Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, BCD
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her first book, Staying Well with Guided Imagery (Warner) is a widely used primer on imagery and healing. Her second book, Your Sixth Sense (Harper Collins) has been translated into 9 languages and called one of the most thoughtful and sophisticated looks at imagery and intuition. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award and was released in paperback January of 2006. Highlighted in the 20th anniversary edition of their seminal book, Courage to Heal, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis call Invisible Heroes, "the most useful book for trauma survivors to be published in the last decade".
As Prevention Magazine noted, she has been quietly creating an underground revolution among mainstream health and mental health bureaucracies, by persuading major institutions such as the U.S. Veteran's Administration, the U.S. Dept of Defense, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, United Health Care, Oxford Health Plan, scores of pharmas and nearly 2000 hospitals and recovery centers to distribute her guided imagery recordings, in many instances free of charge to recipients.
Recently she has been developing military-friendly resources with the help of the U.S. Army and the Ft. Sill Resiliency Center, and DCoE (Defense Centers of Excellence) has declared guided imagery one of their Twelve Promising Practices.
Her audio programs have been involved in over two dozen clinical trials, with nearly a dozen studies completed to date. Efficacy has been established for several psychological and medical challenges, most recently for military sexual trauma and combat stress at Duke University Medical Center/Durham Veterans Administration Hospital.
Naparstek received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago. She maintained her psychotherapy practice for over 30 years and for several years taught graduate students at The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. Earlier in her career, she supervised psychiatry residents at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School and was Chief of Consultation & Education at the Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health in Fairfax County, VA. She also did a brief stint as a musical comedy actress at Second City and The Tip Top Tap of the Allerton Hotel in Chicago, and says that her musical comedy skills sometimes come in handy for teaching