Visualisation or Guided Imagery is a gentle cognitive technique in which a person imagines a relaxing scene or series of experiences. As our unconscious mind is fooled in believing this is actually occurring it can be very effective in relieving anxiety. Therapists can teach patients how to visualise relaxing images such as relaxing on a beach, enjoying a garden and or whatever is relaxing to them. As a Christian Therapist I encourage clients in my sessions to think on the Garden of Eden and other biblical scenes and often prayer is incorporated to reinforce positive changes.
Jesus was a great advocate of visualisation in the telling of parables. He painted vivid word pictures to help portray his teachings in such a way that people could easily visualise and understand them. This technique helped people “see” what had not yet occurred in their lives and helped them believe what had not yet come about. By addressing simple uneducated folk he cleverly used familiar subjects such as sheep and coins, servants and farmers, fish and wine etc to convey his messages.
Visualisation is one of many techniques that a Cognitive Therapist employs to help change negative behavioural patterns, Every person brings with them their own perceptions and model of the world so each session is unique to that client.
Issues such as Fear of Flying, and other anxiety related phobias can all be alleviated by reframing triggers to these negative mindsets. This technique can help alleviate a whole range of issues from smoking cessation to becoming socially more confident. It can literally empower you to take control of your life once again.