A woman writes asking why imagery makes her cry and asks should she stop listening .. Dear Belleruth:

I''ve been using the guided imagery tape to help me quit smoking. I like it, and so far so good with keeping away from cigarettes. But every time I listen, I start crying. Sometimes I cry a lot. I''m worried that I''m doing something wrong, or that the imagery isn''t doing what it''s supposed to be doing for me. What do you suggest? Should I stop listening to it? Thanks in advance for your response.

Dear Jaxie

It''s actually fairly commonplace for people to cry while working with imagery. it''s nothing to be alarmed about. There are lots of possible reasons for this.

For one thing, the part of the brain that processes guided imagery is right next door to the part that processes emotion. So the fact that you''re keying into some emotion is a very good sign that the imagery is having a nice, strong impact on you. Good work!

For another thing, lots of us are busy all day long, with very little quiet time to process and release the events of the day, week or even month. So, in the still, internal space we finally get to sit in as we''re listening to an imagery tape, our feelings will just start to come up and rinse themselves out, the way they''re supposed to. It might be a little sadness or grief, but it might even be a sense of being moved or touched, a little sweetness or gratitude. Whatever it is, it''s good for you to do this, so don''t worry about it. And good luck with quitting smoking.