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Alcohol & Chemical Dependency

  1. Addictions Counselor Seeks Good Guided Imagery Scripts

    Addictions Counselor Seeks Good Guided Imagery Scripts

    We got this query from a certified hypnotherapist working in an addiction house for men. She's been creating her own guided imagery to help with stress reduction and self-esteem. Not surprisingly, the men have histories of abuse and trauma along with chemical dependency. Here is her question:


    Greetings, BR. I am a certified Hypnotherapist working in an addiction house for men.

    I use guided imagery for stress reduction and self love. The gentlemen have been abused, addicted to drugs and or alcohol and other unfortunate things.

    I make up my own imageries but could use some helpful ideas. Is there a book you'd suggest for ideas on the subject? The feedback has been gratifying, my intentions are for their hearts to heal and bodies to follow.

    My resources are limited and I could use some references. Perhaps you've written something I could use or you have an idea of something helpful. Your reply is appreciated greatly.


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  2. During Alcohol Awareness Month the Focus is on Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

    During Alcohol Awareness Month the Focus is on Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

    We see daily news reports of alcohol-related accidents and deaths, many of them involving underage drinking. As a police reporter for two decades, I saw that a large number of incidents that required police action (and some that had tragic consequences) could have been avoided, had alcohol use not been a factor.

    This April marks the 29th annual Alcohol Awareness Month, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) theme, For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction, seeks to raise awareness that alcohol consumption starts early and it has a particularly deleterious effect on underage drinkers and the people around them.

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  3. Best Guided Imagery for Bulimia?

    Best Guided Imagery for Bulimia?

    We just got this message on Facebook and found it very timely, being as how our very own Traci Stein's new guided imagery/hypnosis title, Healthy Weight and Body Image, is soon to be released.

    Check it out:

    Hi Belleruth,
    I use your guided imagery all the time, but wondering which one you would recommend for a client of mine who has bulimia.
    I would like to get her this as a gift to help.
    Thank you. Happy new year.

    traci-stein-recordingFunny you should ask! Psychologist Traci Stein has created a terrific new imagery/hypnosis program on Healthy Weight & Body Image (I know it's terrific because I was in the studio when she recorded it).

    It's being prepared for production even as we speak. It addresses eating disorders, including bulimia, and body image issues beautifully, with Traci's usual skill, subtlety, depth and finesse.

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  4. Reduced Depression a Possible Key to 12-Step Success

    Investigators from San Diego State University/University of California looked at whether, for dual diagnosis veterans with substance dependence and major depressive disorder, 12-Step success with alcohol and drug use might be mediated by reductions in depression. 

    Veterans (209) with this dual diagnosis (chemical dependency and depression) were enrolled in this controlled trial, randomized to either Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF) or Integrated Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (ICBT), delivered in out-patient groups for 6 months, with support from medication.

    Twelve-Step attendance and affiliation, depression severity, percentage of days drinking and percentage of days using drugs were assessed at baseline and at months 3, 6 and 9.

    Greater 12-Step meeting attendance predicted lower depression and mediated the superior depression outcomes of the TSF group, explaining 24.3% of the group difference in depression.

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  5. Qigong Helps with Addiction, Especially with Women

    Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore investigated the efficacy of adding qigong to a residential treatment program for substance abuse.
    Qigong, which blends relaxation, breathing, guided imagery, inward attention, and mindfulness to elicit a tranquil, healing state, was introduced into a short-term residential treatment program.  At first clients chose to participate in qigong meditation on a voluntary basis during their evening break.  Later they chose to participate in either meditation or Stress Management and Relaxation Training (SMART) twice a day as part of the scheduled treatment.

    Weekly questionnaires were completed by 248 participants for up to 4 weeks, to assess changes in treatment outcomes.  Participants in the meditation group were also assessed for quality of meditation to evaluate the association between quality and treatment outcome.

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  6. Guided Imagery Works on Cocaine Addiction & More

    A friend found this encouraging message about using guided imagery for help with chemical dependency posted at a website called How Cocaine Destroys Lives for people seeking recovery from cocaine use. 

    It’s in the context of a review of our CD for Alcohol and Other Drugs, and it’s the kind of comment you love to hear, because it’s the best possible outcome - that the imagery is not just helping with the substance abuse (although that by itself is fine with us), but with larger issues and attitudes as well.  

    So thanks, A. Baranowski, wherever you are, for your hopeful words and kind assessment!  

    p.s. I‘m glad you don’t think I’m a silly person!!  Same backatcha!!  We all wish you continued success and joy. 

    He or she writes on November 6, 2010:

    “I am currently withdrawing from several medications. I have found that this CD is having an impact on parts of my life I never thought related to any drug, alcohol, recovery-related “problem.” 

    I am sleeping better, having some incredible experiences while listening, crying a lot, (don’t be scared!!) ..yet, finding that this clears out a lot of things I have been avoiding for years. I am feeling good, open, willing to move on afterward.

    “About one or two days into listening, I woke up feeling so great, and great in a way I don’t remember for many, many, many years; in fact, so long ago as to almost have been forgotten. But, that “ability” was still there.

    “Belleruth Naparstek has a voice that I trusted and relaxed to immediately – hence the crying. The music is fabulous!! I go to some wonderful places, dig way, way back to feelings of goodness, strength, vulnerability, and have had some unexpected experiences.

    “Also, I visited her website, and I really like her attitude and common sense about some of the things people have asked her there. She is not a silly person!!

    “Anyway, highly recommended. Listen, relax, enjoy, and be well!”

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  7. A Great “I Quit Smoking” Testimonial

    We just found this comment posted online – very inspiring.  Now, it’s not usually this easy for people (myself included – I quit smoking 44 years ago and it was so difficult, I swore I’d never do it again!).  But it does sometimes happen this way, and when it does, it’s pretty awesome.  (Her decision to wait until she was on a break from her regular routine was very wise, by the way.)

    Here it is, verbatim:

    I had a ten-year [smoking] habit I wanted to break, but no confidence I could do it in my regular routine.  So I decided to quit on vacation. I smoked my last cigarette at the airport, listened to these [Stop Smoking] meditations on the plane - and that was it.

    It was almost as if I'd never smoked. I barely thought about smoking at all, although I listened to one or two of the meditations every day just in case.

    Back at home, I listen to them every once in a while to keep my non-smoking energy up.

    I can't say for sure that these meditations worked the miracle, but they certainly helped! Thank you!

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  8. Conscious Breathing Helps a Suicidal Eating Disorder Survivor

    Here is a note from a recovering eating disorder and depression survivor, who needed a hospitalization to get her through some very bad times.  Here she writes about the healing power of conscious breathing, something she learned from her therapist at the Menninger Clinic and from listening to recordings.  As you’ll see, she writes very lyrically:  

    I sing guided imagery's praises at nearly every opportunity that presents itself.  To say that guided imagery has helped lead the way out of a dusty barren landscape would not be hyperbole.  Your audios were first introduced to me by Dr. Meredith Titus during a stay at Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.  I was there because I needed help finding my way out of the grasp of an eating disorder and severe depression.  I truly did not care if I lived or died. 

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  9. Dumping the Nicotine Gum Habit


    Dear Belleruth …

    I stopped smoking in 1997. However, I've been chewing Nicorette gum ever since.

    In 2007 I had a triple bypass and a pacemaker implanted. I'm 71 and want to get off the gum, which I know is not good for me.

    I looked through your list of tapes and CDs and don't see one that relates to this horrible addiction.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated ….

    Sincerely, Allen

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  10. Guided Imagery Replaces Xanax for Panicky Hopkins Patient

    We got this delightful message from Annie Umbricht MD, a general internist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  What she says about how difficult it is to introduce healthy behavior change to patients is something we can all relate to.  

    And the way she responded to her patient who had his heart set on a Xanax refill for his panic attacks, was nothing short of brilliant, if you ask us.

    She writes:

    Although not all my patients follow through and listen to the guided imagery CDs, those who do are really doing well. 

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