Imagery International Blog

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

Archive for the ‘CAM’ Category

About Guided Imagery

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Guided Imagery defined

Dr. Jeanne Achterberg, a leader in imagery exploration and application, refers to imagery as “the thought process that invokes and uses the senses: vision, audition, smell, taste, the senses of movement, position and touch. It is the communication between perception, emotion, and bodily change.” Guided Imagery can evoke change through the senses both physical and imagined by skillful guidance.

Guided Imagery Experienced

A definition does not capture the experience of working with a trained Guided Imagery practitioner.  And most people who have not had experience with this approach want to know about research on efficacy of Guided Imagery for changing symptoms, behavior before deciding to try it out.  Imagery International’s professionals have written about their work over the years and through articles in Imagery International’s newsletter – ImagiNews –  discuss how they have incorporated their Guided Imagery training into their practices.

Our membership is comprised of diverse licensed and certified professionals who show how this work is useful to virtually all types of work.

To see these articles that range from relevant research citations to treatment of symptoms and behavioral problems visit our About Guided Imagery page.

All types of professionals are not represented here.  We will be adding information as articles are submitted.

Leslie Davenport Calendar – San Francisco, CA

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Leslie Davenport, MFT Calendar of Events near San Francisco, California

Leslie Davenport

Tapping into the heart’s wisdom through imagery is an ancient practice, but today guided imagery is enjoying a renaissance in a variety of medical, psychological, educational, artistic and spiritual practices. It is used in as part of treatment with medical conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, phobias, writer’s block, athletic performance, and deepening spiritual practice.  I hope to see you at one of these upcoming events

April 16: Guided Imagery to Support Grief Sutter Hospice
10:30AM – 12:30PM, San Mateo, California

April 22 – June 10: Integrative Healing for Cancer Care: An Educational Support Group
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
Fridays 1:30PM – 3:30PM,  Free  415-600-3081

May 7: Shout! A Healing Arts Day for Veterans San Francisco, California Free 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

May 14 & 15: Revive, Thrive & Restore to the Core Wellness Retreat Renaissance ClubSport, Walnut Creek, California.

June 25: Spirituality & Religion in Psychotherapy
JFK University, Berkeley, California. CE Credit.

August 20: Spirituality & Religion in Psychotherapy
in Campbell, California  CE Credit.

September 10: Clinical Application of Deep Imagination
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Institute for Health & Healing, San Francisco, CE Credits


Leslie’s book Healing and Transformation Through Self Guided Imagery includes a self-facilitation worksheet with step-by-step instructions for unscripted guided imagery everyone can learn. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

To find out more about Leslie Davenport, visit her website:

Comparing Benefits to Risks in Integrative Medicine pt 2

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Integrative Medicine combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health

Martin Rossman, MD

Thank you for all your responses to my last email – it looks like there’s a lot of interest in this issue and related issues.

While responses were overwhelmingly positive to last week’s “Do No Harm” article, one respected colleague opined that no form of medicine is completely risk-free, and all interventions have potential harm. Two others wrote saying that they had, in fact, been harmed from ‘alternative medicine’ approaches, so let me address these important comments.

In discussing these principles of treatment I am assuming that practitioners are competent, ethical, and have good judgment. This lets us compare the value of approaches, rather than the quality of the practitioner, which is, in itself, a critical issue. Assuming competence and good judgment, there is certainly the risk of harm from “alternative” approaches, because anything that is not conventional can be labeled “alternative,” and there are a lot of wacky ideas out there about healing. In most cases, though, the major risk of pursuing reasonable alternatives is the risk of not accurately identifying conditions that are best treated by conventional medicine.

That is exactly why good, experienced Integrative Medicine physicians are important. When you study and practice two or more forms of medicine, you get a very different perspective of what constitutes medicine in the larger sense of the word. This broader perspective is especially important in working with people with chronic illnesses, hard to diagnose or treat illnesses, or in helping people cultivate wellness . A good Integrative Physician can help you find and navigate your path to healing through the maze of competing approaches to medicine.


Health-Care Debate

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

This opinion piece on the Health-Care Debate refers to an article printed in our local newspaper titled Health-Care Debate: A doctor prescribes addressing real issues by Dr. Scott Morris published in the Vacaville Reporter: 01/28/2011 01:04:06 AM PST. The first few paragraphs and link to the article follows my opinion.

The three points Dr. Morris focuses on are:

1. Admit government cannot do it all.
2. Confront our unholy love affair with technology.
3. Stop skittering around end-of-life issues.

I’ve been studying alternative approaches to health and wellness for the last 30 years. My working hypothesis is that unrecognized trauma (trauma includes experiences that do not fit with the definition of PTSD) can generate symptoms that are misdiagnosed and mistreated as disease.  Medicine/medical doctors do not recognize the difference between trauma based symptoms and organic symptoms in diagnosis and treatment.  If treated as a disease, trauma symptoms do not respond as expected. People who are not cured will have a chronic problem that often requires maintenance with drugs.

An alternative response to failure of medications to work is ‘we need more tests’ or lets try another drug.  Where there is good research showing alternative approaches achieve excellent results, that approach is not likely referred – Irritable bowel is an example.

Dr. Morris discusses his hard hitting observations about fear of death and the focus on death panels. He believes that patients are kept alive at great expense because of fear of death and not for love or care.

I believe the even greater over-arching unconscious motivation is fear of loss.


New! II Introduces Podcasts to Go!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

This year we are pleased to offer Podcasts to all — visitors and members alike.  Just click on and enjoy!

Listen to them at your convenience–they’re archived.

In our first podcast of January 2011, new president Juliet Rohde-Brown, PhD  interviews Martin Rossman, MD whose recent book The Worry Solution offers ways to change “bad worry” into “good worry” and life changing action. The science is compelling too as Dr. Rossman talks about the research on neuroplasticity.

Look for 6-8 podcasts this coming year, of exciting interviews with Imagery professionals, bringing you the latest applications and innovations, as well as the tried and true.

We are interested in your input on current podcasts and anyone you’d like to hear. Post your comments below.

Free Talk – The Magic of Imagery (with Cancer) Greenbrae, CA

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 5:30-7pm Marin Cancer Institute, 1350 South Eliseo, Greenbrae, California 94904

The Magic of Imagery
with Kathleen Colloton, RN and Susan Ezra, RN

Susan Ezra, RN

This is the last in a series of talks offered by Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California in the Integrative Oncology Speakers Series. The theme is The Power of the Imagination for Health and Healing.

The series covers integrative modalities. The talks help the patient choose an integrative therapy and practitioner for support during treatment and beyond into Survivorship.

To reserve your place, please call 925-7787

Everyone is welcome. Please pass the word on to any of your patients or clients. Click to download the information on The Magic of Imagery with Cancer.

Best regards,

Susan Ezra
(415) 925-6327

Belleruth Naparstek Rants about Military One Source

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

We are pleased to honor Belleruth Neparstek as Imagery International’s Imagery Person of the Year for 2009.  One of our reasons is her work to support our soldiers and veterans. This is her latest complaint about her inability to cut through the barriers on the government side and provide cost effective support to recovery from trauma.

New Rant to Military One Source: Dude, Your People Love Our Stuff! (Why Not Make It Easier?)

Hello again,

Belleruth Naparstek

I can’t tell you how many times we’re asked by people who work with the military, “How come your stuff isn’t available through Military One Source??”.

We get asked this by active troops and their families; by social workers and chaplains on bases; by docs at military hospitals; by mental health and health professionals who work with the various Transitioning Warrior and Wounded Warrior programs; and by staff at crisis call centers set up for returning warfighters.

And the irony is that while some heavy hitter DoD people – at DICoE and NICoE, at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital – ask this question, too, it appears that the hold-up is somewhere in the bowels of the very same DoD that hosts these institutions – lost in some bureaucratic hell perhaps?

It makes us crazy.

To read the rest of her story click here.

Let us know what can we do to reach soldiers in need?

Leslie Davenport on Guided Imagery in Hospitals

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Creating and Sustaining Hospital Based Imagery Programs
by Leslie Davenport, MFT

Leslie Davenport, MFT

Healthcare is in need of healing — as is the environment, food production, finances, and education.  We human beings, with our evolving minds and emotions, have such a marvelous capacity for inventiveness. Yet it is tragically easy to recognize that most of our systems are radically out of balance.

Part of the reason we careen down these dangerous paths is that most of us are not using our whole brains as we navigate decisions. As guided imagery enthusiasts and advocates, you are well aware that the area of human perception where images arise is underutilized and undervalued in our culture. Many of the subtle, intuitive, and soulful aspects of life which would provide life-affirming balance within our institutions are blind to the analytical lens we see through so much of the time.

The benefits of guided imagery in a hospital setting are multilayered, because imagery is not only powerful in helping people heal, but also in transforming healthcare.  Patients who are introduced to imagery experiences in the hospital are awakened to their natural but dormant imaginative domains. Becoming empowered through imagery goes home with them, and some people are intrigued enough to continue developing imagery skills for a range of life experiences beyond their medical concerns. In this way, imagery grows organically into their lives, and the excitement of this valuable discovery often spills over to their work, and circle of family and friends. Physicians and other hospitals staff also become educated to the power of imagery as patients spontaneously report the benefits of their sessions, such as reduced side effects, deceased anxiety and overcoming insomnia.

We are fortunate that the guided imagery services, which are part of the Institute for Health and Healing, are well integrated into all medical units at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. A team of twenty-four imagery practitioners provide imagery sessions in maternity, pediatrics, oncology, cardiology, transplant, surgery, palliative care and hospice. The imagery practitioners also participate in medical rounds, provide staff in-services, and facilitate imagery-based community support groups.

I began offering guided imagery in a hospital in 1989, and have since launched imagery programs at five hospitals. I would love to see more of these kinds of programs take root, and am excited to share what I have learned over the last twenty years.

You can visit the Institute for Health and Healing website to learn more about the Guided Imagery/Expressive Arts certification program. A student in the program has written about her experience here.

Integrative Oncology – Martin Rossman, MD

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 5:30 to 7:00 pm;  Marin Cancer Institute – 1350 South Eliseo Dr., Greenbrae, CA 94904. Please call 925-7787 to reserve space.

Integrative Oncology – How Medicine and Healing Can Work Together for YOU

with Martin Rossman, MD

Martin Rossman, MD is the author of “Fighting Cancer From Within”, and has produced a whole series of CD’s for those who are going through treatment for Cancer.  He’ll be speaking on how medicine and the Integrative Healing modalities can work together for you.  He will address how evidence of effectiveness and safety is evaluated, how you can best make decisions about what to incorporate in your personal plan, and how these modalities might fit into different stages of your journey through cancer treatment. While Imagery and Acupuncture will be stand-alone topics later in this series, he will certainly speak about them, as well as the area of Mind-Body medicine as it relates to Integrative Oncology.  Dr. Rossman has been a featured speaker all over the world, and we think you will find his talk a wonderful beginning for this exploration of Integrative Oncology.

Marin General Hospital and the Marin Cancer Institute present a New Integrative Speakers Series for the general public. Download a flyer 2010 Speaker Series Flyer.  This is the schedule for 2010:

Tuesday July 27
Martin Rossman, MD Tuesday,
“Integrative Oncology: How Medicine And Healing can Work Together for You”

Wednesday, August 25
David Gullion, MD
“Integrative Oncology: How to Talk about It with Your Oncologist”

Tuesday, September 21
Vicki Dello Joio & Denise Aubin
“Chi Gong: Cultivating Energy for Life”

Tuesday, October 19
Francine Halberg, MD & Regan Fedric
“Fitness: How It Fits Into Your Personal Plan for Survivorship”

Wednesday, November 10
Sharon Meyer, CN
“Nutrition for Survivorship”

Wednesday, December 8
Kathleen Colloton, RN, & Susan Ezra, RN
“The Magic of Imagery”


Register Now! – II’s October 22 Conference

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Imagery International’s Second Conference

Co-Sponsored by

Beyond Ordinary Nursing

Imagery for the Future: Illuminating Lives

October 22-24, 2010
Vallombrosa Center, Menlo Park, California

Visit Imagery International’s Annual Conference webpage to see our featured speakers and topics.  Their pictures and biographies are also posted here.  On the conference page you can conveniently register online or download, print the registration form and mail it in with your check.

Attendees who attend all workshops receive 11 contact hours, provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider #13833,. This course meets the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFTs/LCSWs as required by the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, provider #PCE 3201.

We have designed the conference to meet practitioners needs for an economical conference.  This is an exciting, educational and inspiring event for imagery practitioners no matter what your training. Your participation will help us mainstream guided imagery, so do plan to come.