By Rosemary Wentworth, MA, CGS, CAGS, CCDP-D, LCDC
At The Council on Recovery, one of the tools used in the Experiential Programs is Guided Imagery. Its lineage is over a thousand years old in many cultures: Taoist, Buddhist and Western religious traditions. About 40 years ago, medical pioneers Oyle, Drs. Simonton, Assagioli, Bresler, and Rossman began to research imagery in order to work with people dealing with chronic pain, immune dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, and other catastrophic illnesses.
Eventually, approaches from Jungian and Gestalt therapies, Psychosynthesis, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, object relations and communications theory were integrated in order to develop Guided Imagery. Psychotherapist Naparstek, working with Vietnam Vets on issues of PTSD at the Medical Center in Virginia, catapulted the use of Guided Imagery into peer reviewed research domain. Emerging out of this field is the concept of PTG, Post Traumatic Growth, which states that positive change can come as a result of struggle. Our clients struggle with addiction and recovery and can be helped along in their process with the tools of Guided Imagery.
Guided Imagery can be used to shed light on choices made that may have undermined well-being and to allow for a change of perspective that is more aligned with mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness.