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Can Guided Imagery Have a Cumulative Effect?

01 Apr

A man suffering from anxiety gets some immediate relief from listening to guided imagery, but the anxiety returns.  He wants to know if he can hope for some kind of cumulative effect over time, or if he will just have to keep administering it to keep his anxiety down.


How does guided imagery help in the long term?  I feel better after I do it, but my anxiety returns.  Can I expect some accumulative effect?



Dear Jack,

The imagery does have a cumulative effect over time, but it varies from person to person how long it takes for it to take hold.  

The more you practice with it, the better chance you have of increasing its impact, of course.   

And sometimes it will feel like nothing's happening, and then one day you notice that you've been feeling less anxious - either the anxiety isn't as intense; or it's not happening as often; or both.

It's usually an organic kind of phenomenon, so it's likely to sneak up on you, rather than being a dramatic change you're likely to notice immediately (although that sometimes happens too.)

Hope this helps.

Best wishes to you.


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