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15 Jul

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands investigated the efficacy of writing therapy over the internet as a viable therapy for posttraumatic stress and concurrent depressive symptoms.

The investigators searched the literature for both structured and unstructured strategies. Six studies met eligibility criteria and were included in the analyses. They included a total of 633 participants, of which 304 were assigned to writing therapy.

Across 5 direct comparisons of writing therapy to wait-list control, writing therapy resulted in significant and substantial short-term reductions in PTS and comorbid depressive symptoms.

There was no difference in efficacy between writing therapy and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, but this finding was based on only 2 direct comparisons.

15 Jul

What a wonderfully moving and inspiring poem singer/songwriter Emily Maguire has written.  She’s also a survivor of and contender with bipolar illness, and her extraordinary work is the product of her experiences with this frustrating and often difficult condition.  

What you see here are actually the lyrics to one of her songs, but, as you can see, the piece works beautifully as a stand-alone poem.

The incomparable Craig Walker posted it on my FB page and it knocked my socks off.  Here is how Craig described it:

Hi Belleruth,
This is from Emily Maguire. She's an independent music artist out of the UK who wrote the song and a book about her life managing her Bipolar Disorder. Here's a link: http://www.emilymaguire.com/htm/start-over-again-book.htm
I do hope you feature it. Emily is very special and is speaking out about her own experiences and trying to reduce the stigma of mental illness. I know you'll just love her music as well. :)
Take care,
Craig

So, thank you, as always, Craig, and here it is:
01 Jul

Here is a note from a recovering eating disorder and depression survivor, who needed a hospitalization to get her through some very bad times.  Here she writes about the healing power of conscious breathing, something she learned from her therapist at the Menninger Clinic and from listening to recordings.  As you’ll see, she writes very lyrically:  

I sing guided imagery's praises at nearly every opportunity that presents itself.  To say that guided imagery has helped lead the way out of a dusty barren landscape would not be hyperbole.  Your audios were first introduced to me by Dr. Meredith Titus during a stay at Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.  I was there because I needed help finding my way out of the grasp of an eating disorder and severe depression.  I truly did not care if I lived or died. 

27 May

Belleruth,

First off, thank you for your Successful Surgery series.  I downloaded the files and immediately started listening a week before surgery.  My prostate surgery was very successful (my progressive surgeon allowed my iPod in the operating room where I was able to listen and relax!) and my recovery is moving along very nicely. As far as I'm concerned, the guided imagery made all the difference!  

I’m writing because after 6 months, my 87 yr old mother-in-law is just coming to terms with the loss of her husband and best friend after almost 65 yrs of marriage.  She suffers with anxiety, nausea, and loss of appetite. 

Do you have a recommendation for which CD would be appropriate, to help her through this time of transition and realization of the profoundness of her loss?

Thank you and God bless you!

Matt

29 Apr

Here is a wonderful poem I just rediscovered.  It’s too good not to share with everyone.

As Little Child


I don’t recall the things of love

A smile warm from up above

A tender hug, caress or kiss

Such things as these were left amiss



Where were the eyes so pleased with me?

The caring glance I longed to see,

The joy and laughter of a home

Were merely dreams and that alone



Fear and worry, pain and grief

Were felt as drying autumn leaf

No safety of the hearth be there

Mere empty souls, could not but care



As they too lacked the skills of love

Felt not the warmth from up above

So blame is futile, blame is naught

The answer to this rhyme thus sought



But somehow in these words of woe

My heart finds peace, in writing so

The lines of memory, here and there

Give solace to my heart laid bare



And pity not the current state

As that was then and now is late

To change the past or wish for more

No all that’s left is what’s in store



And what’s in store is great indeed

For love provides my every need

And hearts alive can surely fly

So stride, shall I, with head held high

Corinne P.  2006
06 May

Our daughter was raped last year, and she has not been herself ever since.  She quit school and stayed in the house for months, going out very rarely and only with one of us.  She wouldn’t return calls to her closest friends. We tried therapy but she hated it.  

Last month my parents got her the sleeping CD and WOW! what an amazing transformation!  She’s coming back to her full self.  She’s smiling again and interested in life around her again. We are so happy.  I wanted you to know.  No doubt she still needs help, but at least she’s interested in living again and what a joy to see her smile! 

Thanks.
Grateful Georgia Mom

15 Apr

This study from the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine in Santa Rosa CA, examined the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements, on posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and psychological distress symptoms in veterans receiving mental health services.
 
Veterans meeting the clinical criteria for PTSD were randomized to either an EFT protocol (n = 30) or standard care/wait list (SOC/WL; n = 29). T he EFT intervention consisted of 6 one hour-long EFT coaching sessions, concurrent with standard care. The two groups were compared before and after the intervention (at 1 month for the SOC/WL group and after six sessions for the EFT group).
 
The EFT subjects had significantly reduced psychological distress (p < 0.0012) and PTSD symptom levels (p < 0.0001) after. In addition, 90% of the EFT group no longer met PTSD clinical criteria, compared with 4% in the SOC/WL group.

04 Mar

Researchers from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol in the UK evaluated the effectiveness of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression, as compared to usual care.

This two parallel-group, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial recruited 469 patients with treatment resistant depression, between the ages of 18-75 years, from 73 primary care practices.  (The criteria being that they were on antidepressants for at least ≥6 weeks, scored ≥14 on the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI] and scored -10 on depression on the ICD – International Classification of Diseases.)

Participants were randomized, with a computer generated code to one of two groups: usual care or CBT in addition to usual care. They were followed for 12 months. Analyses were by intention to treat. The primary outcome was response, defined as at least 50% reduction in depressive symptoms (BDI score) at 6 months compared with baseline.

04 Mar

In looking through some old files, we found this letter from a man, already incarcerated for 19 years in a high security mental institution, for having committed several murders.  

It speaks to the unexpected and moving ways guided imagery can reach people, even those off the grid of what we consider to be ‘regular’ living.

Dear Belleruth,

“Thank you” does not describe the deep gratitude I feel for your beautiful Anger & Forgiveness CD. Every time I listen to it I feel like I’m listening to a great friend. I’ve been listening to it for about 2 months, 2-3 times a day.

I’m a 60 year old Afro American male.  I have been incarcerated in ____ Mental Institution for almost 19 years for committing 4 homicides.  My actions affected the lives of 4 different families for the rest of their lives, their friends, their communities.  I cannot go back and change it.

07 Jan

Researchers at the Ann Arbor V.A. Healthcare System in Flint, Michigan evaluated the impact of telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) targeting diabetic patients' management of depressive symptoms, physical activity levels, and diabetes-related outcomes.  Concern about the need for between-visit support in this population was what generated this study.  

Two hundred ninety-one patients with type 2 diabetes and significant depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory scores ≥ 14) were recruited from community-based, university-based, and Veterans Affairs health care systems.

A manualized telephone CBT program was delivered weekly by nurses for 12 weeks, followed by 9 monthly booster sessions. Sessions initially focused exclusively on patients' depression management and then added a pedometer-based walking program.