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Esther Kane, a counselor in British Columbia, Canada, offers books on relationships for women. She has a special affinity for those with eating disorders and has created six audio recordings that can be purchased and downloaded on to her site: www.endyoureatingdisorder.com. For $19.95, clients can purchase audio recordings on such topics as "Mindful Eating." These can be downloaded to an mp3 player and listened to anytime.
Belleruth Naparstek, a licensed social worker in Cleveland, is the author of Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma & How They Heal. In 1988, she had a robust practice, so she wasn't looking for a way to make more money; however, to meet the needs of a client who was undergoing chemotherapy, she made a guided-imagery tape. The tape was a hit. Not only did it help the client, but a waiting-room nurse in the hospital began requesting copies to use with other patients. Intrigued that an audiotape could provide such results, Naparstek started creating more tapes.
For years, she kept her practice while developing guided-imagery tapes for people struggling with different diagnoses. Then she decided to turn this process into a business. "I recognized that I was only going to help so many people with my practice, but with these tapes, I could help a lot of people, and I wouldn't even have to be there." Naparstek and a business partner persuaded Time Warner to publish the tapes, and have since created www.healthjourneys.com, a portal that posts research and practice articles, and offers scores of tapes, CDs, videos, and software. The site has a growing list of titles by other practitioners that promote not just guided imagery, but meditation, yoga, qigong, acupressure, and a host of other research-supported, mind-body methods.
"I love the autonomy and creativity that this business provides me. But it isn't just that," Naparstek reports. "Studies at Duke University are now showing that for PTSD, guided imagery, delivered via an audio download, leads to outcomes that are as good as or better than interventions with cognitive-behavioral therapy, and better than supportive therapy. This isn't just an alternative to Ôregular therapy': it's a portable, scaleable, affordable, self-administered product that works. And at a time when other businesses are struggling, ours is doing well, because we provide an inexpensive group of resources for stress."