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Guided therapeutic imagery is a holistic therapy that has been used in a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches for many years. The basis of it stems from the concept that our minds and bodies are linked and when we visualise something, clearly and vividly our bodies react as if it were occuring in real life. If used correctly therapeutic guided imagery can be a powerful technique to over-come many ailments, including anxiety, depression, trauma, pain, maladaptive behaviours, habits, and achieving goals. Our emotions are incredibly powerful and as imagery and learning how to manage them means we can become more in control of ourselves and therefor our lives. Guided imagery can achieve this in a number of ways... 

Relaxing- guided imagery get into a deeply relaxed state and envision, with great detail relating to all of the senses, a relaxing scene. This scene may be something in the natural world like a beautiful waterfall in Hawaii or a cool and dense forest where you may take a calming walk in your imagination. 

reframing- Visualisation can give you new perspective that releases you from being hard on yourself and can help you let go of feelings of shame or guilt or persistent negative feelings. By re-imagining past scenarios you are not happy about (called “reframing” in psychology), so that you are almost ‘watching’ yourself, you might find you have more compassion for the choices you made, even if you did lose your temper or say things you wish you didn’t. You might also have new realisations about the situation in your relaxed state that also make you feel better about what happened. 

This all adds up to elevated moods. Putting your attention on positive scenarios and imagining things going well for yourself, or realising through visualisation you’ve been hard on yourself when you didn’t need to be, can all lead to more positive thoughts and feelings. 

 

-rehearsing: preparing for an upvoming scenario by visualising ourselves doing something well to increase our confidence and decrease our anxiety, such as an interview or a speech. 

-remembering – re-visiting a memory where by you are succeeding or achieving a goal that was once seeming impossiblelike a child learning to walk. Merely chaging your persepctive towards things you deem as insignificant achievemnets can help you to realise all of the inner resurces you have had to deploy manytimes before to overcome challenges or achieve goals. Remembering this, vividly in your mind with the guidance of a therapist can a help you to realise  what you are capable of. 

-creating positive scenarios, similar to remembering, positive scenarios and imagining yourself achieving at something or succeeding at an imaginary challenge such as climbing a mountan, that forces you tos tap into n inner strength that has so far seemed out of reach leading to more positive thoughts and feelings. 

guided therapeutic imagery can be its most affective when being lead by a trained therapist but it can also be learned and practiced by individuals on their own.it can take form of a simple story where you are the main character. But it can also take a free form style, where  you decide where you mind goes. The more detailed and evocative to the senses the imagery is the more your brain feels that it is actually happening leading to more posiitive results. Generic scripts can be found online or in other self help resources and are a good way to get started or to find out if it is for you, however, depending on the needs, wants and therapeutic goals of an individual it may be best to seek professional guidance first. 

a rocky stream running through a Jungle with lots of bushes, leaves and hanging vines.
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