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Monthly Archives: June 2013

  1. Can the Emptiness Left by Loveless Mothering ever be Filled?

    Dear BR,

    If a mother never bonds with her child and the child grows up with a certain emptiness and lack of love, from not having that maternal, nurturing love, what would be the most helpful CD to help heal those wounds?  I suffered a lot of abuse growing up, but the pain of not being loved is the one that most negatively affects me. 


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  2. First Study to Show Link Vs Dopamine & Social Anxiety

    Researchers from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden looked at whether the dopamine system plays a role in social anxiety disorder (SAD). The complete, free article can be found here.

    In the past, molecular imaging studies have shown reduced levels of striatal dopaminergic markers in SAD patients, as compared with control subjects.  But the dopamine system has not been examined in frontal and limbic brain regions, which are considered to be central in the pathophysiology of SAD.
    In this study, investigators hypothesized that extra-striatal dopamine D2-receptor (D2-R) levels, as measured by PET scan, would predict symptom reduction after cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).

    Nine SAD patients were examined using high-resolution PET and the high-affinity D2-R antagonist radioligand [(11)C]FLB 457, before and after 15 weeks of CBT. Symptom levels were assessed using the anxiety subscale of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS(anx)).

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  3. An Update from “Franny”, Who Is No More….

    Remember “Franny”, the pseudonym for the client I featured in my last book, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal?  I used her as an example of how not to do therapy with someone suffering from posttraumatic stress. Franny was a big part of my enlightenment as a therapist.

    Well, she just emailed me. The subject line she used was: From Franny, Who Is No More.  It’s a great reminder that people really can get past the worst kind of PTSD, in spite of the clumsiest beginnings of their therapy by well-meaning but clueless therapists (that would be moi back in the late 80’s).  If you’re a therapist or client, I recommend you read on.

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  4. Shoutout for Mayo Clinic, Early Adopter of Guided Imagery

    We recently got a spate of new orders for our Menopause, Surgery and Grief imagery, thanks to an article from the Mayo Clinic blog about the importance of mourning the loss of a woman’s breasts after a mastectomy.  Mayo has been way ahead of the curve as an early and strong supporter of guided imagery in general and our resources in particular, and we salute them for it. They have their general information about imagery here.

    Oh, and remember “Franny”, the multiply traumatized client I featured in my last book, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal?  With her permission, I used “Franny” as an example of how not to do therapy with someone suffering from posttraumatic stress.

    Well, I just heard from her, and posted her email message on this week’s Inspiring Story page.  The subject line of her email was: From Franny, Who Is No More.  Check it out if you have the time, especially if you’re a therapist or a trauma survivor.  She’s truly an inspiration.

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  5. Suggestions to Speed Recovery after a Traumatic Medical Experience

    We received this question from a woman who was traumatized by a clumsy practitioner and then made to suffer an additional amount of time by the medical system, until she finally found some help.  By then, she was the worse for wear, psychologically and physically.  Sadly, we hear variations on this far too many times:  


    I am having a difficult time recovering both physically and psychologically from a traumatic hip injury caused by my medical treatment several months ago.  The rehab specialist was very insensitive and aggressive and used the wrong equipment on my leg with such force that he messed up the proper functioning of my leg.   It then took four months to get a doctor to listen to me or correctly diagnose the injury. I finally found a hip specialist who did, and had arthroscopic hip surgery in late January. By then, there was a lot of surrounding trauma and weakness to the back and hip, which has made recovery very slow and painful. I am still frightened and tense all the time, and worry that this is also impeding my progress. Which healing program do you think might help me the best, at least to start with?

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  6. TBI Imagery Makes Difference for Nurse with Concussion

    Elizabeth got this note from a nurse who’d sustained a concussion that kept her from working, driving or doing two things at once – very frustrating and discouraging, needless to say….

    In October of 2012, I sustained a concussion.  I couldn't work, drive or multi-task.  My thought process was slow and frustrating.  A health care professional trained to care for others, I was humbled.  

    After months of slow progress, I turned to guided imagery for help.  I found Belleruth's TBI imagery/affirmations immensely comforting and assuring.  With repeated use, I was gently guided from a place of despair to one of hope and renewal.  "The more I accept what I feel, the more I allow myself to heal."

    Thank you for partnering with me on my health journey.  I highly recommend this sensitive, well-researched recovery tool. 
    Jane N., RN, MS

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  7. Meditation Lowers Blood Pressure in Low Income, African American Seniors

    In a feasibility study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, investigators looked at whether Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) could decrease blood pressure in low-income, urban, African-American older adults, and whether such an intervention would be acceptable to and feasible with minority, low income, older adults when provided at home. 

    The study was launched because (1) hypertension affects a large proportion of urban African-American older adults; and (2) many older adults don’t have access to medications and/or don’t take them when they do have them.

    Participants were at least 62 years old and residents of a low-income senior residence. All were African-American, mostly female. Twenty participants were randomized to the mindfulness-based intervention or a social support control group, both of which were 8 weeks duration.
    Blood pressure was measured with the Omron automatic blood pressure machine at baseline and at the end of the 8-week intervention.

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  8. Belleruth to Talk on Guided Imagery at Strongsville Public Library

    Well, it always happens in the Spring.  I go to the studio to record our new audio for ADHD, called Concentratiion, Focus and Learning, on Bruce Gigax’s impeccably tuned, super-pricey, new microphone, and for some reason or other, I find myself sounding like a baritone frog.  Chagrined to say I got sent home, having failed to execute my mission.  

    Usually allergies are the culprit. This time, I’d caught a monster cold a few days earlier, or thought I had, in Boston Harbor, in an open boat taxi on a nasty, windy, rainy day.

    On reliable advice, I started gulping 3 horse pills every 3 hours of Wellness Formula, an over the counter immune support supplement you can find in any natural food store, and amazingly, that seemingly inevitable cold – it felt like it was going to be a grand 3-weeker - just faded away.  Astonishing! 

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  9. Maintaining Equanimity While Your Smoke Detector is Chirping…

    Hello everyone.

    I’m smiling ruefully as I write this, because once again a smoke detector in my house is chirping.  It’s in a place I can’t reach, so I’m waiting for a rangy and supple (not to mention kindly and generous) friend  of mine to come over and set things straight.  In the meantime, I’m trying to not waste energy on being too annoyed by it, which is a little bit like trying to not think of a blue elephant.  

    Remember the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode when Larry David takes a baseball bat to his smoke detector? Loved that one. (He displayed a similar arc o’ fury when he tried to open up an impervious plastic package, only I think that involved a hammer.) 

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  10. Guided Imagery Reduces Hot Flashes by 72% in Baylor Study

    In this feasibility study, investigators from Baylor University in Waco, TX examined whether a hypnotic intervention could reduce hot flashes.
    Thirteen postmenopausal women received 5 sessions of guided self-hypnosis in which all hypnotic inductions were recordings.  Additionally, they were given guidance regarding symptom monitoring, individualizing their guided imagery, and on the general practice of self-hypnosis.
    Hot flashes were determined through diaries.

    Results indicated that the average frequency of hot flashes decreased by 72% (p < .001) and hot-flash scores decreased by 76% (p < .001) on average.

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