In the opening scene of The Sound of Music, Maria sings “I go to the hills when my heart is lonely, I know I will hear what I’ve heard before…” The Sound of Music, Opening Scene People have long known that being in nature is good medicine. They didn’t need scientists or researchers to tell them that time spent outdoors, especially among trees, has countless health benefits.
Now science has caught up with this ancient wisdom.
Forest Bathing For Trauma Recovery “Reconnecting to nature can be a powerful activity as part of trauma recovery and healing centered engagement. Playing in the dirt and walking barefoot heals us in infinite ways. Forests and natural landscapes expose us to healthy bacteria, sunshine, and phytoncides (chemicals released by trees that are known for their ability to improve our immune responses). Forests decrease stress hormones and rumination and regulate our heart rate and blood pressure.”
Forest Bathing “Forest bathing is based on an ancient Japanese cultural respect and reverence for the natural world and the interactions with the landscape that occur as a result. Shinrin-yoku (lit. “Immersion in the Forest Air”) is an experience that lets people be mindfully present with the surrounding forest. The sights, sounds and smells of the environment support and comfort each person as they literally “bathe” in the forest air.”
And for those of us who are survivors of Therapist Abuse by court shrinks paid for by the highest bidder, we know too well the trauma when these so-called “professionals” – the lawyers, court doctors, court therapists and hired gun evaluators – trap and re-traumatize us in their lucrative litigation therapy racket. Forcing a trauma victim to sit in their office re-living traumatic memories while they bill by the hour, scribbling their notes, writing false reports for corrupt Child Reps, Guardian Ad Litems, and guns for hire custody evaluators. Because you are court-ordered to do it. How convenient for them.
The survivors of the Rwandan genocide who famously kicked out the Western mental health practitioners further illustrates the damage talk therapy can do to trauma survivors. “As the Rwandan, paraphrased by Solomon, puts it: “Their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.” Exporting trauma: can the talking cure do more harm than good?
I’ll never forget the corrupt Child Representative Natalie Koga’s Machiavellian sneer, and her arrogant, fake, sing-songy, patronizing voice: “Lisa, you just need to try har-der in ther-a-peeee”. Have you completed your “treeeat-meeent”? While she lied and abused me in court. Met secretly with my ex. Harmed my child. Exploited my family. Natalie Koga Confronted With Eye-Witness To Her Corruption
Dr. Daniel Fisher, who wrote Natalie Koga’s made to order false reports, repeated his mantra, in his saccharin-sweet, pretending to care “therapist” voice: “How’s your “therapy” going?” Probing for anything to pounce on, all the while, working for the other side. Dr. Daniel Fisher’s Misconduct, With Michael Volpe
And who could ever forget Dr. Fisher’s disturbing, cringe-worthy performance for a packed courtroom during one of his several days of false testimony!
Bizarrely, finishing his star turn on the witness stand, taking center stage while raising his chest into a stiff military posture, he faced my ex-husband directly. Then, with a grand flourish, GAVE HIM A FULL MILITARY SALUTE RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF THE COURTROOM!
He remained “at attention” for a full two seconds, then suddenly remembering himself, flustered, looking down, eyes darting about. My ex-husband beamed with delight as Dr. Fisher tottered off the “stage”. Natalie Koga rewarded him by giving him even more inappropriate power and control over our lives.
As a treating therapist, it was against the law for Dr. Fisher to take on multiple roles. But he used this as spring-board, becoming an unofficial parenting coordinator, custody evaluator, and suddenly in charge of all of the parties court ordered “therapy”. Dr. Fisher already had a prior license sanction for the same misconduct in another case. Fisher_Redacted
Then there’s my ex’s hired gun custody evaluator Dr. Mark Goldstein. My attorney had already caught Natalie Koga, Child Rep, and opposing counsel Meg Jackson conspiring to have him write a false report about me. I felt like a lamb led to slaughter, while he crossed professional boundaries, plying me with inappropriate, sick questions.
When I objected, he noted that I had an “anger problem”. But his psychological testing showed the opposite, which of course he omitted from the custody evaluation, like the good little hired gun that he was. When I showed the natural indignation of any normal, decent person to his disgusting questions, he wrote that I was “emotionally labile“.
And Judge Alfred Levinson’s perpetually red face from sipping out of his mystery container all day long, bellowing: “Have you completed your therapy?” – trying to make me look crazy – because the lawyers sitting up front waiting for their cases to be called saw his courtroom was a three ring circus. And the evidence I brought. Then Natalie Koga would lie some more – ignoring my therapy report as an excuse to label me uncooperative, and continue to completely bar any communication whatsoever between my son and I.
You see, just like Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, they aren’t in it to help people connect with their inner strength or heal from the trauma of abuse. They aren’t there to cheer you on to re-build your life.
As hired gun crazy-makers, these “therapists” don’t encourage you to speak your own truth with confidence. An empowered victim is the LAST thing they want.
They don’t advise you to walk on the beach, find the peace of the woods, garden, go barefoot savoring the cool grass between your toes, laugh, make art, go to concerts, further your education – or just take a break from endless talking about it – or anything else that challenges their power and control over their cash cows.
They WANT you continually stressed and traumatized. They have no interest in your wellness. They are not encouragers.
That would be counter-productive to the racket.
They are the bottom feeders of their professions who need you trapped, or they won’t have a job.
Their JOB is to Gaslight the victim. To put them off balance – to mess with their heads. To re-traumatize them.
To manufacture a “crazy label” for the victim in their Kids for Cash scam. Hiding abuse, and keeping it going is big business. And if they could, they would keep their cash cows trapped in their litigation therapy racket forever.
After this pack of vicious predators got through with me, I understood how so many have been bullied to death in family court. I went from being an award-winning professional opera singer singing in Carnegie Hall, performing comfortably for two to three thousand people, to not even able to speak. My brain knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t make the words come out of my mouth.
I developed “Broken Heart Syndrome” with such severe chest pain, I struggled with my teaching job. I went from the woman doing it all, all the time – raising her child mostly alone, running a teaching studio, singing, and maintaining a large wooded property – to bed-ridden, after these vicious people finished running me through their Kids for Cash machine.
I knew that in order to survive, I had to go back to the country. I fell asleep listening to the music of crickets singing. Walked my dog in the rolling, wooded hills with the sun on my face.
I basked in the warm embraces of those who knew me best – the people who I grew up with – my family, friends and community. This was emergency care to a soul shattered by my ex and his gang’s constant drumming of the vicious lie that I was an outcast, so why not take everything away from me anyway.
I couldn’t hold a job anymore due to the trauma of the legal abuse. They succeeded in their goal of completely destroying me. So I worked when I could, sometimes only an hour per day, clearing weeds 6 feet high, started a garden, and slowly resurrected a friend’s old house that had been vacant for 10 years. I thought by saving my friend’s old family home, I just might save myself in the process.
And I slowly regained my ability to speak. It took two years. I set about the arduous task of rebuilding a life that my ex-husband and his gang of ruthless financial predators did everything in their power to destroy.
So, go to the woods. Let the vast, majestic strength and beauty of a forest place it’s loving arms around you. And dance out in the sun! Kick your shoes off. Plunge your hands into beautiful, dark earth, get it under your fingernails, and plant a garden. Sing around the campfire, enjoy a few beers, roast some hot dogs, and howl at the moon!
If you live in a city, and have to drive to nature, do it. Just Do it-You’ll be glad you did! Even large cities have nature reserves, walking trails, botanical gardens, and parks for their citizen’s tired, frayed nerves!
The great naturalist, John Muir, “father of our national parks” said:
“The mountains are calling and I must go.
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”