Guided imagery therapy is a cognitive-behavioral technique where a client is guided to imagine a scene. Clinical observations suggest individuals react as though these scenes were actually occurring. These “induced” images can affect behavior and have been effective in teaching and modifying behaviors such as:
- Relaxation techniques.
- Changing or control negative emotional responses.
- Preparing clients for changes that are likely to happen in the future.
- Disposing of negative behaviors.
- Managing pain.
- Becoming motivated to deal with problems.
- Coping with past behavior.
Guided imagery has been particularly effective in treating:
- Anxiety disorders
- Sexual difficulties
- Chronic fatigue or pain
Therapists assess individuals problems at the beginning and throughout the process of therapy to educate the therapist of the client’s situation and diagnosis of the problem(s). These assessments general encompass developmental history, past traumatic experiences, medical and psychiatric treatments, and client goals. Clients will often have more than one problem, so the therapist and client must work together to prioritize and set treatment goals.
Clients are expected to see positive changes in targeted behaviors that leads to more positive feels, behavior, and thinking.