The Ladder of Emotional Healing

Excerpt from the Spring 2001 Newsletter

All of us have emotional wounds. They can be on the surface or buried deep inside. Some people make a conscious effort to deal with their emotional problems, while others choose to ignore them, hoping that they will go away (time heals) or denying that they exist altogether. Unfortunately these emotions often resurface in the form of ill health. As Caroline Myss (author of Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing - ISBN 0553505270 - available from or amazon.comsays: "Your biography becomes your biology". In other words, the events of our lives that have not been fully integrated and accepted do not go away. They remain within us and can have a powerful effect on our health and well-being.

Dr. Edward Bach created the first flower essences in the 1930s. His theory was that most physical illnesses are the consequence of underlying emotional problems. This assumption is being validated by the newly emerging science of psychoneuro-immunology, whereby we are discovering the impact that our emotions have on our immune system.

Within the increasingly popular notion that we create our own reality is the idea that we must take responsibility for our lives. This means that we are not powerless but can choose to participate in our own healing. We can do this (a) by eliminating all toxic emotions of guilt, fear, resentment, bitterness, hatred, and jealousy; ( b) by healing our emotional wounds, whether they be current or buried deep in our past; and (c) by learning to love and accept ourselves for the wonderful beings that we are. If we take responsibility for our emotional healing, our lives will change.

Dr. Andrew Tresidder is a general practitioner in the UK who uses flower essences in his practice. His philosophy is to offer his patients the best of conventional medicine in conjunction with complementary approaches like flower essences. He seeks to treat his patients as partners who participate in the healing process. He has found that flower essences help his patients to heal emotional wounds and that this emotional healing has a positive impact on their health. In his book Lazy Person's Guide to Emotional Healing: Using Flower Essences Successfully (Newleaf - ISBN 0-7171-2985-3 - available from, Dr. Andrew Tresidder proposes using what he calls the ladder of emotional healing to review and heal the events of our lives. This process has five steps.


In order to begin the process of emotional healing we have to accept that there is a situation or event in our lives that needs healing. This is not as easy as it seems as many of us live in denial ("There's nothing wrong with me, I'm fine"). But if there is an aspect of our lives that we prefer to hide, if we have not spoken to a member of our family for many years, if we feel that we are victims of the circumstances of our lives, then there is certainly something to be healed.


Once we have accepted that there is an emotional wound that needs healing, we have to acknowledge what it is about the situation that needs healing. This requires some soul searching, as the initial reason that comes to mind might not be the real reason. Sometimes we feel that someone has hurt us but with hindsight we realise that the person in question simply reflected back to us a part of ourselves that we do not like.


For many of us this is the hardest part. Forgiveness is a three-fold process: we must forgive the other person, forgive the event and most importantly we must forgive our selves. We will know that we have really forgiven when we are able to think about the incident or situation without opening old wounds.


Forgive and forget. Many people hang on to their wounds, to the memories of hurtful situations. In our society it is acceptable and even desirable to be able to talk about our wounds, but we must also know when to let go of them. Real emotional healing occurs when we release the past to live fully in the NOW.

Move on

Taking this last step on the ladder of emotional healing often implies the need to change. We have forgiven, we have left the past behind us, but we must also move on with our lives, enriched by our life experiences, with a positive attitude and confidence in the future. Use flower essences to help you climb the ladder of emotional healing. Identify the wounds in your life – we all have some. Determine where you are on the ladder and choose an essence to help you move up to the next step. This is a powerful yet gentle way to heal the body/mind. Flower essences act as catalysts that allow us to break free from much of the conditioning and ancestral baggage which hinder our ability to achieve the emotional stability we need to live a healthy well-balanced life.

Essence Suggestions

Here are some of the essences that can help you on the path to emotional healing:

  • Amethyst (Crystal Energy Essences) - transmutes toxic emotions into forgiveness and compassion; helps us to release the past and embrace the presen.
  • Asclepias (Green Hope Farm) - this essence is not available anymore - helps release us into the free expression of our creativity; promotes freedom to reconfigure our interpersonal relationships.
  • Black Currant (Green Hope Farm) - cleanses and purifies our etheric body of the detritus of the past seven generations of our family, all of which is often still held in our energy system.
  • Bloodroot (Green Hope Farm) - helps us to reconcile ourselves with our family of origin and our roots.
  • Boab (Australian Bush) - personal freedom by releasing family patterns; clearing of other non-family negative karmic connections.
  • Dagger Hakea (Australian Bush) - resentment; bitterness towards close family, friends and lovers; brings forgiveness; open expression of feelings.
  • Fuchsia (DEVA) - understanding repressed emotions ; catalyst that allows repressed emotions to rise to the surface to be understood and resolved. These are often emotions of anger and sorrow which go back to childhood.
  • Grape Hyacinth (Pacific Essences) - for times of external shock, despair, stress; allows the individual to step back from the situation while harnessing inner resources to meet the challenge.
  • Inner Child Essence (South African Essences) - facilitates access to our inner child; to ease the pain and trauma from childhood.
  • Mary Queen of Scots Rose (Green Hope Farm) - to dissolve long standing feuds and deep enmity; for internal as well as external conflict.
  • Painted Lady (South African Essences) - jealousy, resentment, holding of grudges, suspiciousness, hardening of the heart; allows forgiveness, joy and unconditional love to flow into the heart.
  • Poison Hemlock (Pacific Essences) - for letting go; for moving through transition periods without getting stuck.
  • Raspberry (Spirit-in-Nature) - helps us to be both forgiving and compassionate; to master the ability to transmute negative and harmful emotions.
  • Rose Quartz (Crystal Energy Essences) - inspires love, compassion, forgiveness for oneself and for others. This essence comforts the wounded child within us, allowing us to move beyond the experiences of our childhood.