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Monthly Archives: June 2017

  1. What's the Best Way to Use Multiple Guided Imagery Programs?

    What's the Best Way to Use Multiple Guided Imagery Programs?

    Question:

    Dear Belleruth,

    Thanks for making so many wonderful audio programs. I’m confused about the best way to use all the ones I want. I’m dealing with several different issues. Do I have to start with just one, or can I get all three of them and begin using them right away?

    Thanks,

    Danielle

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  2. Posttraumatic Stress Is Not a Disorder. Just Sayin’.

    Posttraumatic Stress Is Not a Disorder. Just Sayin’.

    June 27th is National Posttraumatic Stress Awareness Day, so I’m taking the occasion to point out a few things. 

    The actual name for the day is “PTSD” Awareness Day, but I’m not using those initials, because I don’t think the “D” (for Disorder) belongs there. The experience of Posttraumatic Stress does not constitute a mental disorder, regardless of PTSD’s prominent listing in the DSM-V. (That’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which therapists use to assign diagnoses and file for insurance).  

    PTS is a normal reaction to abnormal events.

    It’s a body based neurophysiological and biochemical response to threat.

    It’s an ancient, human, survival-driven, wired-in answer to danger, real or perceived – it makes no difference to the body.

    Capacity for words shuts down and sheer instinct takes over. That’s so we can move and act faster, the better to save our lives.

    Ugly images stay stuck in the brain and repeat, as fresh and contemporaneous as the day they first showed up. That’s because traumatic memories aren’t stored in the usual structures in the brain where normal memories are housed.

    That’s why standard therapy or “the talking cure” doesn’t help as much as we once thought it could.  It’s like apples trying to talk to oranges.

    Instead, techniques like guided imagery, EMDR, Healing Touch, Somatic Experiencing, Yoga Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and other sensory and body based approaches are far more effective and quick-acting. That’s apples talking to apples.

    I tried to spell this out in my book, Invisible Heroes. So does Robert Scaer in The Body Bears the Burden. Peter Levine was early to the party with Waking the Tiger. Bessel van der Kolk came later with The Body Keeps the Score

    Hopefully the DSM-VI will set the record straight and take out that D. Stay tuned!

    All best,

    br signature

    Belleruth 

    p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, sign up here!

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  3. A Therapist Asks if There Is Guided Imagery to Shrink Fibroids

    A Therapist Asks if There Is Guided Imagery to Shrink Fibroids

    Question:

    I have yet to find a good guided visual imagery program for reducing uterine fibroids. I have more and more patients in my psychotherapy practice who are dealing with fibroids, wanting to do everything they can to reduce the fibroids and avoid surgery. (If they do need surgery, of course I immediately get them started on your CD for that!)

    It would be enormously useful to have one of your guided visual imagery CDs for these women -- and as the baby boomers move toward and into menopause, there will certainly be more and more of them!

    Thanks for all you have already produced, and always looking forward to more.

    Marion

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  4. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) May Look Weird, but If It Gets the Job Done, Do We Care?

    Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) May Look Weird, but If It Gets the Job Done, Do We Care?

    Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a short-term, behavioral therapy that helps people counter anxiety and their own limiting beliefs, in order to make positive changes. It requires no deep-dish psychodynamic insight into motivation and no delving into anguished family history – all it asks (more or less) is that you state a positive intention while tapping on acupoints.

    Now, all that tapping can look pretty weird, but it seems to help a good slice of the population. And, because it’s so undemanding on a person’s time and cash reserves, it’s not a bad strategy to try first, before signing up for the more lengthy, pricey and complicated process of psychotherapy.

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  5. Can Guided Imagery Help with the Devastating Loss of a Beloved Wife?

    Can Guided Imagery Help with the Devastating Loss of a Beloved Wife?

    A man suffering from clinical depression and anxiety since the loss of his beloved wife two years ago, wonders if guided imagery can help him, along with the counseling he’s already getting. Here is his question and our answer:

    Question:

    I am taking EMDR with a counselor as part of grief treatment. I lost my beloved wife two years ago July. 

    I have your excellent CD on cancer (I had a cancer scare myself, but am cancer-free, praise the Lord.)

    What CDs or other materials do you recommend for grief?  I have suffered with clinical anxiety and depression because of my wife's death. Therapy has helped a lot, but I love guided imagery.

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  6. Mild Pain and a Big, Post-Op Bundle of Oxycodone and Morphine – Really?

    Mild Pain and a Big, Post-Op Bundle of Oxycodone and Morphine – Really?

    I just had a hip replacement - a surprisingly easy and comfortable surgery, as these things go. The staff had me walking the same day, and I was able to leave the hospital soon after, with only a mild ache in my leg – nothing a little Tylenol couldn’t handle, and, truth be told, I’d have been fine without the Tylenol, too.

    (My physical therapist says she finds that about half the people who have this surgery find it a breeze. The other half are wired to experience significant pain. In terms of actual healing and recovery, however, it takes the same amount of time for both groups.) 

    Nonetheless, my excellent surgeon discharged me from the hospital with 60 Oxycodone tablets (5 mg.), and 14 Morphine extended release tabs (15 mg.). That’s a lot of dope.

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  7. Bet You Can’t Guess the Biggest Health Risk for Men...

    Bet You Can’t Guess the Biggest Health Risk for Men...

    Men are neither as healthy nor as long-lived as women. What makes them so much more vulnerable? It’s Men’s Health Week, after all, and a good time to ask.

    A lot of studies point to one critical variable, and it’s not obesity, smoking or even stress.

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  8. Does Guided Imagery Work for People with Dementia?

    Does Guided Imagery Work for People with Dementia?

    Dear Belleruth:

    I work in a nursing home where we always have confused people who are awake all night and sleep during the day.  I’d love to use guided imagery for sleep or agitation.  Which CD would be best for people with various types of dementia? Does guided imagery even work with brains that are damaged? 

    Thanks,
    Kay

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  9. Stories of Health for Life: Guided Imagery

    Stories of Health for Life: Guided Imagery

    Well, we've reached another milestone: the VA is now officially including guided imagery as a laudable practice for vets, after decades of VA patients and line practitioners using it anyway. (Over 90 VA hospitals and Vet Centers have been ordering guided imagery from Health Journeys since the early 90s. They always knew it worked, it was inexpensive, and it was easy to use - especially for vets who had trouble coming in for appointments.)

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