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Assessing the Effectiveness of Guided Imagery as Therapeutic Technique

Assessing the effectiveness of Imagery as therapeutic technique
Relaxation Exercises

Assessing the Effectiveness of Guided Imagery as Therapeutic Technique

Imagery or the sound, smell and other sensory information that runs through our minds with a thought, are much like irrational thoughts that lead to mental illness in an individual. These thoughts can also be converted into positive emotions and behavior that, in turn, can be used for the treatment of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobia, affecting an individual.

With the advent of technology, guided imagery has come up as a new technique for the treatment of various mental illnesses. A therapeutic technique that can be used as a relaxation technique by psychotherapists, guided imagery helps an individual develop a positive mental image for themselves at any given time. Also known as visualization or guided meditation, this technique is beneficial in several ways such as reducing stress, improving an individual’s sense of well-being, etc.

Guided imagery can also lead to various positive physiological changes such as slower breathing rate, low blood pressure, and reduced heartbeat. Apart from these, the technique is beneficial in several other ways as mentioned below:

  • Relieves pain by causing distraction from the pain-points
  • Reduces chronic stress
  • Reduces level of cortisol
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps in quitting smoking by helping one cope with their cravings
  • Reduces symptoms of depression
  • Improves sleep quality

Steps for Guided Imagery

One may try using guided imagery by following a few simple steps. Some of these include:

  1. Sit and relax in a comfortable place.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  3. Calm your body and other senses.
  4. Visualize a calm and peaceful setting such as a lake, a garden, or a sea.
  5. Explore this setting with a few more details such as, birds chirping, warmth of the sun, sound of the waves etc.
  6. Try to savor the calmness of the scene.
  7. Open your eyes and reenter the present.
  8. You can reenter the scene whenever you want by following the same steps.

Health Issues Treated Using Guided Imagery

Several health issues can be treated using guided imagery that was initially treated only as a relaxation technique. Some of these include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Grief
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Relationship issues
  • Reduced interest in self-care
  • Family and parenting issues
  • Pain management
  • High blood pressure
  • Reduced performance among athletes

Guided Imagery May Not Work for All!

It takes hours of study and training to practice as a mental health professional using guided imagery to help individuals recover from their illness. The method can also be used by the health educators, personal coaches, body workers, and counselors. Although, some of the researchers suggest that the method may lead to false memories and is not recommended for the treatment of mental illnesses; there are others who believe that one can overcome these false memories based on simple factors like personal experiences, group pressure and others.

While there is no denying the fact that the technique might not work for every individual and that every person responds differently to a technique, it is important to remember that the technique is considered safe by all. The technique can be used without the help of a mental health expert. However, if the concern is big, it is recommended to seek help from a mental health expert.

If you would like to know and study about this therapy in detail, join the courses offered by Athena Foundation. Our experts at Athena Foundation will make sure that you get a proper training of the subject and gain expertise in this domain. Interested to know the complete details about the same? Drop us a message today at info@athena-foundation.com or call us at +91 9599093700 and one of our representative will get in touch with you shortly.     

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