Guided Imagery Therapy

Guided imagery therapy is a part of cognitive and behavioral therapy. It is considered to be a very effective way of treating a patient suffering from depression. In this therapy the patient is made to think of positive thoughts and imagine things which would make him happy. This is a completely safe therapy with no side effects. This therapeutic treatment which is being used on depressive patients is considered to be one of the best treatments. Apart from depression guided imagery therapy is also used in several other ailments.

What is Guided imagery therapy used for?

One can understand immediately that guided imagery therapy deals with imagination of a person. The person is asked to imagine about a peaceful location. Then later on the person is made to feel and sense the surroundings which are there around him. This process will help the person to relax and enjoy the feeling. Many researches have drawn to a conclusion saying that forced images can have a significant effect on the persons behavior. Keeping in mind the effects of this therapy psychiatrists started using this therapy for many things.
The various purpose for which this therapy is used are,

  • relaxation of the mind and body.
  • controlling the negative emotions and reacting in a positive way to a particular situation.
  • Mentally becoming strong or preparing for the future consequences.
  • Treating mental disorders. It is effective in treating disorders like sleep disorder, bipolar disorder and major depression.

Guided Imagery Therapy for depression

Imagery therapy is also implied in depression patients. This therapy involves behavioral and mood disorder treatments too. For depression patients guided therapy has the same procedure except the goals for the patient is changed a little. The procedure used in guided imagery therapy for depression patients is given in the following steps.

Step 1:

First step is to relax your body. Breathing is rated one of the easiest and best ways of relaxing. Therefore most of the physicians use breathing as the initial relaxation method. Inhale a long deep breath and then hold your breath for 10 seconds. Then slowly exhale. This procedure is to be repeated for 3-5 minutes. This will relax your thinking and your physical body. The body should realise that it needs to be in a relaxed position. Therefore this technique is implemented.

Step 2 :

Now that the body is relaxed, settle in a sleeping posture and then direct your thoughts towards visualizations. Imagine a place where you feel safe and in peace. For instance, consider a beach. When you imagine yourself in a beach, you should slowly try to feel the surroundings that are there. Feel the breeze coming on your face, the warmth that is there underneath you, the sound of the waves etc. Most importantly feel happy. Let go all the negative thoughts or doubts you are having about yourself.

Step 3:

You can observe that there is a light, an energy which starts to develop in you. This energy is meant to be used. You need to take in the energy so that you can become stronger. This light will help you in increasing your positive intent, the true nature of you. The negative thoughts are meant to be fought and removed from your system. This energy will help you in doing so. Now slowly return to reality keeping in mind all the things you have noticed about yourself. Consider the retrospection which you have had and develop accordingly.

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