Imagery International Blog

Your source for the latest news about Guided Imagery, Imagery International, workshops, articles and products from our members.

Archive for May, 2011

Oct. 21-23 Woman’s Retreat in Mexico

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

A Woman’s Retreat Tepozatlan, Mexico, October 21-23

Glenda Cedarleaf

Come immerse yourself in a women’s circle and into your creative imagination through Guided Imagery, Expressive Arts, Movement, Healing Ritual and  FUN !!!

You will open to inner guidance and release emotional blocks for greater clarity and commitment

This retreat will be facilitated by 
Glenda Cedarleaf MSW LICSW 
and includes a very special
 experiential with
 Mary Lynn Patton Ed.D Clinical Psychologist

Glenda Cedarleaf is a Guided Imagery practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist –  who follows her calling to be a muse and midwife  for deepening the healing process through creative exploration.

She  has facilitated women’s retreats since 1995.  She has a psychotherapy and guided imagery practice in Minnetonka Minnesota.

Tepoztlan is in the mountains and is known for being the birthplace of the mighty Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. It is home to artists and lovers of Native Mexican culture. This town is filled with beautiful loving and authentic people who have maintained the best of their native culture.  You will love the weekend market filled with the colorful and flavorful foods and crafts of the people of this lovely village.

Glenda writes and records guided imagery journeys.  Her audios “Your Healing Journey” and “Healing Surgery” are now being provided to patients in the Cardiac Catheter Lab, Emergency Room, Joint Center and Surgical Department.

For more information on the retreat and how to sign up click here.

To learn more about Glenda’s work visit her website

Is Guided Imagery Dangerous for Someone Who Dissociates?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

What are the side effects of listening to a Guided Imagery recording?

The following is an important discussion about one patient who listened to “Panic Attack”.  Belleruth Naparstek is probably the leading creator, producer and seller of Guided Imagery recordings. Her “Prepare for Surgery” has been clinically tested and found effective in reducing the patient’s loss of blood and speeding the course of healing. So what do we learn about this questioners experience with a client?

Is Guided Imagery Dangerous for Someone Who Dissociates?


Are the guided visualizations safe for persons with a history of traumatic dissociation and a traumatic brain injury?  I introduced a client to the Panic Attack tape and she felt “funny” and dissociated at the end of the session.  We did some grounding exercises to return her into her body, and she was fine, but she is questioning the safety of follow-up work with these tapes.  Thanks for any feedback you can offer!


Great question – a lot of therapists who don’t work regularly with hypnosis or imagery ask it. 
Since guided imagery is a form of conscious, purposeful dissociation, it can actually be used to help train a client like this to gain control over her dissociative process.  By practicing with it, she can get a better idea of what it’s like to be ‘home’ inside her body, and what it’s like to go AWOL and be someplace else in her mind. By opting to use imagery on a regular basis, starting out with you keeping her company, she can become skillful at realizing when she’s floated out, and can then pull herself back into her body quickly – by doing those grounding exercises you gave her, for instance.

As you know, it’s much safer for her to be “home” in her body – it’s the ungrounded, floaty, dissociated people who get pegged as prey by predators looking for their next mugging or sexual assault victim.  In that disembodied state, they broadcast with their body language and that spacey look in their eyes, just how easy it would be to figuratively or literally knock them over.  Similarly, they have more auto accidents and accidental injuries while ironing, using an oven or slicing things with a knife.  

But this means she should continue to practice this with you in the office, where she can safely learn to get a handle on this – it won’t be long before she’ll be able to do it on her own and she’ll be far safer and happier for it.

She should be able to tell you when she feels in control.

 As I mention in Invisible Heroes, 2 psychologists from Georgia State, Drs. Joen Fagan and Erma Shephard, way back in the 1980’s, amply demonstrated the power of dissociative techniques, such as hypnosis and guided imagery, for helping people who dissociate, even people with the most extreme diagnoses, such as what they used to call at that time Multiple Personality Disorder – now Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I hope this helps.

All best,


To see the article on Belleruth’s website click here.

Blogging for Mental Health – Juliet Rohde-Brown

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Dear Community,

We are blogging for mental health today at Imagery International. Our integrative and multidisciplinary framework incorporates an appreciation of how powerful our imagination is in healing.

As educators and practitioners we advocate for less stigma around seeking assistance for mental health issues and more accessibility to services that can facilitate a reduction of stress and suffering. When people are having a difficult time dealing with the stresses of life, we feel strongly about being able to foster both acceptance and change by acknowledging the unique imagery that arises in presenting problems.

When appropriate, we can sometimes encourage an active engagement with these images and serve to facilitate in our clients a mindful attentiveness to what is newly emerging. Sometimes this can involve stepping into an imagined quality and role playing with speech and behavior. Other times, one can create a safe and peaceful place from which to then explore more challenging emotional issues. The safe space can be purely imaginary or it can blend an actual place with embellishments of the imagination. One can have an imaginary guide, such as a spiritual mentor, who assists along the way.

Dream material and literature can be fodder for interacting with images and symbols that emerge as significant in some way in the present moment. Using the imagination through engaging in art, music, dance, and writing can assist in moving through difficult life concerns.  Taking an actual object in one’s hand and exploring the texture, shape, scent, and so forth can also be beneficial, particularly when the object is gathered from the natural environment. Indeed, images in nature are profoundly moving and awakening when we surrender to noticing their expression. Staying present to what one is experiencing in one’s body in the present moment and perhaps bringing voice to an image around a medical issue can be helpful.

Contemplative practices that involve imagery, such as tonglen and loving-kindness meditation can foster the occasion of forgiveness of self and others.

Working with images can help foster emotional regulation and integration of the many parts of the self, such that we become more mindful in both our intra- and interpersonal interactions. There is both anecdotal and empirical evidence to back this up, from the cave images of our deep past to current scientific studies around perception and neuroplasticity. Even if we don’t explicitly engage in “imagery work,” we are calling images into our mental health practice at every moment, as each person shares their diversity and their unique narratives. Through a blending of mindfulness practices and respecting what is present through images, we both include and move beyond past maladaptive patterns and narratives and into a new autobiographical memory.


Juliet Rohde-Brown, PhD
Imagery International

Blogging for Mental Health

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Mental Health Blog Party Badge

This post is offered as part of the American Psychological Association‘s Mental Health Month Blog Party today.  Imagery International professionals use Guided Imagery to help clients and patients make desired changes in mental health and medical conditions. We as body/mind workers understand that the two are not independent.  The following article by one of our members, Charlotte Reznick, PhD illustrates how working with a child’s imagination improves mental health and physical symptoms.

Helping Children with Guided Imagery

By Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D.

“Your imagination can help you heal.” This simple and elegant statement was the response nine-year-old Teresa gave me when asked what she had learned from our work together as we were wrapping up our counseling relationship.

Teresa is a beautiful, doe-eyed girl who first came to me a year ago because she was a goody-goody who would always be sweet and kind and never express any negative feelings. Imagine what a wonderful daughter she was. Who would want to change that? Her parents. They were concerned because her younger brother was very expressive—actually a terror around the house—and they didn’t want Teresa to get lost, but to be her own person. They wondered if she harbored truer feelings under the surface that were afraid to come out. And she did.

Teresa lived in a home filled with chaos. Although caring, her parents had serious, volatile marital issues. There was a new baby at home adding to the attention already taken away from Teresa by her four-year-old brother. Nannies were coming and going, partly because mom was in the midst of starting several new businesses. Teresa never knew who was going to show up at school, take her home, or drag her to some almost forgotten after-school activity.

I share some highlights of Teresa’s story with you not because she’s unusual, but because she’s typical. Her problems are the problems of thousands of kids: jealousy of younger sibs, trouble with friends, parents fighting, struggling with academics, grappling with fears of unworthiness, dealing with headaches and stomachaches—to name a few.

In my 25 years as a psychologist working with children from a variety of backgrounds, the most lasting and creative healings have taken place through using the power of a child’s imagination. Many of you may be familiar with some aspects of my Imagery For Kids™ program from AGI’s advanced training modules or previous conferences. My focus is on teaching children to access their inner wisdom; imagery tools offer an easy, fun way to get there.

Teresa’s healing journey began with her trying to please everyone, including me, to expressing herself so wildly and strongly that she got into a lot of trouble, to finally balancing how to communicate her needs, wants, and feelings while also considering other people. Imagery was the catalyst, fuel, and vehicle during this process.

During our final sessions, I was delighted that Teresa easily recounted how she incorporated imagery into her life and made the tools her own. Here’s her advice (with some commentary from me) on how to use eight of the imagery tools.


Podcast May 2011: Radhule Weininger, MD, PhD

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Mindfulness Based Self-Care is an interview of Radhule Weininger, MD, PhD by Juliet Rohde-Brown. Radhule guides the listener through a 10 minute loving self-care meditation towards the end.

To hear the podcast click here.

Radhule Weininger, MD, PhD

Radhule Weininger, MD, PhD, who had been trained as a physician in Germany and as a clinical psychologist in California, is currently working in private psychotherapy practice in Santa Barbara. She began her studies of mindfulness meditation during a stay at Black Rock Hermitage in Sri Lanka in 1981. She has continued her studies of Buddhist philosophy and practice since then, and is currently mentored in her teaching by Jack Kornfield, PhD and Alan Wallace, PhD. Radhule teaches mindfulness meditation both as a foundation for spiritual practice and as a tool for healing. She has been exploring how dream-work and mindfulness meditation can work in complementary ways in the therapeutic process, bringing an Eastern and a Western path together.

Radhule and her husband Michael Kearney, MD, a hospice physician, published an article in JAMA magazine in March, 2009, describing how the practice of “Exquisite Empathy” as mindfulness based self-care can prevent burnout and compassion fatigue in health care professionals. Together they teach professionals how to be present in an engaged way, which makes professional life replenishing and meaningful.

Radhule Weininger is also trained to teach “Cultivating Emotional Balance”, a project inspired and guided by the Dalai Lama. CEB workshop leaders will be able to guide others to enhanced emotional health and mental stability.

Radhule lives currently with her husband and two children in Santa Barbara, who are in junior High and High School. Her oldest son studies currently in Edinburgh/Scotland. She also enjoys her three dogs, one cat and three tortoises.

Finding Your Life Purpose Using Guided Imagery

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Jean Houston, PhD is a pioneer in the human potential field.  We have been receiving notice of a 7-week course entitled “Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.”

In this promotional email she offers one of the core modules to help you to Activate Your Life Purpose. Because it involves Guided Imagery we wanted to share what she has to say:

Have you ever felt that the world simply isn’t ready for the work you were meant to do? Like the role you were born to fill simply isn’t believed to be possible by society?

It’s a frustrating–and all too common–experience.

Fortunately, I have the antidote. 🙂 And I’m going to give you a hearty helping of it in this message.

This is the second key to living your life’s purpose: Developing new skills.

How to Access Your “Inner Experts” to Quicken Your Learning.

One miracle I’ve discovered in my 50 years of researching the outer limits of human potential is the existence of inner experts–in every single person, without fail.

The fact is, you have a wide array of these experts, willing inner helpers, so many masters of varied skills and attitudes–Cook, Painter, Plumber, Psychologist, Healer, Mechanic, Accountant, Inventor, Poet, Relationship Expert, Parent, Orator, Lover, Student, Teacher, Theologian, Traveler, Meditator, Comedian, Animal Companion, House Cleaner, Writer, Singer, Group Organizer, Group Member, Time Manager, Mystic, Compassionate One.

There are many others who only you would know. Some hold the mastery of a particular skill that you have, like swimming or playing the violin or weaving or woodworking.
Others represent your various roles and relationships, daughter, sister, best friend, best buddy, mentor.

Anything with which you have familiarity and practice, however small or large, has an inner expert who is always available to support, consult, and inspire your outer efforts.

First, choose a skill you would like to work on and ask the master of that skill to come forward. This being leads you to a place nearby where you can work together to improve your skill. All the materials you need are there–paints, piano, golf clubs, tennis rackets, computers, dancing shoes–whatever you need.

The very space around you seems filled with the essence of your skill. At this level of the psyche, an enormous amount of information is available, which is not normally processed by the conscious mind. Your inner master of a skill has access to all the knowledge that you ever gleaned, consciously or unconsciously, about the skill, as well as some new tricks. When you call on the master, some of this hidden knowledge can be harvested and integrated into your learning.

Let’s see how this works.

The master of the skill may communicate with you in words without them. Perhaps the teaching will feel like a muscular sensation or appear as a sudden intuitive knowing. You may be advised to practice old skills, or you may be taught new ones. However it happens, this being who holds the mastery will give you deep and potent instructions. As you receive this intensive training, you will feel increasingly free, spontaneous, and confident, even overcoming any inhibitions or blocks that you had.

You will be working with subjective time in this exercise, so get a timer with an alarm (here’s one online <> ).

Give yourself five minutes of clock time, which is equal subjectively to all the time you need. In these minutes or hours or days, you will have a rich learning session with the master of the skill, rehearsing and improving your skill.

Close your eyes and begin…

Coming back now, notice how you feel in your body. Is the skill more a part of you? Do you have a greater feeling of pleasure and confidence about it? Are you looking forward to performing it?

In fact, if it is possible for you actually to engage in the skill now, please do and notice if technical improvements have taken place. Practicing with the inner master is something you can do over and over again.

After a while, you will not have go through the steps to call up this member of your crew. The inner expert will be so much a part of you, it will be as if you are receiving instructions and improvements whenever you practice.

You can employ the same procedure to call upon other members of your inner crew who have mastery in other skills or qualities of excellence. If you give time and practice to rehearsing skills on the inner level, their outer manifestations will grow in you more quickly.

Yours in purpose,


Evolving Wisdom, 369-B Third Street, Suite 302, San Rafael, CA 94910, USA

This is one of the many techniques I’ll be revealing to participants in my 7-week course “Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.”

Using a Guided Imagery CD to Unwind

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Glenda Cedarleaf’s May Newsletter

Her featured article discusses how to use a Guided Imagery CD.  Later in the newsletter she tells you how she helps clients find a healing place.  There is always inspiring and useful information is her newsletters.

5 Ways to use Guided Imagery for unwinding each day

1. To “recalibrate” your nervous system during the day, you can listen to a guided imagery audio-and experience the benefits of a 15 minute rejuvenating retreat into your unconscious .

2. To fall asleep replacing worry imagery with healing visualization – you can listen right before you go to bed at night–  It helps to have your CD player or Ipod set up and ready ahead of time.

3. When you are getting ready for a medical procedure, listen before, during (if allowed) and after to promote healing.

4. When you can’t sleep and you awaken in the night–listen again– it will help you refocus your mind on positive, healing, relaxing messages so you can return to dreamland.

5. Upon awakening , you can listen to a guided meditation as a prelude to your daily healing practice–of journaling, walking, yoga, Tai Chi ,meditating, reading, drawing, praying etc.

Glenda also talks about how she helps clients find a healing place.

Glenda also has a CD for folks with Lyme disease.  To see the rest of her newsletter click here.

A Mother’s Day Story

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

We celebrate Mother’s Day this day in recognition of the love and caring mothers provide their families.  This particular article addresses the difficulty of being a woman who is also a mother in our society.  Mother’s may fall short meeting the criteria of being a good mother when the Inner Critic has much to say on the matter. This article comes from the American Hypnotist Examiners April Newsletter.

Embracing Our Imperfections
by Alena Guest
“When my daughter was young her favorite doll was a Raggedy Ann and she fell asleep each night rubbing her nose against the doll’s cloth face. Over time the face became threadbare and the cotton stuffing bulged from the splits in the fabric. The painted features faded. One day I suggested that it might be time to replace the Raggedy Ann with a newer version. My daughter was horrified. ‘If I had an accident and my face got ruined would you get a new girl? I love her how she is.’ My child’s wisdom humbled me. We did ‘fix’ the precious doll with masking tape and an indelible magic marker. So Raggedy Ann stayed beautifully imperfect.” This story, by Annie Dillard, poignantly illustrates how we assess beauty primarily from the surface.
As we approach middle-age we often view ourselves through a glass darkly, concentrating on our imperfections. Each of us is her own worst critic. In my years as a clinical hypnotherapist I have worked with hundreds of women, each shackled by her inner critic, who keeps her imprisoned inside a limited version of herself. Part of the reason is that we are bombarded with advertising images that reinforce unrealistic, unhealthy perceptions of beauty and perfection.

The women who are portrayed in these ads are photo-shopped so much that even iconic 1990’s supermodel Cindy Crawford, says, “I wish I was Cindy Crawford.”

To read the rest of Embracing Our Imperfections go here

2011 Conference Space is Limited – Register Now

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Imagery International’s Third Conference
Co-Sponsored by
 Beyond Ordinary Nursing
Imagery: Hope and New Beginnings

Date: September 30 – October 2
Time: Fri. 5 – 9 PM, Sat. 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Sun. 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Place: Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, USA

Early Birds can register now on our conference page here. You can register either online and pay by credit card, or download the registration form, print it and mail in with a check to our Registrar, Sandra Bolyard. The downloadable form also shows the options and fees, for staying at Mercy Center or commuting.

Early Birds must have registrations in before August 25th. If you wish to stay at Mercy Center, you need to get your room reserved by August 25. Rooms are limited, so we recommend registering early.

Check our conference page for more details

We welcome all professionals interested in the practical application of guided imagery for healing and personal growth, including, but not limited to, nurses, doctors, psychotherapists, social workers, hypnotherapists, and somatic workers. Trained Guided Imagery practitioners will add to their techniques and strategies, and other professionals will gain an overview of how Guided Imagery may be used as a complementary practice in their work.  Continuing Education Units are included in the registration fee.

You are invited to join Imagery International to further your interest and exploration.

Our third annual conference continues to be an important vehicle for our association’s purpose as stated in the Articles of Association:

The purpose of this Association shall be to promote the general interests of the active members; to broaden the awareness of the benefits and diverse applications of Guided Imagery; to offer professional and educational support to students and practicing professionals; to strive for higher professional standards; to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas; and to stimulate a friendly and cooperative spirit among the members.



Linda Blachman – Choose Life!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

CHOOSE LIFE! – Making the Most of Life Transitions

Linda Blachman

All the world is just a narrow bridge. The main thing is not to fear. – R. Nachman

May 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I am pleased to announce the launch of my life transitions coaching and guided imagery practice, a complement to my ongoing work with personal histories and legacies.

Whether self-initiated or forced upon us, transitional times can feel like standing on a bridge in a fog of confusion. Wanting to avoid discomfort, we may miss the opportunity to delve deeply enough to make wise life-affirming choices and thoughtful plans for crafting the next chapter.

After an extended transition of my own, I am called to help others learn to use times of challenge and change for growth, healing and renewal. My mission is to help my clients navigate inevitable losses and uncertainties and take the necessary steps to author a new narrative. Together we review the past and release what is no longer needed; identify sources of authenticity, vitality and joy; visualize and plan the future; and move towards meaningful goals, all the while living with awareness in the present moment.

We discover our truth by telling our stories. (more…)