Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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04 Mar

I come from a family of Olympic-grade, Gold Medalist Blamers. My parents woke up angry and went to bed angry. They expressed anger the way normal people say hello, how are you??!! My mother had a constant slow burn, and my father lost his temper over issues large and small (mostly small!!!) dozens of times a day. All of us kids grew up assuming that this was what life looked like!

When I started acting like my mother in my marriage, my husband was dumbfounded. He is a decent, reasonable man who couldn't fathom where all this bubbling anger was coming from.

When he pointed it out to me, I couldn't either. I took a long, hard look at the culture I grew up in, went into therapy and did an overhaul on my psyche. NO WAY was I going to screw up my marriage to this man if I could help it.

29 Jan

Ms Naparstek, your guided meditation for depression has helped to improve my mental and physical health, improved my sleep, and eased suffering and struggle with my seasonal depression.

In conjunction with talk therapy, my once or twice daily listening has enabled me to decrease my medication by 20%. I also sleep in longer cycles, and have shortened the depth and length of my cycle of depression.

Repeated use has enabled me to switch your voice and words on in my head, in order to decrease my anxiety when it begins and before it takes over my focus.

Thank you doesn't express my gratitude.

08 Dec

A woman with a long history of anxiety, panic attacks, posttraumatic stress, depression and insomnia wonders where to begin with listening to guided imagery as the holidays approach and her emotional resilience takes a hit.

She asks:

Hi, Belleruth, For many years I have suffered from panic disorder and PTSD, as well as sleepless nights, anxiety and depression. All these conditions get worse with the approaching holiday season.

What CD's would be best for all? I would be most comfortable taking a natural approach to wellness and appreciate any advice. Thank you,

Melinda K.

18 Aug

Question:

My 86-yr old aunt is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. She lives in a nearby assisted living facility and I, along with two other sisters, are her family caregivers. As the Alzheimer's progresses she is becoming more anxious (Sundowner's Syndrome) and depressed. I have used several of your guided imagery recordings over the years to help me and I was wondering if there is something you could recommend to ease her depression and anxiety. She was a music teacher in the past and yet I can't get her interested in listening to music to help relax her. I am hoping that listening to a human voice at night might bring her some comfort. Is there anything you can recommend?

Many thanks!

16 Jul

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine reported on the long-term effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Of the study participants, 73% returned to the clinic for a single-session follow-up assessment of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and mindfulness after 2.5 years.

Repeated measures mixed regression analyses revealed significant long-term improvements in depression, PTSD, anxiety symptoms, and mindfulness scores. The magnitude of intervention effects at 128 weeks ranged from d = .5 to d = 1.1.

The investigators conclude that MBSR may be an effective long-term treatment for adults who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Further investigation of MBSR with this population is warranted, given the durability of treatment effects described here.

Citation: Earley MD1, Chesney MA, Frye J, Greene PA, Berman B, Kimbrough E. Mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors: a 2.5-year follow-up. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2014 Oct;70 (10):pages 933-41. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22102. Epub 2014 May 20.

02 Jul

In the great tradition of Aussie online mental health services, researchers from the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital performed a comparative evaluation of two online programs, hosted on a single website (www.moodswings.net.au), to help treat bipolar illness.

A basic version, called MoodSwings (MS), containing psycho-education material and asynchronous discussion boards was compared to a more interactive program, MoodSwings Plus (MS-Plus), combining the basic psycho-education material and discussion boards with elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These programs were evaluated in a head-to-head study design.

Participants with Bipolar I or II disorder (n=156) were randomized to receive either MoodSwings or MoodSwings-Plus. Outcomes included mood symptoms, the occurrence of relapse, functionality, locus of control, social support, quality of life and medication adherence.

19 Jun

Dear Health Journeys and BR,

I am 64 years old. I was married for nearly 4 decades. Two years ago I lost my husband to a long, debilitating illness. Even though his death was expected, I was devastated. I became distraught, I didn't know what to do with myself. Every day was a burden. I became deeply depressed. I just wanted to sleep so I wouldn't feel the pain of the loss of my dear husband and best friend. My daughter became very concerned and made me see a counselor.

I feel that this wonderful, gentle, wise counselor and the guided imagery for grief that she gave me to listen to each day saved my life. I am not exaggerating. The imagery was a great comfort to me. I actually looked forward to it each evening. It became an oasis of peace, a time I could touch my husband again, through the love I still felt for him and always will feel for him. It was a time when the hurting and loneliness stopped. At first this was only while I was listening, but slowly it spread into other parts of the day. It was and continues to be a blessing and I wanted to say thank you.

Gratefully,
Henry's Wife

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

05 Jun

We found this note posted on our Weight Loss page. It's very encouraging for anyone currently doing battle with his/her own body over weight issues. Here it is:

"This CD was sent to me by a friend at one of the lowest points in my life. Although I was once healthy and active, after my father's death and a couple of other major life changes, I found myself 100 pounds overweight, compulsively bingeing, anxiety ridden/severely depressed and unable to do anything about it.

28 May

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom investigated end users' views of two online approaches to self-help for depression: computerized cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) and informational websites, in a workplace context.

Computerized CBT offers an inexpensive and accessible alternative to face-to-face therapy, and employers have an interest in reducing the working time lost to depression or stress.

Yet little is known about how employees, who have actual experience of using online approaches, judge the intervention as a process.

The qualitative data reported here were collected within an online randomized controlled trial whose participants had diagnosable depression. The experimental intervention was a 5-week cCBT program called MoodGYM (very popular in Australia).