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Monthly Archives: August 2010

  1. Keeping Sane During In Vitro Fertilization Treatments

    We found attached to an order form a thank you from a woman named Mary, who wrote that our guided imagery targeted toward fertility had really helped her, and, subsequently, the pregnancy/childbirth imagery, too.  We wrote back, asking if she really thought the imagery helped her conceive, or if she was just being nice, and also, what else did she try to help move the process along. Here’s what she wrote back – very helpful info for those in a similar scenario:

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  2. Mom Seeks Tools to Reduce Anger, Impatience with ADHD Kid

    My name is Janie.  My 6-year-old daughter is currently being seen by clinical psychologist.  My daughter has been diagnosed with social anxiety and possible ADHD [attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder].  These things bring out some negative behaviors on a daily basis that can be very stressful for me to experience.  My therapist thought that some of your audio imagery might be very useful to me.  
     
    As a full-time mom I am with my daughter most of the time. Therefore the stress can be prolonged on bad days.  I have tried psychotherapy to help cope with feelings of impatience, frustration, and sometimes anger.  The psychotherapy helped up to a point. Then I took up yoga and found it also helped, particularly the attention to breathing techniques.  I love yoga but cannot often attend.  
     
    I viewed your CD selections on healthjourneys.com and was unsure which to begin with.  Basically I am seeking help to cope with the frustration and stress I experience before they build up into anger, yelling, and so on.  I adore my daughter, and naturally I want to not only restrain myself from getting angry and yelling at her, but also to be a good role model.

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  3. The E-Hub: Free, Aussie Web-Based Mental Health Services

    This article doesn’t present research findings, but describes a kind of web-based self-help that has flourished in Australia for some time now, born of necessity, since so many citizens live far from urban centers where most of the “live” mental health services are.
     
    As a result, the Centre for Mental Health Research at Australian National University, in Canberra has developed an e-hub group that delivers automated web interventions (BluePages, MoodGYM, E-Couch and an online bulletin board BlueBoard ) to the public for mental health self-help.

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  4. Top Ten Tips for Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

    Hello again.

    I don’t think we’ve ever had the traffic we got last week on the de-cluttering page. Wow!  This is of serious concern to a lot of people, that’s for sure. I had no idea it was this widespread.  I’m glad we covered it.

    I recently got a good look at Ellen Michaud’s new book about Sleep.  It’s an excellent book, so please ignore the title if some of you find it silly: Sleep to be Sexy, Smart & Slim. Believe me, Michaud is a terrific, thorough, thoughtful, serious health writer, and I’ll bet you anything she had nothing to do with picking that title!

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  5. Imagery Best for Surgery, But for Her Fabulous Surgeon

    A friend of mine recommended guided imagery for surgery --- her surgeon had recommended it to her. I was lucky to find out that Kaiser carries this in their Health Education stores and I was able to get it there. I listened to the "pre-surgery" (tracks 2 and 3) portion each evening for a couple of weeks before my (hip replacement) surgery (skipping past the intro each evening).

    I took my portable CD player into pre-op with me and was listening to it as they prepared me for the operating room, and was still listening to it as they wheeled me down the hall.

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  6. Mindfulness Helps Most with Severe Anxiety & Depression

    Researchers from Boston University conducted an effect size analysis of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) for anxiety and mood symptoms in clinical samples. The meta-analysis was based on 39 studies totaling 1,140 participants receiving mindfulness-based therapy for a range of conditions, including cancer, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and other psychiatric or medical conditions.
     
    Effect size estimates suggest that mindfulness-based therapy was moderately effective for improving anxiety (Hedges's g = 0.63) and mood symptoms (Hedges's g = 0.59) from pre- to posttreatment in the overall sample.

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  7. The Joy of Tossing Clutter

    Hello again.

    Lately I seem to be having a lot of conversations with friends about clearing out clutter. This is probably part of a post-child rearing, de-nesting phase.  Most of the people I talk to want to do it.  They feel oppressed by the stuff surrounding them. I think it actually creates a subtext of constant, subtle stress.  But they also feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the job.  After years of inadvertent accumulation, let me tell you, it can be a pretty daunting prospect.

    When I was getting ready to sell my big, old, Charles Addams-esque house in Cleveland Heights (designed for relentless entertaining from when my husband was a grad school dean), I was taken firmly in hand by my real estate agent and told that clean surfaces, open spaces and orderly closets would be the sine qua non of unloading that sucker.

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  8. Patricia Neal: One Swell Dame

    Patricia Neal - photo by David ShankbonePatricia Neal died last week. She summered on the Vineyard for as long as I can remember, a beloved, friendly, down-to-earth woman who contributed to the life and welfare of this island on a regular basis. Just this past Monday, she allowed her excellent company at dinner to be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the island’s Impossible Dreams fundraiser. I have a set of her candlesticks from the house-and-chachke sale she hosted at her home for Vineyard House, a halfway residence for people in recovery. She knew that people would spring for a traipse through her house, and she gladly offered it.

    I love what her kids said her last words to them were.

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  9. Intriguing Finding: Social Support Needed for Exposure Tx but Not Relaxation

    Researchers from the University of London’s Institute of Psychiatry explored which conditions predicted successful outcomes for 77 adults with chronic PTSD who were randomly assigned to either exposure therapy and/or cognitive restructuring therapy, as compared with relaxation therapy.
     
    The CAPS (Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale) was used to measure outcomes.

    More social support on the Significant Others Scale significantly predicted better outcomes on the CAPS, even after controlling for the effects of the treatment group and of pre-treatment severity.  A particularly important finding was that social support was a significant predictor of outcome for subjects receiving cognitive restructuring and (or) exposure therapy, but did not impact subjects in the relaxation condition.

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  10. Advice for Upcoming High Stress Tour at Landstuhl

    Question:
    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,
    Paul

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