Guided Imagery Essays

891 Words Apr 20th, 2006 4 Pages
Mind/Body Connection Technique of Guided Imagery Guided imagery is as old as psychotherapy itself. However, as a relatively new approach in the United States, guided imagery is experiencing a real wave of respect and is part of the cutting-edge process in the new mind/body medical procedures. There are many names for this process: visualization, mental imagery, guided affective imagery, active imagination, and interactive guided imagery.
For the first time in history, Western-styled allopathic medicine is embracing alternative healing methods, such as yoga, meditation, and guided imagery. Major universities and hospital centers are combining imagery with traditional healing practices as a major tool in healing catastrophic illness,
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Jung remarked: "When you concentrate on a mental picture it begins to stir, the image becomes enriched by details. It moves and develops, and so when we concentrate on inner pictures and we are careful not to interrupt the natural flow of events, our unconscious will produce a series of images that makes a complete story." (Jung, 1979) Jung's explanation remains one of the simplest and clearest descriptions of what guided imagery is and does. Jung further commented that this active imagination process was superior to dreams in defeating the unconscious for a quickening of maturation in analysis. In other words, imagery is superior to dreams in overcoming or defeating the unconscious mind's resistance to allowing buried truth to come to conscious awareness. Bringing this truth to the surface, where it can be acknowledged and properly dealt with, speeds up the therapeutic growth in analysis. German analyst Hanscarl Leuner, MD, called his basic level of imagery, "A superior short term therapy that closes the gap between symptom-centered procedures and the great psychoanalytic cure." (Leuner, 1984)
When a therapist works with guided imagery, he or she induces a state of relaxation and then suggests that the client visualize a scene. The therapist then guides the client through some visualized experience that
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