I visualized myself healthy, and happy, and enjoying my life.

As a result, I took Tylenol for the fest few days, and never opened the pain meds. I am simply a demonstration of what Kaiser research studies found thirty years ago; and that is that guided visualization pre- and post surgery and even during surgery can greatly reduce the need for opiates.


During the summer everyone I know seems to be on vacation, going on vacation and coming back from one. My friends glow with stories of Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska or other far-away places. I have rarely had the time or funds to go to those places, and, honestly, I felt a little deprived.

But I recently learned something about myself and my need for rest and relaxation; that is, it doesn’t take much. I have found that I can feel like I’ve been away just going overnight to visit friends. I have felt renewed going away for a long weekend. The key for me is to not work. I don’t take my phone or computer if I’m really serious about getting away mentally as well as physically. I don’t plan to see clients or to lead workshops during that time. Yes, I travel to work, but traveling for R&R has different requirements.

This summer I took a four-day trip to see friends in Oregon. I did NOT have work scheduled; I had open-ended time to visit, relax, read…. even, have a long lunch. I loved it and my body just soaked it up. My Oregon friends said, “You look so relaxed.” It was just the right amount of scheduled and unscheduled time. I loved it, and I plan on more of those kinds of trips short or long.

Now, that I’m home and working again, I use my visualization to go on quick inner vacations. My current favorite is going to MacKenzie Fall Oregon. Inwardly, I feel the mist, I hear the roar of the falls, I soak up the moist Earth… and I am renewed.

I suggest you find out want kind of vacation, relaxation and recreation renews you. WE are all different, and we all have different tastes and needs. But have fun!!

Jill Raiguel, MFT, author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery s well as several other books and articles. Formerly a psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group, she has a private practice using her alternative methods. Visit http://www.jillibean.com or email jillraiguel@gmail.com for information and her workshop schedule.


I am so grateful to have two committed friendships in my life; one for over 16 years and the other for almost 14 years. These friends are two extraordinary women. My friend, Tonilee, and I met at a seminar. I liked her immediately. We were both former teachers looking for a new way to contribute. Quite naturally, we decided one morning over breakfast that we wanted to continue talking, so we scheduled a weekly phone call. Although we have taken breaks for travels and vacations, we have spoken regularly for the last 16 years.
At another course, I met Sandy, a bright sunny person easy to like. But I also felt we had something to learn from each other although I couldn’t imagine what that might be. As our chats developed, we discovered that we — that is Tonilee and I and Sandy and I — not only had much in common, we all three had big projects in mind. We began using each other as coaches to move our projects forward. Throughout the years of our calls, we have birthed several projects. Tonilee is a successful consultant and coach to schools; Sandy is a co-founder of Relationships by Design with her husband, Lon. After taking some time off from teaching, I had eight wonderful years as an Adjunct Professor of Education at Cal Poly, Pomona, California; then seven years as a psychotherapist at a psychiatric clinic. Recently, I published a new book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Using the power of our friendships, we have brought many programs, products and services into the world.
Let me clarify that my friendships with Tonilee and Sandy are distinct from my friends where I share daily events and problems. For me, my two friends and I have taken friendship to a deeper and very satisfying level. And, as I am writing this piece, I am discovering something new, something that Tonilee and Sandy have provided for me. They know who I am and what I’m up to in life. They often give me an insight or concern that I had not seen. We trust each other; we tell each other the truth. I can be vulnerable and yes, I can even be great. They are my committed listeners; they are committed to my success. I don’t have to hold back or be shy about being who I am.
Here’s an example that happened just this week. As Sandy held a copy of my new book in her hands, she said something I had not realized. “This is your life work.” I knew immediately she was right. She was not looking at what the book could do for her; she was looking from a much larger place. She was looking at what my book could do for the world. In doing so, I had to own that that was true. She recognized that in writing my book I had called forth the best part of me. In that moment I had to step into my best self and own.
I am sharing all this to invite you to explore what is a committed friendship might be in your life. Who are the people who are not just good friends, but who are committed to you and your work and you being your best self? I am so fortunate to have not one, but two ladies who are my dear committed friends.
What has this opened up for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is not only the authors of several books and articles, but also Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery, available in paperback and Kindle. Formerly a psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group, she has a private practice and leads trainings in her work. For more about Jill, visit http://www.jillibean.com and email jillraiguel@gmail.com.



I define being out of your body as what professional mental health people call dissociating. I call it going out of your body, or numbing, or going away, or splitting off from yourself. You may have needed to go out of your body to survive and avoid pain. Or, you went numb.

Let me explain what I mean by that. Dissociated people split from feelings. They feel very little emotionally or physically, look distant or removed, appear wooden or dead, and speak in a monotone, like a robot. You will learn to appreciate why you did this, but you will also learn how to get yourself back in your body.

Being in the body means you can be present in the moment, in your life, feeling your emotions, sensing your surroundings. But everyone distances themselves from time to time; we daydream or mentally space out for a moment or two. This is natural. But can that same person be fully present, conscious and aware when needed? For the traumatized person, the answer is often no. This person has stopped feeling as a way of blocking out physical or emotional pain. However, the problem is much more severe than simply not feeling emotions, which I discuss in this chapter; dissociating can mean blocking out literally all sensations.
The survivor who has dissociated does not feel at home in his body, something which most people take for granted. This experience leads such individuals to feel at war with their bodies or even with life itself. Clients sometimes tell me, I just don’t feel like I belong, or I feel like am a foreigner, or I feel like there’s a glass shield between me and the world.

One simple way to get yourself back is a simple tapping exercise first created by Charlotte Selver who invented Sensing. She suggested taking the flat of your hand and gently but firming tapping your arm. After open or two minutes hold both arms out in front of you and close your eyes. Does one feel different than the other? After doing this simple task, many people report that the tapped arm feels tingly or warm or more alive. Of course, you’ve just stimulated your circulation. If it feels right to you, now try tapping all over your body for 2-3 minutes. Full instructions for this are found in my book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery for the Genius. Doing this simple Sensing exercise over a month or so can get you more present and in your body.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is psychotherapist who has worked at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group and she is a shamanic practitioner in her private practice. She consults and trains in her work all over the country. She is the author of several books and articles including Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery