First and most importantly, Guided Imagery is NOT hypnosis. Guided Imagery is the use of music and verbal script that brings your conscious mind into a relaxed state where your sub-conscious can bring in dream like symbolism. These symbols can be used to address pain management issues, life challenges, issues that may have occurred in your past that still cause distress, as well as, but not limited to, assisting your immune system in cancer treatments, stress and anxiety reduction, and even PTSD.
Guided Imagery can be compared to a waking dream state where a person is introduced into a safe environment of their own choosing where they are guided to a situation that will allow them to experience sights, sounds, smells, emotions, tastes, tactile situations all within a place of safety. This will allow the client to gain insight into current or past situations that are causing distress in the present as well as how to overcome the situation.
Carl Jung said of dreams:
“I have no theory about dreams, I do not know how dreams arise. And I am not at all sure that – my way of handling dreams even deserves the name of a “method.” I share all your prejudices against dream-interpretation as the quintessence of uncertainty and arbitrariness. On the other hand, I know that if we meditate on a dream sufficiently long and thoroughly, if we carry it around with us and turn it over and over, something almost always comes of it. This something is not of course a scientific result to be boasted about or rationalized; but it is an important practical hint which shows the patient what the unconscious is aiming at. Indeed, it ought not to matter to me whether the result of my musings on the dream is scientifically verifiable or tenable, otherwise I am pursuing an ulterior-and therefore autoerotic-aim. I must content myself wholly with the fact that the result means something to the patient and sets his life in motion again.”
Clients are encouraged to interpret the symbolism of their guided imagery experience rather than the counselor giving his interpretation. The symbolism will be unique and personal to the client and they will be the judge of how successful the experience was.
WebMD states the following concerning Guided Imagery:
Guided imagery has many uses. You can use it to promote relaxation, which can lower blood pressure and reduce other problems related to stress. You can also use it to help reach goals (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage pain, and promote healing. Using guided imagery can even help you to prepare for an athletic event or for public speaking.
Guided Imagery has also been shown to assist students in dealing with test anxiety.
Feel free to schedule a no obligation Guided Imagery demonstration as part of your treatment plan.