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Monthly Archives: October 2012

  1. Behold the Rise of Phone and IPod Self-Help Therapies

    More and more we’re seeing a spike in the use of self-administered therapies and wellness programs.  Each week my cubby at the NIH library loads piles o’ new research abstracts testing the efficacy of various internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and guided imagery programs for conditions like anxiety, depression, caregiver stress, PTS, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and fatigue from MS, cancer treatments and the like.

    It’s the same with the digital treatments – lots of research on various mind-body resources - meditation, guided imagery, relaxation and the like - when delivered electronically through iPods, MP3’s and mostly phones.  

    All this is a huge shift in emphasis that seems to have happened overnight, although not really – the Aussies were developing first-rate web-based programs in a serious way over a decade ago.

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  2. Imagery CD and Workbook Improve Well-Being During and After Childbirth

    A randomized controlled trial by researchers from Oslo University Hospital examined whether a self-administered practice of relaxation techniques, positive affirmations and guided imagery in the final part of pregnancy resulted in a positive impact on giving birth; and additionally, whether using a CD with a booklet, with no previous training or practitioner assistance, could be effective.
    Outcome measures were monitored both during and after delivery. During delivery, pain and anxiety were measured at different stages of birth.  Post-delivery measures included well-being (Edmonton Scale 0-10, where 10 is the worst), pain, anxiety, Apgar score, duration of birth, complications and anesthesia/analgesic use.

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  3. What Music Does for 3-5-Year-Olds Learning Yoga

    Cheryl got this note from a yoga instructor who works with a class of Montessori preschoolers (3-5 year olds).  I loved seeing what she had to say about the calm, focused attention Steve Kohn’s music produces in her squeezers, because it has the same effect on me.  

    I try to play it while writing and thinking at my computer, because it always helps me focus my attention and feel good as I work, but it doesn’t call attention to itself and interfere with my concentrating on the task at hand.  I swear, it takes stress and worry out of writing.

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  4. Is There Such a Thing as Election Stress? Attack Ad Depression?

    Hello, again.

    I wonder if there’s such a thing as “election stress” or “attack ad depression” or “chronic polling anxiety”.  What do you think this overlong, overfunded, over-the-top battle is doing to the mental health of us citizens?  

    Please share your impressions about this - especially those of you who see lots of people in your practice.

    How about the extended tension and suspense of months of waiting for a result, pumped up by the needs of the 24/7 news cycle?  It’s become subtext for everything else in our waking day.  Does it result in one big national stomach ache or migraine? 

    How many of us just want to withdraw from too many months of election stress and discomfort?  What does it do to our sense of efficacy and well-being when, for hours, we’re passively listening to the same strident distortions of various bits of minutia, over and over again.

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  5. Tools to Help a Survivor of Ritualistic Childhood Abuse


    Thanks so much for writing the Invisible Heroes book.  I'm a survivor of childhood ritualistic sexual abuse, and suffer from posttraumatic stress, panic attacks, bipolar illness, and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder).

    This book has helped me to understand what is happening to me and will hopefully help my husband understand what I'm dealing with as well.

    My therapist has discovered that EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) triggers me badly, but I respond well to guided imagery and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), so we are using this combination to help me get through my issues.

    My question is: do you have anything that is specifically written for survivors of sexual abuse? Or is there something that you would recommend for a survivor of childhood sexual ritualistic abuse?

    PS. I checked do not post my message on healthjourneys… but you may post it PROVIDED YOU DON'T USE MY NAME.


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  6. Yet Another Relieved Surgery Patient Is Loving Guided Imagery

    Cheryl just got this enthusiastic note from a happy, relieved post-surgical patient in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, following a 12-hour bilateral tram flap reconstructive surgery (construction of the breast from the lower abdominal skin and fatty tissue.

    Dear Cheryl,

    Just a quick note to let you know how effective the downloads on "Successful Surgery" have been for me.

    I had major surgery (Bilateral Tram Flap Reconstruction – which is reconstruction of the breast following a mastectomy) which took 12 hours to perform last month.  My recovery was nothing short of amazing. The doctors and other health professionals said my recovery was very impressive compared to others who had had this sort of surgery done.

    I am certain that by listening to the downloads twice a day (for one month before surgery), during my 9 day stay in hospital, and still listening even now (3 weeks post surgery) I am still enjoying the rewards of healing and pain management, as well as having a positive mental attitude.

    Please pass on my sincerest gratitude to Belleruth.  It truly works and I will be telling anyone else who is having surgery to use the downloads.

    Many thanks,

    Kindest regards,

    Miranda K. from Brisbane

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  7. Mindfulness for Type 2 Diabetes Delivers Prolonged Reduction in Psychosocial Distress

    Researchers from the University of Heidelberg in Germany examined the long term impact of a mindfulness based intervention (MBSR) on patients with type 2 diabetes over 5 years, as compared with treatment as usual.  Psychosocial distress (depression, stress), progression of nephropathy and subjective health status were measured. This article presents data up to the first year of follow-up.

    Patients with type 2 diabetes and micro-albuminuria were randomized to a mindfulness-based intervention (n = 53) or a treatment-as-usual control condition (n = 57).

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  8. Hospice Imagery Helps Mom with Son’s Suicide

    We thought this was a wonderfully creative use of our guided imagery for Hospice and Palliative Care, which guides the listener through the process of taking care of unfinished business, leaving loved ones and life as we know it.  

    Check out what this therapist did in working with a mother suffering from traumatic grief of 2 years duration, in the wake of her son’s suicide.

    Hi Belleruth,

    We met in December when I took your workshop at the last NICABM conference in Hilton Head.

    I just wanted to let you know that your Hospice CD, was very helpful with a client of mine who has been grieving her beloved son's suicide for over 2 years.

    I asked her to listen to the guided meditation as his proxy, imagining him being able to go through the journey on it.  She was transformed after doing so.

    Your work touches many lives! Thanks for all you do.


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  9. The Power of Journaling for Healing Traumatic Bereavement

    Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Isfahan in Iran tested the efficacy of the “Writing for Recovery" group intervention for 12-18 year old Afghani refugees, suffering from traumatic bereavement. The program was developed by The Children and War Foundation.

    Eighty-eight war bereaved Afghani refugees were screened using the Traumatic Grief Inventory for Children (TGIC). From those with the highest total score, 61 were randomly assigned to either an experimental (n = 29) or control group (n = 32). The experimental group received six sessions of group training on 3 consecutive days in their school.

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  10. Can You Tap Procrastination Away?

    A woman who has struggled with procrastination her whole life long wonders if it’s connected to her posttraumatic stress; and if there are any resources we can suggest that can help her with it…


    First, I want to tell you that I listened to the CD on posttraumatic stress, and it's really great.  My therapist approves, too.  

    My question is this: I have been a procrastinator all my life. Do you think that's related to the PTSD?  If not, do you have anything that would help me with it?


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