Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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02 Sep

Brooke van Poppelen writes a great description of the onset of her panic attacks and the way she overcame them.  It’s a witty, balanced and authentic telling of a story about a tough challenge, well fought and well won.

You can read her inspiring, entertaining tale (she’s a stand-up comic) here at her Lemondrop - Sweet, Tasty, Tart - blog.

02 Sep


I am a counselor and student advisor at a large community college.  What imagery do you recommend for helping my students with test anxiety, concentration problems and attention deficit disorder?  I want to be able to give them some empowerment tools. They are filled with worry and distress. They sleep badly, too. Any thoughts?


02 Sep

Investigators from Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo, Norway, conducted a randomized clinical trial to study the efficacy of a 4-week smartphone-delivered intervention on catastrophizing and other indicators of distress in women suffering from chronic pain, following their 4-week inpatient rehabilitation stay.
A total of 140 women with chronic widespread pain, who participated in a 4-week inpatient rehabilitation program, were randomized into 2 groups: with or without a smartphone intervention following their rehabilitation stay.
The smartphone intervention consisted of one face-to-face session and 4 weeks of written communication via a smartphone. Participants received 3 smartphone diary entries daily to support their awareness of and reflection on pain-related thoughts, feelings, and activities.

26 Aug


Hello, I suffer with Panic disorder and Agoraphobia, I am terrified of having a panic attack and of driving, bridges and being attacked when outside my home, I also am unable to sleep on my own for fear of panicking.

However last year my father was very ill, and we were told to come and say goodbye, as he only had a short time left.  I was unable to get to him or the funeral because of my fears and anxiety.  

I don't want this to happen again with my mum who is now in her eighties, as she lives a distance away and I don't want to live the rest of my life in fear, as, to be honest, it's only a existence, not a life, so I sought the help of a therapist and after many unsuccessful ones, I have found a gem who has helped me go outside for the first time in years.

However the panic does not seem to let go and she feels I have PTS due to the panic and a car crash I had many years ago. Prior to all this I bought you panic attack cd and although I adore your voice, the more I listened, the worse my anxiety became, until I gave up listening as I was scared I was going to have a full blown panic attack.

I would be very grateful if you could help me choose some CDs or products which will help me move forward in a very gentle way so my mind and body feel safe to do this.

Thank you, Belleruth, for taking the time to read my email, and I look forward to hearing your suggestions.


19 Aug

I have a 16 yr old granddaughter who is frightened at night, can't sleep without a night light, and any small sound - even normal ones - causes her such anxiety, she has even asked her Dad to stay with her until she goes to sleep. This is fairly new. My son, her remarried father, & her mother have been divorced for several years - very "nasty".  Her mother plays mind games with her and lays guilt trips on her to try to keep her away from her Dad. (Not just saying this because he is my son) 
This year she has finally gone to live with her Dad and stepmom. He has had to get tutoring because she tests at the 7th grade level, and her grades began to drop when she went into the 10th grade (the year her Dad moved out of state and was no longer close to help her with homework.)  
She is very smart and capable. I think she would benefit from Guided Imagery. Do you think your "Teen Tension Tamer Kit" would be the best for her, based on what little I have told you? I really value your opinion and feel that she really needs help. Thank you so much 
19 Aug

BR got this note from the mom of a college sophomore at The University of Chicago, who suffers from anxiety but who was very skeptical of guided imagery as a self-regulation solution for her troubles.

Hi, Belleruth,

I learned so much from attending your workshop on Healing Trauma in Bethesda a few weeks ago! Thank you for an interesting, information-packed presentation. Little did I know that shortly after this workshop I would get my 19-year-old daughter to try your imagery. Over Thanksgiving she was home from the University of Chicago where she is a sophomore. Where she goes to college probably tells you what kind of person she is--smart, driven, perfectionistic, etc. etc.

08 Jul

In a small pilot study, researchers from the University of Barcelona in Spain compared the efficacy of Virtual Reality (VR) to the efficacy of Imaginal Exposure (IE) for 15 people suffering from fear of flying (FF).

It is already established that exposure therapy is the most effective treatment for this kind of phobia, but there are very few studies comparing kinds of exposure therapy.

This study compared the effectiveness of these two approaches using two manualized interventions based on the exposure technique. Patients with FF (N = 15) were randomly assigned to either VR (n = 7) or IE therapy (n = 8), consisting of a total of eight sessions: two assessment sessions (pre-treatment and after the real flight) and six exposure therapy sessions, which were conducted twice a week.

09 Jul

We got this marvelous email from a phobic driver, who got herself back behind the steering wheel by playing affirmations… she probably has no idea how much good company she’s in with this challenge.  Here it is:

I wanted to share my experience with affirmations and driving. Maybe if there is someone else like me, it might help.

I am 48 years old and am terrified of driving. I got my driver’s license at age 16 as did all my peers, but never drove until I was 22 and starting my first teaching job after getting my degree.

09 Jul


Dear Belleruth,

I'm going to Spain to study abroad in January. I already have your  General Wellness and Stress, mp3s. Do you think that these will work for me? I know that once I get over there and into the routine I’ll be fine, but the first few months and weeks will be hard. Do you plan to put out any travel stress tapes for anxiety or no? It will all be new, and I want a way to cope without crying a lot like I did my first year of college.


03 Jun

Dear Belleruth,

I'm looking for guided imagery CDs to help my 11 year old grandson who we just discovered was being beaten by his father and step-mother for the past 2 years. He has been removed from that household and is now with his mom but is terrified that his dad is coming for him, terrified that he'll have to go back there, etc.

He also was mentally abused and has gone from a happy gregarious boy to a scared boy with no self esteem who says he "deserved" what happened to him.

He has trouble falling asleep every night. What do you recommend for him,  especially to help him fall asleep? I use several of Belleruth's CDs for sleeping and depression etc. and I know guided imagery works.

Thank you.