Imagery International Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Counseling’ Category

Linda Blachman Transitions Workshops – SF Bay Area

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Hello dear colleagues,

Linda Blachman

Linda Blachman

I’m delighted to announce the launch of my life transitions workshops for women midlife and beyond, starting mid-July in Berkeley, California. There will be two concurrent groups,
5 sessions each, Wednesdays, 7-9 pm, Sundays 2-4 pm.

Each session will engage you with a variety of ideas, practices and tools (including
guided imagery) for connecting deeply with yourself and the present moment and discovering a creative path through change.


You can find more information on my website:


Need to Empower Your Inner Child?

Monday, May 12th, 2014

“Frozen” to Free: Empowering Our Inner Child

Glenda Cedarleaf

Glenda Cedarleaf

I rarely feel drawn to animated movies but I do love children’s stories. One Friday night when I was feeling very sad, I decided to go to the movies at the last minute and picked “Frozen”.

Someone had recommended it but I did not expect it to be much more than an escape from the grief that was weighing heavily on my heart. I ended up loving this beautiful animated journey and when I walked out of the theater, hope was in my heart again.

This story celebrates our inner power.

The relationship between the sisters and the power of the song “Let it Go” reminded me of our archetypal hero’s journey and how we make meaning and heal our lives through facing our fears and finding our allies and restoring our faith.

I invite you to read the entire article by clicking here.

I value your thoughts – please share them in the comments box at the end of the article.

Your host at the Haven of Relaxation

Happiness is Doing This

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Happiness: Savoring is the Antidote to Habituation

by Glenda Cedarleaf,

Glenda Cedarleaf

Glenda Cedarleaf

I attended a workshop last Friday on Positive Psychology with Dr. Lynn Johnson. His opening remark was about how amazement is our natural default state of mind. Unfortunately, we can easily fall prey to habituation. The antidote to habituation is to develop the process of savoring, of reconnecting with our sense of wonder and deep appreciation of our lives.

This got me thinking about why I love guided imagery. When we settle into an imagery journey, it is as if we are taking a magnifying glass and looking deeply, into the sights and sounds and kinesthetic sense of the experience. The theta brain wave state enhances this deepening. How satisfying to be fully present, to let go of distractions and truly be in the journey.

Click here to read the entire article and to watch the video  and receive a free downloadable E-Book and meditative video.

Glenda Cedarleaf, MSW LCSW

Clinical Hypnotherapist

Holistic Psychotherapist and Coach

Women’s Group and SoulCollage(R) Facilitator

Podcast Interview: Image as Healer

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

October 2013 Conference Speaker Kate Sculti: Image as Healer

Click HERE to listen.

Kate Sculti

Kate Sculti

Kate Sculti,RNP, MPH,FAMSF Docent, talks with Lea Bayles, Program Director for Imagery International, about her passion for the healing power of imagery and about her experiences combining imagery with art in the innovative Art and Healing Program she has designed for veterans. This program, currently in the pilot stage at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, brings the healing power of the image, via artistic engagement, to ill, injured and grieving individuals. Kate, a health professional for over 20 years and an Imagery International board member, will be a featured presenter at the 5th Annual Imagery International Conference in Burlingame California, October 4-6, 2013, offering the workshop: Image as Messenger of Meaning – Image as Healer.

You can contact Kate by email HERE.

Podcast Interview: Imagery and Sacred Sound

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

October 2013 Conference Speaker Nina Redman: Imagery and Sacred Sound

Click HERE to listen.

Nina Redman

Nina Redman

Nina Redman explores the connections between sound, spirit, imagery, healing, and “risking something big for the sake of something good” in this conversation with Lea Bayles, Imagery International Program Director.

Nina Redman is a semi-retired psychotherapist in Seattle Washington with a deep passion for the mind-body and spirit connection. She uses imagery extensively in her practice and often combines imagery with EMDR  (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Toning, a sounding technique, Nina is particularly skilled in helping people through life-threatening health crises by teaching mental interventions which benefit both physical and emotional health. Nina has been on the faculty of the Academy of Guided Imagery and has utilized her imagery work with the patients of numerous doctors, including Andrew Weil, MD. Nina will present the workshop, Invitation to Awe, at the Imagery International conference in Burlingame California Oct 4-6, 2013.

Contagious in the Best Ways

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Being Contagious In All the Best Ways and Imagery News

by Leslie Davenport

Leslie Davenport

You know what it’s like when an angry person walks into a room, and tension ripples through the group atmosphere? Or how calm you feel when you talk with a particular friend, regardless of the topics? And how fun it is to be caught in a laughter fest?

Spiritual traditions have described, and others have instinctually known, that we are contagious – we emit moods, vibrations, states of being that impact those around us. And science has recently offered one explanation with the discovery of mirror neurons.

This is great news! Our very being communicates. And the more conscious and present we become, the more we can make a positive contribution in simple day-to-day moments. Consider that when we interact with others while in a peaceful, loving state, it’s not just modeling behavior: You are actually lighting up the very nervous system of another.

This doesn’t mean denying feelings or hiding out if you are not in the best mood. It is about recognizing the choices we have, the impact we make, and the practices available to us.

Practice: Take a few moments to let your breath flow from head to toes, releasing muscular tension on the exhalation, and feeling (more…)

Anorexia and Bulimia

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Anorexia and Bulimia – What’s the Difference Emotionally
by Maureen Minnehan Jones
September 19, 2012

Maureen Minnehan Jones

Anorexia and bulimia are opposite eating disorders. Anorexia refers to starving oneself while bulimia means eating excessively and compulsively, then purging food by vomiting or using laxatives.

These two disorders differ in their belief-based emotional origins, too. Anorexic individuals may believe that self-empowerment leads to abandonment while those with bulimia may believe that “disguised love”—rejection and punishment—are the same as love.

Let me explain. A belief about oneself is a self-judgment that has become a permanent truth. When viewed altogether, our beliefs create patterns that define us and that can also confine us. How each of us operates in the world is our MO (modus operandi) based on how we’re programmed and the beliefs that make us who we are. However, the common core belief anorexics and bulimics may have is an extreme fear of being abandoned if they show up as their true selves. Sadly, this deep fear results in self-abandonment, thus magnifying their emotional pain. Each of these disorders has its distinctions.

Core emotional belief of anorexics (more…)

Martin Rossman, MD on Sleep and Stress September 6

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Martin Rossman, MD will be giving a talk on Sleep and Stress

Martin Rossman, MD

When:   Thursday, September 6th

Where:  Stress Management Center of Marin

1165 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur

Time:    7:00PM – 9:00PM.    No late arrivals.

Cost:    There is no charge for this and you  are welcome to bring friends and family.

Please RSVP to 925-8600 or, though, as seating is limited and they don’t want to turn people away at the door.

Also a  reminder:  Dr. Rossman will be teaching mind/body medicine in Italy from September 19th to the 30th.  There is still room in the Italy seminar for health professionals looking for great CME and a tax-deductible Tuscany adventure.  To see more click on Italy Seminars 


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