Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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Alcohol & Chemical Dependency
18 Nov

A friend found this encouraging message about using guided imagery for help with chemical dependency posted at a website called How Cocaine Destroys Lives for people seeking recovery from cocaine use.  

It’s in the context of a review of our CD for Alcohol and Other Drugs, and it’s the kind of comment you love to hear, because it’s the best possible outcome - that the imagery is not just helping with the substance abuse (although that by itself is fine with us), but with more global issues and attitudes as well - kind of like the proverbial halo effect. 

So thanks, A. Baranowski, wherever you are, for your hopeful words and kind assessment!  I am glad you do not think I’m a silly person!! Same backatcha!! I wish you continued success and joy!!

01 Mar

A new study from researchers at C.C.N.Y. (City College of New York) examined the connection between improvements in posttraumatic stress and improvement in substance abuse over the course of time in 353 women diagnosed with both conditions.

Participants were randomly assigned to 12 sessions of either trauma-focused treatment or health education.  Assessments were made on the PTS and the substance use during treatment at 1 week and posttreatment after 3, 6, and 12 months.

Subjects showing no improvement, an improvement in the substance use only, or a total, global improvement early on, tended to maintain their original diagnosis over time; but subjects initially exhibiting improvement in their PTSD symptoms were significantly more likely to transition into a global response over time, indicating that they maintained their PTSD improvement, and that it was associated with subsequent improvements in substance use.

08 Feb

Hi Belleruth,

I would like to know if you had any training prior to creating your first meditation tape.  I am a LCSW and have a deep desire to create a relaxation/meditation tape for the physicians I serve. They are in recovery and I would like to learn how to create a CD. Any support would be greatly appreciated! Peace.


04 Jan

Melissa attests to the gentle, incremental but reliable impact a method like guided imagery had on breaking her years-long addiction to smoking.  She writes:

“I truly believe this tape made the difference for me. I have finally quit after years of addiction. I stopped and started, but this tape seemed to build my resolve in a gentle, respectful and non judgmental way week after week, until finally I was less attracted to smoking and more attracted to health.  How wonderful to be free at last from smoking!”

07 Dec


I am sponsoring a woman in AA who has PTSD-like symptoms from childhood sexual abuse. She is very functional in work and has a well kept apartment. Her finances are in order, and she is sober about 1 1/2 years.

She is suffering from frequent flashbacks of the abuse that are causing great suffering. I referred her to your website for the recordings/books. She is against using psych meds, which I support.

We live in a semi-rural area and the local community services board counselors are very psych med oriented. She went to a counselor for a few sessions who suggested meds., which my sponsee doesn't want and then the counselor was pretty vague about a treatment plan. She isn't going there now.

11 Oct

We love this story because it shows how guided imagery (and other mind body practices) can provide lasting tools that cross over into other spheres of living.  This woman was introduced to it for use during chemotherapy, but it wound up as part of her skill set to stay centered and sober:

Thanks to Mary Ann Brussat, I used your tapes during chemotherapy 6 years ago.  Like many others, I found the visualization practices powerful and effective.  

Since then, I have become a member of AA and have used the same summoning of my AA helpers when I am in an environment in which I would formerly have had a drink.  I summon my AA group members, one by one, and surround myself with them in a circle of safety.   I feel cared for and strong and protected.

Anonymously Grateful

20 Sep

I am a recovering PTSD and substance abuse survivor who now has 1.5 years of sobriety. I have also been nightmare free, relatively panic attack free, and flashback free for about a year, after 15 years of personal hell.

For this, I credit my compassionate and loving therapist most, but I feel the tools you've created and taught have been a Godsend.

Well, with my AA participation, I was asked to tell my story in the woman's prison. Afterwards, a number of the women shared that they too are experiencing nightmares on a daily basis, secondary to chronic abuse.

07 Jun


Do the words we use matter for our ability to heal, and more important than just using them, but accepting them?  There is this disconnect between what I KNOW and what I will express.  I know my mother is addicted to alcohol and uses it to numb her emotions, but calling her an "alcoholic" (ouch) gets stuck in my throat.  I can write it much better than I can say it.  I know that if any other child experienced what I did as a child I would say "that child was abused", but when confronted with the question on a medical history form, I was paralyzed and left it blank.  I can't give myself the validation I offer so easily to others.  Am I too hung up on the words, or do the words really matter?


29 Nov


I love your tapes. I use Anger and Forgiveness in dealing with my feelings concerning my husband’s ongoing battle with alcoholism. He is sober for 8 or 9 months and then back out again.. I wonder if you have any other support for the person married to or dealing with an alcoholic? I am in desperate need of more support... I use Panic Attacks and Depression, but wonder if you had anything more specific or would be doing something like that in the future.... Thanks.

13 Oct

First, I would like to express my appreciation for the wonderful cd's that I have received and listen to daily. My question is that I was wondering if you have any cd's on narcotics addiction other than the one on Alcohol & Other Drugs.  It is very good, but I am looking for something more specific.

I also would like to know if you had a guided meditation that would only run for 14 to 18 minutes, so that it could be used in a guided meditation meeting format. Any help would be appreciated as I currently use non-specific cd's that I purchased fron Health Journeys. 

Thank you for listening.