Imagery & imagery rescripting

Different imagery techniques are used in many different types of therapy, for many different purposes. There is evidence that imagery produces more powerful emotional responses than verbal representations. It is often claimed that imagery work can lead to changes in felt emotion, and that it can be especially useful when clients are stuck using cognitive techniques alone: "I hear what you're saying, but I don't feel it"

Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting
Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting

Imagery rescripting

Imagery rescripting is a particular type of imagery frequently used in the treatment of symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks and nightmares. There is also evidence that it could be useful in the treatment of intrusive images in other conditions including depression.

Imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT)

Imagery rehearsal therapy is often used for treatment of trauma-related nightmares.

Exposure, relaxation, and rescripting therapy (ERRT) 

Compassion imagery

The image of 'the perfect nurturer' is often used in Compassionate Mind Therapy (Gilbert / Lee)

Rewind technique / Visual-kinesthetic dissociation (VK Dissociation)

The rewind technique is frequently used by practitioners of NLP. Although there's not much scientific evidence for the effectiveness of NLP in general the rewind technique shares commonalities with other forms of exposure therapy and so is inlcuded here.

Key papers

Evidence - a selection of studies testing imagery rescripting procedures

Disclaimer: PsychologyTools accepts no liability for any consequences arising from the use of any of the resources made available on this website: good practice guidelines suggest that professionals should work within the bounds of their own competencies. Materials supplied here are intended to support good practice, not to replace it.

Acknowledgements/References: PsychologyTools tries as far as possible to reference all sources of original work, and will gratefully welcome any corrections.

© 2008-2015 Matthew Whalley