Guided Imagery and Meditation
Guided imagery is an example of the mind/body/spirit connection used for healing. It utilizes a human’s natural ability through their power of imagination. There are many different forms of imagery: patients may visit imaginary places, examine different issues in their life and come in contact with variety of forces moving in their body and soul. Imagery has been used for millennia by religions and spiritual movements – it is a part of our every day life.
Quite often, we confuse reality with our imagination as our body will frequently responds to imagination as if it was reality. A simple experiment can illustrate this. Imagine holding a lemon in your hand: looking at it, smelling it and touching it. Now imagine cutting this lemon and tasting it. You may suddenly find your mouth full of saliva even though there never was any actual lemon. You body simply responded to your imagination as if it was reality.
Imagery allows us to access the deeply hidden closets of our unconsciousness. It requires only openness and curiosity from the patient. The imagery is easily provided by the patient’s mind.
One of the easiest ways to produce imagery is by just guiding a client through a variety of healing places. If there was a conflict, I help them imagine facing the person they had the conflict with. The possibilities are endless but a therapist can only take a patient as far as their imagination can go.
I use a variety of imaginary techniques and they have been an invaluable part of my practice. Often, a patient may not feel comfortable initially or may be threatened by the images they come in contact with. It is important to use imagery gradually and go only as far as the patient is ready to go.
Imagery allows one to transcend time. An adult man may suddenly see his father as he did when he was a little boy. The great thing about imagery is that it is a patient who does all the work – I am just a fascinated observer sitting next to them. I never know what will happen and where it will bring us. Still, in my experience, it is the safest method around.
Since I learnt the Systemic Family Constellation approach, it has enhanced my practice of guided imagery. Now, imagery is more often an interactive, exciting process where the alive and the dead can interact with the patient. It has become a truly healing tool.
Following a session I usually give a patient an assignment to draw, write or do some other exercise. It helps them become a healer for themselves.
Meditation – has been used for centuries by many different cultures, spiritual and religious movements. The scientific community is finally paying attention to this time proven technique, recognizing its unique effectiveness in healing multiple emotional, spiritual and psychiatric conditions, as well as in facilitating self-care and balance. It gives a client an opportunity to be his own healer. There are many ways to learn meditation, from listening to cassettes to attending courses, during the office visit or biofeedback session. Simple meditation techniques can be easy to learn and practice.