Flower Essences And Visualisation - A Case

There are many ways to prescribe essences and the most of them can be very successful. You can read about them in most of the flower essence books. One however has not yet been written about and that is the one I like to highlight in this article.

Guided visualisation is a powerfull tool to learn more about the client‘s inner conflicts and their hidden sources. It works on the phantasy level, so there is no need to turn the knife in the wound - at least as long as the client has not become strong enough to face his or her problem.

Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose

A method called ‚katathymes Bilderleben‘ developed by the German psychologist Prof. Leuner uses relaxation combined with five archetypal guided visualisations: the client imagines a meadow, a wood, a river, a mountain and a house. I like to introduce this method by giving you a case study from my own practice.

A 50 year old woman suffers from sudden vertigo attacks, that almost lead to fainting, especially when facing conflicts. She hates arguing and experiences shivering with cold and a strange sound in her head, which make her unable to react. That is why we choose the challenge of climbing a mountain for our first therapy hour. After a short relaxation stage she starts to walk a very steep, stony and challenging path up the mountain. It corresponds her view on life in general: she finds everything hard to achieve. She has to make a pause every now and then but in the end she reaches the top, where she can enjoy the air and the view for a little while until I aks her to return.

She discovers that there is a wonderful path that leads through a meadow full of flowers down the mountain - and that she could have used this path to go up the mountain as well, if only she had looked for an alternative. However her way down turns out to be not as enjoyable as she expected. Out of a sudden she finds herself right in front of a huge area hidden by a cold fog, that makes her shiver and faint. A feeling she knows so well. She cannot find a way through or around that fog, so we finish our first session.

She agrees that she has to become strong enough to go through that fog and find out what it means to her. It resembles a black hole in her life and memory, something she has always feared it would return and kill her. She gets Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis - Große Nachtkerze), an essence that enables to face the shadow, one‘s own dark side and fears.

We repeat the visualisation in the following therapy hour. The fog has disappeared and been replaced by a scenery of ruins and rubble, which she identifies as her way to school in her hometown that was bombed in worldwar 2. Between all the ruins there are so many Willowherbs (Epilobium angustifolium - Schmalblättriges Weidenröschen), a flower which is well known for its healing properties.


Willowherb heals the earth after a fire and - after being bombed. For a while it was called ‚ruin flower‘ in Germany. It also heals the unconscious, similar to Dr. Bach‘s Star of Bethlehem (but not identical). This time she gets Willowherb essence of course. In the following therapy hour she finds herself as a little girl lying sick in her bed suffering from severe fever - feeling left alone. Her mother is not there (she has gone to work, but the little girl does not believe she would ever come back) and her grandmother is in a bad mood, grumbling about having to care for the girl. This situation corresponds with the archetypal stage of the inner child (in this case the orphan), the  appropriate essence is Touch-Me-Not Balsam (Impatiens noli-tangere - Echtes Springkraut).

Touch-me-not Balsam
Touch-Me-Not Balsam

These three essences - Evening Primrose, Willowherb and Touch-Me-Not Balsam - give her enough strength to face the place again, where the fog was before. This time she takes the bus there! And this time she is overwhelmed by the memory of a trauma she experienced when she was 4: Being abused by a soldier of the allied forces, who came as a helper but turned out to be a criminal.

After discovering the origin of her fainting she is able to be healed and recover. But yet it takes some time to complete the proces. The following three months she takes again Willowherb, Sunflower for accepting her own male aspects and Heather for growing up internally. Another three months later the attacks are gone and she is able to face conflicts and take on responsibility for herself.

You can imagine, that the story has been shortened. It was not so easy! Anyway the example shows how imagery works and helps to find out the right flower essences. This kind of work needs experienced therapists, who can protect their clients and help them through most difficult situations without being overwhelmed themselves or becoming involved in what happens. Then it will be a powerful healing method.

Pink Yarrow
Pink Yarrow

By the way: therapists, who want to protect themselves, should try Pink Yarrow (Achillea millefolium - Rosa Schafgarbe).

©Dirk Albrodt

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