Guided Imagery: Mind and Body Connection

Topics: Unconscious mind, Consciousness, Mind Pages: 3 (889 words) Published: April 12, 2006
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, and to promote quicker recovery from surgical procedures. Pioneers in this field, such as Bernie Siegel, MD, and Carl Simonton, MD, both oncologists and best-selling authors, have been successfully utilizing guided imagery for over 20 years in the treatment of cancer. Guided imagery, a low-tech relaxation technique, reduces pain and anxiety after colorectal surgery, helping people heal better and faster. Pictures are the universal language of the mind. These pictures provide a connecting link between the conscious and unconscious minds. Psychologist Jeanne Achterberg, PhD, often describes this process of imagery as being "the midwife that births feelings from the unconscious to the conscious mind." (Achterberg, 1985) Freud believed the unconscious makes up 90% of the mind, and that the conscious makes up only 10% of our brain function. He proposed that all our true motives and causes for behavior are buried beneath our conscious awareness. The implication was that all of us function from unconscious motivation. Psychologist Gordon Alport felt that the unhealthier you are the more you function from the unconscious, and the healthier you are the more you function from conscious awareness. Carl Jung called his version of imagery...

References: Achterberg, J. (1985). Imagery in healing: Shamanism and modern medicine. Boston: Shambhala.
Jung, C. G. (1979). Word and image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Leuner, H. (1984). Guided affective imagery. New York: Thieme-Stratton Inc.
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