Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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11 Aug

We saw this from a very anxious woman about to have a 6 hour surgery. She asks a lot of very good questions – some of them we hear frequently – so we thought this would be a good one to post.

It also gave us the opportunity to make the point about not being too obsessive or perfectionistic about using guided imagery or you can undermine the whole process.

Check it out:

Please help ASAP! Surgery in 12 days! I will be in surgery for over 6 hours and I am allowed to take in my iPod to listen to your imagery and music etc. I purchased the surgery pack and listened to the "successful surgery" first.

However, I am concerned about what to do in terms of lining up a playlist for that length of time, since your music goes just under an hour.

What would you suggest? To just play the same music for six hours?


04 Aug

We just got this question from a concerned mother, whose 12-yr-old daughter is facing major surgery and is feeling a lot of anxiety and trepidation over it.

Dear Belleruth,

My 12 year old daughter is about to have major surgery. She is very anxious. Do u have a guided imagery that is appropriate?

Concerned Mom

Dear Mom,

Yes, we do have guided imagery for her, and the good news is that two different studies – one out of Columbia Presbyterian and one from Blue Shield's HMO in California – showed that the more anxious the person was, the more they benefitted from listening to pre-surgery guided imagery. Counter-intuitive but true. We've noticed this on our end too, just from the feedback we've gotten in the office and keep on getting.

28 Jul


Dear Belleruth,
I am leaving soon for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, to provide mental health services to our military and their families. I have been in private practice for the last 6 years, and have used your book Invisible Heroes and CD's nearly daily. My question is this:
Do you have any advice for me as I begin this two year assignment?

Warm Regards,


21 Jul



I need guided imagery for elementary school students living in violence. The Invisible Heroes book looks wonderful, but does it have anything for trauma in children?

I am a counselor working in a large elementary school, and I need something that I can use with groups of children. Any suggestions?

Thank you,


14 Jul

Hello! I am a student physical therapist and am working at one of my clinical rotations right now. I have noticed several patients could benefit from guided imagery to help them relax. Do you have any short sessions, between 10-15 minutes? Patients will often have a hot or cold pack, etc for 10-15 minutes and I would love to try a guided imagery session at the same time, since we shut the lights off anyways to help promote relaxation. Thank you for your time.


07 Jul


First I wanted to say thank you for your work! I use your General Wellness, MS, Stress and Healthful Sleep cds frequently. My question has to do with anxiety. I am seeing a doc for meds, but I still have some breakthrough anxiety - especially, at stressful times and while menstruating.

I recently purchased the Panic Attacks cd, thinking the calming and feeling secure images would help. When I received it I started having second thoughts. Before I open it, would this be helpful to me? I saw that you do recommend the Stress cd to people with anxiety. Thank you


30 Jun


My therapist told me that I should only listen to the guided imagery with headphones, but I don't see that recommended anywhere here.

Is there a more powerful effect with headphones?

Also, if so, is the same true for the affirmations?

Thanks so much!


23 Jun

I'm very new to guided imagery. After listening to Healing Trauma for a couple of weeks, I find that my mind now "goes off" somewhere (sort of like right before falling asleep, but not sleeping).

I am aware that thoughts are flitting in and out but I can't remember what I was "thinking" about or otherwise doing. And I have no memory of anything said on the CD. This usually lasts for most of the entire CD.

I feel relaxed when I "awake" but am wondering if, because I don't remember hearing anything on the CD past the first few minutes, if I am missing the whole point or IS that the whole point? This doesn't happen when I just listen to the affirmations. Thank you for your answer.


16 Jun

My wife suffers from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, OCD and medical phobias. These issues have been going on for over a decade with no resolution in sight. The problems seemed to start just after a death in the family, and the anxiety just escalated from there until it turned into debilitating OCD, depression etc.

The largest obstacle to overcome seems to be the medical phobia. Because of this phobia, I can't get her to seek treatment, so one thing just escalates into another. At this point she barely speaks to people, doesn't watch television or read etc. This is because any word she associates with medicine sends her into an uncontrollable panic. The words don't have to be medical - she just has to be able to draw some sort of correlation – for instance, hospitality, sounds like hospital.

I've been researching healing with sound, music therapy and guided imagery. The one thing she will do is listen to music without words (since there aren't words to upset her).

Can you suggest anything that might help such an extreme case? She refuses treatment (because of her phobias) so I basically need something that will relax her and calm the fears without her thinking of it as treatment.

Basically, I need a stepping stone - something to get us past the first step so that maybe she'll eventually be more open to treatment, if only we can calm the medical phobia.

Do you have any CD's that might be appropriate? Or anything else? Thanks so much!

Harried Harry

09 Jun

BR, do you have an audio program available that can assist me with toxic self criticism and self acceptance? I didn't see anything on the website. Thanks.

N.W. (for Name Withheld)