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Thu Dec 13, 2007

Imagery Rescripting with Christian Content

Imagery rescripting, an established technique from cognitive-behavioral therapy, involves recalling a distressing memory, feeling the feelings associated with it, and then modifying the image in your mind so that it is less aversive and feeling the feelings associated with the modified image. Imagery rescripting has been found to be effective for minimizing negative symptoms associated with traumatic events.

For example, if you are bothered by a painful memory about being singled out and embarrassed by someone, I might help you to experience those feelings and then encourage you to alter the image to be less aversive, perhaps by picturing the person shrinking down to miniature size. By using this less intimidating image, we might be able to activate in you other emotions that you need to express (such as anger) in order to gain closure here.

One particular imagery rescripting technique that I use incorporates Christian content. In this technique, I might encourage you to modify the image by imagining Jesus entering into it and then processing what you experience. Clients will often report imagining Jesus hugging them or consoling them, which allows them to release significant emotion and restructure their perception of the original event. Many clients have said that they have found this technique effective, and some have even said that they believe something occurred on a spiritual level, which is wonderful.

This is an example of how Christian imagery can be used to develop a powerful image of resolution that can be associated with a previously unresolved memory in order to break its hold.

posted at: 14:34 | path: /imagery | link