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Belleruth answers a question about what is the optimal time that will yield the maximum benefit from

01 Jul
Belleruth answers a question about what is the optimal time that will yield the maximum benefit from a guided imagery experience - is it 10 minutes? 20 minutes? A half hour?....
Is there a recommended length of time for a guided imagery experience?

Russell DeP.



Dear Russ,

Although I’m not aware of any hard research on this, there seems to be a general consensus in the field that for most people, 20 minutes works really well, give or take a few minutes either way.

Twenty minutes or less has other advantages, too. Most people seem to feel they have 20 minutes to give this, and they’ll commit to that. A half hour may feel like too much time to take, even though it’s only 10 minutes more. So they may not take sit down for 30 minutes, but they will for twenty.

And many people will get restless or bored after around 22 minutes. Truth be told, if someone is able to access a deeply immersive state of trancey receptivity after only a couple of minutes of listening - and many experienced imagery users can - then they don’t really need more than 5 or 10 minutes to get maximum benefit. Others need more time to settle into the altered state.

But what we always tell people is, if you only have 10 minutes, then listen for 10. Don’t be all-or-nothing about this - there’s no percentage in it. It’s always better to do some rather than none.

Thanks for the question.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award