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How Cognitively Acute Does a User of the TBI Imagery Have to Be?

28 Jan

Hi Belleruth,

I have used your tapes, CDs and mp3s for years, both personally and professionally.

Now I have a family member with a severe TBI and am so grateful that you have a new guided imagery for that.

However, I (and the neuropsychologist) want to know at what level on the RANCHO scale does a person need to be in order to begin to benefit from this.

Please let me know. Thank you.


Dear LG,

Thanks for the question.  First off, I should say that the TBI imagery was designed to encompass both mild and severe brain injury… so it’s carefully worded to be inclusive and open-ended.
But maybe even more importantly, it’s good to remember that guided imagery is an intervention that doesn't require acute cognitive functioning for it to work – sure, it has some fancy words and concepts, but its main way of reaching people is primarily through voice tone, music and narrative pacing – in other words, the stuff that heads straight for primitive brain structures.
Because of this, guided imagery can and does impact pre-language babies, young children and cognitively impaired adults.  We know from years of feedback that guided imagery effects dogs and cats, too… when their human is listening, they come in the room to chill too.  So the imagery will reach everyone, although not always in the same way.



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