Intervention quandary

Guided Imagery  - keeps gaining traction !
When does your psychotherapist send you to the doctor?
An intro into  this blog posting:

First and foremost let me assure the reader that this blog is an exercise in exploration of the multiple levels and crossover impact that complementary alternative medicine specifically in the areas guided imagery and meditation are playing in influencing illness and healing. It is not the intention of this blog to become another medical discussion but merely to support what is clearly becoming an important dialogue in our communities regarding self-care management and healing. Therefore it seems appropriate to begin with the following article.

Pushing evidence-based therapy out or into the box!

Just what is it that makes guided imagery and meditation so controversial in the area of complementary alternative medicine(CAM). First, it's because medicine is a science that is force feed on evidence-based research thus legitimizing only those treatments that clinically are repeatable and narrowly skews forms of treatment in the world of science. In contrast to that , we have additional modalities that are not evidence-based but on the fringes such as psychoneuroimmunology [a contrast between research-based evidence and theoretical new brain mind explorations] , body mind therapies, psychotherapy, hypnotism, all of which are  pushing at the evidence-based model. The significance of this shift for the reader of this blog is CAM's compelling evidence that favors guided imagery, meditation and relaxation for both practitioner and the patient / client. And this is because healing is not a linear progression of evidence-based constructs nor is it nonlinear in a pure imaginative realm. Healing is based on belief, treatment, and everything that falls in between. This blog is intended to inform both practitioners and patients. The relevance of the following material demonstrates the timeliness of the following conversation. The conversation that takes place as an open letter posted  Aug 19 2010, by the President at the national Institute for the clinical application of behavioral medicine. Interested then join in!

The president of the national Institute for the clinical application of behavioral medicine, Ruth's Buczynski PhD posted an open letter. The letter was for many a wake-up call for the community of practitioners to sensitize them to the realities that healing is a complex construct of multiple disciplines. The open letter was an outcropping from a recent tele-seminar of interviews: expanding the conversation regarding integrative medicine, psychotherapy, and other forms of complementary alternative medicine (CAM). Without specifically mentioning guided imagery or relaxation or meditation the gist of this open letter is to challenge her constituency regarding the new findings and compelling research involving the importance of maintaining a holistic integrative mindset regarding treatments that include psychotherapy/ CAM and medical intervention (YES MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS). At issue is which of these interventions regarding client well-being needs to be practiced.

Dr. Ruth's open letter was followed by an invitation for her community to review the thread of comments that clearly brought to the forefront the need within the therapeutic community a place for an honest dialogue. I feel that this letter of Dr. Ruth is the beginning of such a dialogue in the psychotherapeutic community. This quote references the flavor of some of the comments. I once heard Larry LeShan report about a prominent therapist asked what school she practiced, she said " I don't know what school I practice until I see and evaluate the patient". That's the way I work said Dr Le Shan. Dr. LeShan was on the ball.

On The Ball / missing maps / guided imagery

The letter goes on essentially to challenge status and status quo. Not to be rigid specialists. ( and in fairness to Ruth's marketing acumen , a pitch for an upcoming conference ). Addressing the practitioner community / therapists who are not practicing holistically to psychologists, social workers, and counselors the letter goes on to suggest that they are guilty as physicians when it comes to over specializing. And as a result are missing out on valuable avenues of treatment. Still deeper into the letter another quotation “all of our maps are useful, but it is my contention that most of us are missing one”. 

Essentially the context of this letter is declarative regarding the complexities of treatment and the depth of knowledge practitioners are required in order to do their holistic treatment effectively. As for for missing maps there is a third component what I refer to as the third messenger which is the message embedded in the SELF.  The self which is activated through deeper relaxation, breath and visualization, and creative imagination. The implications are clear when it comes to the importance of guided imagery as an alternative complementary therapy in that it in fact create states of well-being for patients that allow the healing process to find a degree of balance thus leading to an integrity of treatment by virtue of the fact that the patient can in affect be the prime mover of their healing process and free from the dictates of the effects of over medications and different types of intervention therapies. The patient/client is the decision maker as to treatment!The article is progressive and clearly challenging for most practitioners and a recommended read. The following link will take you to this article and numerous insightful comments. Mine included

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