The Therapeutic Guided Imagery Techniques

Guided Imagery

Photos represent our life memories. We might associate our feelings with images to remind us of them. They tell our stories, both happy and sad, those that end well and those that don’t.

someone looking at pictures


Understanding The Treatment: Practicing Guided Imagery

Pictures are also potent tools for evoking emotions; at the same time, they can be one of our relaxation techniques. Because of this, counselors might use a stress management technique called guided imagery. It makes use of the power of pictures to relax us. Guided image meditation or meditative visualization might be a good fit for you, especially if you are a photographer or interested.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery (or visual mental imagery) has been used as early as the ancient Greek period. Countries like China and India have also used guided mental imagery to be a part of traditional, religious, and healing practices.

During the 1970s, Dr. David Bressler and Dr. Martin Rossman pioneered helpful therapeutic mental rehearsal in counseling, integrating it with the treatment of physical illnesses such as chronic pain and cancer. Today, meditative visualization or also known as mental rehearsal or mental imagery, is an established alternative and complement to medicine.

This imagery is a type of meditation. To begin, you must be in a quiet place with little to no distractions. You must be in a comfortable position, one you will be able to hold for a while without fidgeting, where you can be guided by imagery.

What Images Do: Guided Imagery

During a meditative visualization session, your counselor will provide verbal directions for you to follow in your mind. For instance, they may ask you to envision a very peaceful place. It may be a natural landscape (nature-based guided imagery) or a comfortable room. It depends on what peace means to you.

Beautiful image of a foggy lake and mountainside

Your therapist (who specializes in meditative visualization) will instruct you to use all your senses to capture the whole scene. They may ask you to include sounds, textures, and even aromas in your photography. During these moments, you must abandon any thoughts besides that of relaxing photography. This is why meditative visualization in mental rehearsal/mental imagery is a good healing method.

Aside from influencing your mind, helpful meditative visualization is also designed to relax your body. When your mind is focused on calming photography, your breathing deepens, allowing your muscles to relax. This will relieve physical stress, tension and possibly aches that you feel in your body.

Therapeutic Guided Imagery Techniques/Imagery Approaches

There are different techniques used in helpful therapeutic photography. One popular method is listening to meditative visualization scripts. These scripts of guided meditation can be in the form of audiobooks or voice recordings. Once you have learned the technique, you may practice using scripts without the help of your counselor.

You can also do helpful therapeutic photography in a group setting. Your counselor can refer you to support groups that use this technique in counseling. There are also yoga classes that incorporate meditative visualization.

Another technique used in this treatment involves using music as part of the therapy. This relaxation technique is similar to the use of hypnosis. The relaxing music played in these sessions can also help you reach a state of relaxation faster. A major difference between meditative visualization and hypnosis is its purpose. The use of hypnosis helps a person become more accepting of new beliefs.

A woman doing yoga

Mental Rehearsal

Mental Health Problems That Can Be Alleviated Through Helpful Therapeutic Photography

In recent years, helpful therapeutic mental rehearsal/mental imagery in counseling has been a popular method in stress management. Studies show the effectiveness of this treatment in reducing disorder symptoms.

Some of the mental and emotional problems address through photography include:

  • Anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • Different types of stress
  • Relationship concerns
  • Family problems
  • Substance abuse issues

This new mental rehearsal/mental imagery counseling treatment can also manage maladaptive behaviors. It can help control impulsivity and compulsion.

Your counselor can also use helpful therapeutic images to manage your pain and blood pressure and enhance your performance.



Photography Library Sorted by Situation

Envisioning a peaceful and calming scenario can be difficult in a world with many distractions. Like any counseling method and technique, this treatment has its pros and cons. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, you can assess whether helpful therapeutic photography is for you.

Firstly, the good things. Unlike other stress management techniques such as yoga, mental rehearsal/mental imagery is also more inclusive. People with physical limitations can engage in the session without the risk of being injured. Plus, it significantly helps to reduce stress.

Mental rehearsal can disrupt negative thought patterns. This will help you become more resilient to stressful events. As a result, you will be influenced to have a more positive mindset. This can affect your mood and attitude throughout your day and your overall quality of life.

The only con for guided imagery is it can be difficult to master. We live in an age where information travels at a very high speed. Entertainment is at the tip of our fingers. It will take a lot of practice for you to immerse yourself in your mind completely. However, with the use of audio recordings or the help of your guided imagery counselor, you will be able to enjoy this technique.

Therapeutic Guided Imagery

Therapeutic guided imagery is just like taking photographs. But instead of taking pictures with a camera lens, we use our minds to create a live, vivid scenery. If you enjoy photography and the visual arts, you may enjoy incorporating this practice into your daily life. The few minutes it takes to practice mental rehearsal can greatly affect your mental and physical well-being.

This technique can improve the connection of your mind and body, providing easier access to your inner wisdom. Despite being a new method, guided therapeutic imagery in counseling offers an efficient alternative approach to improve your health.


What is an example of guided imagery or mental rehearsal?

What is mental rehearsal technique?

What is guided imagery What is it used for?

Is mental rehearsal the same as hypnosis?

Is guided imagery used for PTSD?

Is mental rehearsal a form of meditation?

Can anyone do guided imagery?

How effective is mental rehearsal?