Expressive Processes in Group Counseling: Theory and Practice

By Nina W. Brown | Go to book overview

8
IMAGERY

IMAGERY AS AN EXPRESSIVE PROCESS

Definitions and Description

Reveries, daydreams, imagery, and fantasy are very similar in many ways. Reverie is defined as "dreamy thinking or imagining, especially of agreeable things." Daydreams are "pleasant, dreamy thoughts." Imagery is "forms of the fancy; mental images" and fantasy is "in psychology, a mental image, as in a daydream, usually pleasant and with some vague continuity" ( Webster's Dictionary 1983). The Dictionary of Psychotherapy ( Walrond-Skinner 1986) defines imagery as "the inner representation of objects and events created at will by the conscious mind." Many therapists have made use of imagery in therapy, although their terms and uses differed.

Imagery was used by Freud in therapy for a period, but he shifted to using free association instead of imagery. Jung ( 1960) termed the form of guided imagery he used active imagination. Desoille ( 1966) developed the directed daydream. His technique involved suggested actions, events, or objects injected into the imagining. Leuner ( 1969) called his method guided affective imagery, Assagioli ( 1965) used a variety of guided imagery techniques which he termed psychosynthesis, and Ahnsen ( 1977)eidetic imagery conceptualizes the individual's original experiences to be filed in the psyche as eidetic visual units. These eidetic visual units can be retrieved through guided imagery. Each original experience is recorded in the psyche with three components: an image that portrays a situation, a somatic state composed of body feelings and the emotions attached to the image, and meaning of the image. The process of visualization is under the individual's control which is one way imagery differs from drawing.

Imagery, especially guided imagery, can be conceptualized as the spontaneous unedited reaction in symbolic form to external cues during a waking state. Although eyes are closed to better see or focus on the images, the person is awake

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Expressive Processes in Group Counseling: Theory and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • 1 - Foundations 1
  • 2 - Maximizing Outcomes 19
  • 3 - Nonverbal Communication 29
  • 4 - Theories 39
  • 5 - Guidelines 55
  • 6 - Applications 67
  • 7 - Art 81
  • 8 - Imagery 95
  • 9 - Dreams 107
  • 10 - Writing 119
  • 11 - Fairy Tales 129
  • 12 - Movement 145
  • References 153
  • Index 157
  • About the Author 161
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