Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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25 Nov


Actually not a question but a personal observation: I have several of your guided imagery/affirmation cds which I use often. They've been very helpful but for me, but there's too much suggestion. I guess it's the way my brain works.

When you suggest going to a place where I feel safe, etc., I can usually do that, but then I'm distracted by your various suggested alternatives and find myself mentally flitting from place to place.

Similarly when I'm in that place, your suggestions about seeing, smelling, hearing and feeling it, while helpful, get undermined by the varied scenarios you present.

18 Nov

Dear BR,

Your e-newsletter was recommended highly by a dear friend of mine, who is a hypnotherapist and part of the Verve newsletter and group. Recently my partner came down with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).

The rapid onset of this has put me in a tailspin of questions and wondering what to do. We have been lucky enough to get acquainted with a good doctor who specifically deals with this, but have found the majority of the medical profession turning the other way, because it is not curable with antibiotics and because they cannot tell what it is or where it comes from at this point.

11 Nov


I have no current conscious memory of PTSD but I have the symptoms of it. (I wake up in the middle of the night screaming and I have panic attacks during the day.) I read Invisible Heroes, your book about PTSD, but every survivor had some sort of memory or recollection of their trauma. How should I go about healing if I cannot remember anything?


Dear Kara,

Not every trauma survivor in the book had a clear memory of what caused his or her posttraumatic stress symptoms, and it is not at all uncommon for memory to be clouded or missing, due to the burst of pain-killing biochemicals that flood the bloodstream during a terrifying event.

04 Nov


How can I keep myself from dissociating during guided imagery? I seem to float out of my body and don't know where I've been when the music stops. Is this a commonly occurring problem? Any advice?


Yes, it's pretty commonplace. Don't forget, guided imagery is a dissociative technique –strategic and deliberate, certainly, but dissociative nonetheless. So it's natural for people to float in and out of awareness, and a lot of people float so far out that they don't know where they've been. It happens to me a lot, too.

28 Oct

Dear BR,

I am middle-aged and still unable to quit biting my fingernails. I have tried all sorts of things: gloves, bandaids, bitter flavored topicals, crocheting. I wonder if this is a form of self-injury or maybe pica. Only time I definitely don't bite my nails is if my hands are dirty, and, yes, I've been known to get up and go wash my hands so I can bite the nails.

I often "decide" not to do this anymore, but when the urge hits, usually while watching TV or reading, it's as if my priorities shift and I feel some kind of distracted anxiety if I don't bite them. I was eight yrs old when this started. I hated the sensation of having my nails trimmed and my sister taught me how to "trim" them myself.

21 Oct


I'm a psychologist specializing in PTSD. A client's husband has just received orders to go to Liberia to work on the Ebola crisis. Do you know of or could you develop any imagery that could help prevent PTSD in such health workers who will likely witness scenes of horror that may haunt them in the future? Thanks! It's okay to post this.

14 Oct

Hi, Belleruth. How does progressive muscle relaxation compare to guided imagery? Is it as effective? Can imagery be improved by combining PMR with it?

Tina Barrow RN

07 Oct

We got this question a while ago, and it's a great opportunity to talk about how fast guided imagery can work in a pinch... every study with our pre-surgical audio program supports the answer we provide here.

Dear Belleruth and Health Journeys:

I am interested in conducting research at my facility using your surgery audio program. How long prior to the patients scheduled surgery should the patient start listening to the imagery? Is there any evidence of its effectiveness if the patient only starts using it a day or two prior to surgery? Thanks.

John P.

30 Sep


I am an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist.  I am thinking that using alternating bilateral stimulation during the guided imagery would intensify the positive effect.  Do you have any anecdotal clinical experience or research to support this idea?

Roger P.

23 Sep

We got this great question from K. after she read about all the state National Guards using guided imagery for returning service members. She asks about using guided imagery preventively. Here is her question:  

Just read your article re various state National Guards ordering your CD's for their national guardsmen and women returning from service. I have a National Guard friend who is preparing to ship out in December.

Would listening to the CD's you mentioned help to prevent build up of stress while serving? Or would you suggest other CD titles to help processing of stressful events as they occur?