A grateful mother sent us a note last year describing how her daughter, who was so anxious she was close to quitting school, got turned around by some guided imagery downloads on her smart phone. Read on:
My 19-year-old daughter Hilary has always had anxiety when facing pressure (social, tests, new activities). Therefore her Dad and I were not surprised when her first year away at a school less than 30 miles away sent her into major panic mode.
We had many conversations on why she shouldn’t quit school. The whole family got into the act. We were worried and worn out from these sessions.
In 2002, Daphna Oyserman and two colleagues at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan wrote up a wonderful report on the nine-week after school, small group, activities-based intervention they developed for at-risk, African American, middle school students. The focus of the group work was on helping the kids imagine themselves as successful adults, and connecting their future imaginings to their current school involvement.
Oyserman’s identity-based motivation research determined that youths fare better in school when they envision their future selves, connect them to the present and imagine strategies to get them there.
We got this story from a writer.
"My life was shattered when my five-yr-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Three months prior to Alana’s diagnosis, I had a panic attack on an airplane, followed by one while I was driving from Nevada to Southern California with both my children. My physician gave me tranquillizers for any future events and referred me to a psychologist.
My psychologist worked with me on relaxation techniques and gave me a few of your CDs: Meditations to Relieve Stress, Relaxation & Wellness, and Healthful Sleep. Meanwhile, my medical doctor prescribed Lexapro, which caused heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and shaking. I ended up seeing a psychiatrist who put me on a low dose of Depakote and Ativan for six months.
Annette from Virginia tells this story demonstrating how guided imagery can open doors to deep healing, even from the oldest emotional and spiritual wounds. The impact, as we know, is cumulative with repeated listening. Here is her story, in her own words, with a few edits.
"For my whole life, I have dealt with a genetic disorder that killed half my family. I was at a point of being depressed, angry and convinced that life is just unfair and hopeless for some people. I didn't think there was any point meditating.
We got this note from a grateful surgeon whose 14-year-old son suffered from night terrors at least two or three times a week. It was hard on him and hard on the whole family. The solution turned out to be a simple audio download – some guided imagery for sleep. Check out her note:
I am a surgeon who first became aware of the benefits of guided imagery when one of our anesthesiologists recommended your surgery guided imagery download to one of our pre-op patients.
We found this personal story about using guided imagery to help with withdrawal from prescribed medications, and it’s a wonderful example of the way guided imagery can have a positive impact, way beyond the original intention to clean up an inadvertent addiction. Check out what A. Baranowski had to say about this – it’s very encouraging.
(Belleruth cracked a wide grin at the line she considers “highest praise” when this writer read some of the Q and A’s on our site and pronounced her “not a silly person”!!)
Check it out:
We got this feedback from an injury survivor with TBI (traumatic brain injury), after an accident she experienced three years ago. We were very grateful that she took the time to write this gracious, heartfelt note.
Knowing as we do that TBI is often a frustrating, hard to manage condition, it’s very good to know that guided imagery really does provides some sufferers with relief. Here is what she wrote:
We got this touching, inspiring note from Kelly, whose husband, died at a very young age - 33 - from a very difficult kind of cancer.
Many new widows would have needed to just stay put and grieve for two to three years – sometimes that’s exactly what is needed and the essence of sound self-care and deep wisdom, to just stay put and heal.
But Kelly had a “call to action” that was the right thing for her, and a great help to others. Check out how she created “Bobby’s Toolbox”, to honor the memory of her carpenter husband and provide help to others. Here is her note:
We got an email from a 37-year-old man who began using guided imagery after reading a review on Amazon about mind-body approaches. He started using David Illig’s Weight Loss audio, alternating it with Martha Howard’s Freeing Yourself of Excess Weight, and BR’s Weight Loss imagery.
He combined that with a serious uptick in weekly exercise, and after five months, lost 45 pounds.
Here is the ancient review from Amazon that motivated him:
I began a weight loss program on May 20, 2002. I purchased the Naperstek (sic) tape and began listening to it two weeks prior to starting my diet and exercise program. I don't know how it happened, but truly this tape helped me re-direct my subconscious mind from negative/guilt thinking to a positive/self-esteem mindset.
This note was posted on our website last week. We get a lot of these, and we are grateful for each and every one, including the critical feedback that tells us what wasn’t so helpful. But there was something about this post that was especially heartening and encouraging – and important for other survivors to see. Please have a look. We’re showing it verbatim, exactly as it was written on our page for our Guided Imagery for the Three Stages of Healing Trauma: Nine Meditations for Posttraumatic Stress.
We also want to thank G.S. for this eloquent testimonial to the power of guided imagery. Her words mean a lot to us.