Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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25 Apr

We got this question from a weary California therapist, who is struggling with her own discouragement, distress and disorientation following the November election, and whose clients are presenting her with the same issue. 

Belleruth gives her some bullet points on preventing burnout and compassion fatigue under these circumstances.  They have wide applicability – this is an issue for parents, educators, journalists, friends and managers, too.

Question:

I have a question about self-care and coping with stress as a therapist. Now and then we might meet with a client whose issue mirrors something we’re dealing with ourselves. We offer our support while maintaining our professional distance… but it doesn’t usually happen two or three times a week. It has been lately, especially here in California where so many of us are still struggling with the outcome of the November election.

24 Apr

Adults and children on the autism spectrum differ broadly, but nearly all struggle with anxiety, especially at changes in routine. Other challenges they face include compulsive, repetitive behaviors, sleep problems, overstimulated nervous systems and social difficulties.

Our audio programs can help with all but the interpersonal challenges. They make the biggest contribution as a powerful anxiety reducer and mood balancer.

We have combined some of our most popular guided imagery programs, the particularly soothing, calming ones that are most popular with adults and kids on the autism spectrum, into three different packs. We created packs for adults, teens and kids, and specially priced them at a whopping 23% off, to celebrate Autism Awareness Month.

21 Apr

A grateful mother sent us a note last year describing how her daughter, who was so anxious she was close to quitting school, got turned around by some guided imagery downloads on her smart phone.  Read on:

My 19-year-old daughter Hilary has always had anxiety when facing pressure (social, tests, new activities). Therefore her Dad and I were not surprised when her first year away at a school less than 30 miles away sent her into major panic mode.

We had many conversations on why she shouldn’t quit school. The whole family got into the act. We were worried and worn out from these sessions.

20 Apr

The ability to mentally imagine the performance of movements is used in sports training and in physiotherapy, as a tool to enhance motor learning and rehabilitation. 

It is been assumed that motor imagery activates the same brain areas as actual movement, and this is partially correct.  Real life movement activates the left medial frontal areas (preSMA/SMA), prefrontal- and frontal areas, putamen and inferior parietal areas.

18 Apr

A certain percentage of people dealing with cancer don’t like or can’t relate to aggressive cellular imagery that envisions immune cells going to war against cancer cells and zapping them into oblivion, even though that’s more or less what happens inside the body on any given day. This woman, undergoing treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer, wants to know if there are gentle images she can use, and if so, what...

17 Apr

Here is some basic information on guided imagery. It was put together when we built California Community College students their own free guided imagery download page. The audios on that page are used to reduce stress, promote sleep, and improve concentration, among other things. 

This information may come in handy for yourself or, if you’re a health care or mental health professional, for people in your care. So if you’re looking for a quick but accurate way to explain guided imagery to yourself or others, check it out!

14 Apr

In 2002, Daphna Oyserman and two colleagues at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan wrote up a wonderful report on the nine-week after school, small group, activities-based intervention they developed for at-risk, African American, middle school students. The focus of the group work was on helping the kids imagine themselves as successful adults, and connecting their future imaginings to their current school involvement. 

Oyserman’s identity-based motivation research determined that youths fare better in school when they envision their future selves, connect them to the present and imagine strategies to get them there.

13 Apr

In a pilot study, researchers from Copenhagen University, Denmark, and The Grieg Academy of Music Therapy Research Center in Bergen, Norway,  examined the effects of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), a specific technique, created by Helen Bonny, that includes relaxation, music listening, and observing the resulting, spontaneous imagery that arises from the music, on bio-psycho-social measures of stress related to long term sick leave...

Twenty Danish workers on sick leave were randomized to either a music therapy intervention or wait-list control.  Data collection was carried out at an occupational health ward in the period 2008-2010.

11 Apr

A woman coping with a trifecta of challenges: postpartum depression, possible grief, and posttraumatic stress suffered during pregnancy, childbirth and after, wonders if there are any resources that can make a dent on these complex challenges.

Here’s her question:

Hello, I'm suffering from postpartum depression and ptsd from several traumatic events I suffered in pregnancy childbirth and after. I was wondering if there are any tips or guided imagery that will help me best.

10 Apr

We’re posting some Hot Research about an imagery technique called GIM (Guided Imagery and Music) and what it can do for people on extended sick leave. The study finds that using GIM was associated with better mental health and an earlier return to the workplace.

GIM is a therapy technique created by psychotherapist and violinist, Helen Bonny. It’s a guided process that starts with playing classical music pieces and then prompting the client-listener to look inward and let whatever images or feelings evoked by the music come to the surface, so they can be explored in the context of whatever the client has been working on in therapy.

My first experience with GIM blew my mind, and it’s remained blown open ever since. At the very least, it speaks to the powerful, altered state this technique can take you to.

07 Apr

We got this story from a writer. 

"My life was shattered when my five-yr-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Three months prior to Alana’s diagnosis, I had a panic attack on an airplane, followed by one while I was driving from Nevada to Southern California with both my children. My physician gave me tranquillizers for any future events and referred me to a psychologist.

My psychologist worked with me on relaxation techniques and gave me a few of your CDs: Meditations to Relieve Stress, Relaxation & Wellness, and Healthful Sleep. Meanwhile, my medical doctor prescribed Lexapro, which caused heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and shaking. I ended up seeing a psychiatrist who put me on a low dose of Depakote and Ativan for six months.

06 Apr

Researchers from the University of Athens in Greece examined the effect of a simple, zero cost stress management program on patients suffering from neck pain. Studies have shown that stress is implicated as a cause of neck pain (NP).

This study is a parallel-type randomized clinical study. People with chronic non-specific neck pain were chosen randomly to participate in an eight-week program of stress management (N= 28) that included diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation; or a no intervention control condition (N= 25).

Self-report measures were used to evaluate variables at the beginning and end of the eight-week monitoring period. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used for the analysis.