What is Guided Visualisation? – Creative Visualization. Why is Guided Visualisation also known as Guided Mental Imagery so widely used as a therapy, healing, and coaching tool? Used widely in personal development, sports coaching, and the creative industry? Why is Guided Visualization used for therapeutic change by so many healers, therapists, and coaches today?
What is Guided Visualisation?
Guided Visualisation sometimes referred to as Creative Or Guided Mental Imagery is actually known as katathym-imaginative psychotherapy. A mental technique that prompts our mind, our memories to stimulate or re-create certain sensory perceptions such as mental pictures, smells, textures, sounds and feelings.
Katathym-Imaginative Psychotherapy (Guided Mental Imagery) is a recognised therapy that was studied and developed in the 1950’s by Professor Hanscarl Leuner. He used it as a psychotherapeutic method of helping clients with a wide range of mental and emotional issues including Depression, Trauma, Eating Disorders, Stress, And Anxiety
But in many ways, mental imagery has been used for centuries and has widely evolved in not just psychotherapy but in many healing modalities. It is also widely used as a tool by many spiritual healers and energy healers. And has actually been used to help fight cancer and reduce symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment.
Simonton Method Of Guided Visualisation For Fighting Cancer
The Simonton Method was introduced in the ’90s. A guided visualisation technique introduced by Dr O. Carl Simonton that encouraged cancer patients to imagine their bodies fighting against cancer cells. This method is widely used alongside conventional medical treatments for cancer.
But holistic doctors and healers today use a variety of creative visualisation tools and mental imagery to help supports clients self heal. The key though is actually using imagery suitable for the client, the disease and other conscious and unconscious challenges that are contributing to the individual’s dis-ease.
My Journey With Guided Visualisation For Self-Healing
I have used Guided Visualisation For Self-Healing since the early ’90s and use it regularly to support clients.
A therapist first introduced me to using Guided Mental Imagery to help eliminate pain I had in my right ovary. During that one session, the pain completely dissolved and issues disappeared.
I remember when very ill in my early twenties playing over and over again an audio cassette of a guided visualisation of little pac men fighting against the bad cells in my body. I remember using this healing guided meditation while in hospital with a mysterious illness that developed into rheumatic fever and another infectious disease I had caught from another patient in the hospital who had died.
The Doctors asked what I was listening to, they noticed I seem to recover quicker than expected from some of the issues I was having. But not from some other conditions which I was frustrated with.
I have used mental imagery on my eye for over 25 years, after being mercury poisoned at 19 I developed a rare hole in the back of my eye which caused me severe pressure issues and left me with threatened eye loss. I have been able to maintain a certain level of eye pressure, and my eye is certainly a lot healthier than before.
These challenges and experiences were pivotal points motivating me to explore more deeply many different spiritual and holistic approaches to self-healing.
But I also came to understand the different dimensions and causes of disease and dis-ease from a spiritual and energetic perspective, which is a whole other subject.
Guided Visualisation Can Heal Or Harm
Now the reality is that Guided Visualisation can be a powerful tool that can really assist the healing process. But Guided Visualisation, Guided Mental Imagery like many therapeutic tools can also be harmful in the wrong hands. This is a tool that can be used in therapy and healing today to trigger and manipulate the unconscious.
If you are a healer or therapist who doesn’t understand the basics of the unconscious, the conscious, the way our mind suppresses or distorts our memories. Well, you may well be approaching guided visualisations as a form of therapy or healing in a less safe and effective way. A healer or therapist’s role is to DO NO HARM FIRST
You see, sadly I have experienced Guided Visualisations where the therapist or healers clearly had little or no understanding of what they were doing. Where the person guiding the meditation or visualisation did not know how to create a safe space, how to use the right language, and create positive anchors. One common area where therapists can re-traumatize the client if they don’t know what they are doing is inner child-guided meditations.
Hypnotherapy uses the power of mental imagery and NLP, to reprogram the mind, but again you want a hypnotherapist who knows what they are doing, I have had 2 experiences where the hypnotherapists clearly didn’t have the right or enough training, one basically tried to reprogram my mind by saying let’s fix your broken brain, one took me back to a memory of where I was drowning and then stopped session because they didn’t know what to do.
Even more worrying was the number of clients who came to me for help after similar disturbing experiences. One of the reasons I have written my Creative Visualisation Workbook which will be published on Amazon Soon! Creative Visualisation, Therapy and Healing Workbook For Therapists, Healers, and Coaches. Learn More
Guided Visualisation For Healing
The reality is that Guided Visualization is a widely therapeutic tool that can support self-healing. But we are all unique, every individual has their own life experiences; traumas, stressors, loss, and grief. Beliefs and conditioning that contribute to their unhappiness, dis-ease, disease, and reality.
One of the most simple yet effective things you can do to help them relax enough is to encourage self-healing.
Guided Visualisation For Relaxation
Guided Visualisation is a powerful way to help encourage your clients into deeper states of relaxation, deeper states of restore and repair. Many chronic health conditions are caused and exacerbated by stress and dis-ease, especially the inability to relax, the inability for the mind and body to go into deep states of relaxation and repair. That is why the theta wave in sleep is so important for our health and wellbeing.
In my work, I train students in Accredited Relaxation Therapist Training. Guided Visualisation is one of the tools we use to help clients deeply relax, to help clients become more empowered and motivated to create change.
We use Guided Meditations with Relaxation Techniques to help move clients off the anxiety and stress response into a state of relaxation a state of being.
Guided Visualisation And Mental Programming
Mental Imagery and Guided Visualisation are widely used today to help with mental programming.
The fact that Guided Imagery and Guided Visualisation works at the unconscious level means it can be extremely powerful at supporting healthier mental programming. But the reality is guided visualisation is used every single day by the media, the news, tv, films, advertising in many ways as a form of manipulative mental programming and persuasion. We only need to look at the emotional imagery that is used in politics and news to trigger certain emotions.
A powerful that tool can be used to harm or heal, empower or even disempower us through the mind.
That is why I believe it is so important for therapists to learn how to use safe effective anchors, to use safe language that is healing and empowering. That we have respect for the unconscious mind, that we understand trauma, and recognize that every client is unique in how they see the world, and what you find as pleasant and relaxing maybe actually uncomfortable, disturbing, or even frightening.
If you would LOVE to learn how to create your own safe and effective Powerful Guided Visualisation Scripts sign up for the opportunity to win a Free Creative Visualisation Course during the launch of my new workbook October 2021 LEARN MORE