What is guided imagery?
It is a process of deliberately using your imagination to help your mind and body heal, stay well, or perform well. It’s a kind of directed, deliberate daydream, a purposeful creation of positive sensory images –sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel- in your imagination. For example, you might create images of your immune cells fighting germs; you can imagine feeling confident and being successful when taking tests or you could “rehearse” a perfect performance when playing sports. Under the right conditions, your mind and body will believe these images are real, and will respond accordingly, with varying degrees of efficiency, intensity, and success.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a simple and pleasant approach that guides you into deep relaxation and high concentration to re-focus the subconscious mind. These techniques can activate the natural healing process that already is present in the body. In the context of therapy and a skilled clinician hypnosis can be used for many things creating faster and long lasting results.
Is imagery the same as hypnosis?
Yes, in a sense it is, but hypnosis is really a broader category that includes verbal suggestion and thoughts without images along with guided imagery. For instance, telling yourself in the altered state that you’ll be calm and confident qualifies as hypnosis. Seeing yourself that way, in sights, sounds or feelings is imagery. Although hypnosis also uses images, it isn’t limited to them.
Guided Imagery and Hypnosis in therapy can greatly contribute to an individual’s health and well-being in the following areas:
- Anxiety and phobias
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Cancer Treatment
- Grief and mourning
- Fear of going to sleep, nightmares and night terrors
- Social anxiety
- Tics and tremors
- Academic performance, text anxiety
- Pain management
- Stomach ache
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Hair pulling, nail biting, thumb-sucking
- Chronic overeating