Guided Imagery is a way of walking a person through mental visualizations. These visualizations are meant to do a number of things, including relieving stress, changing underlying patterns, discovering answers to nagging questions, and spiritual awakening. Guided imageryhas been around for some time, but saw a large revival during the 1960s and 1970s, and is now a cornerstone of various alternative psychological treatment techniques.
One important concept of guided imagery, which may seem to go against the name, is that the type of seeing that takes place is not always visual for everyone. Even though images are often described by the guide, and seen by the recipient, sometimes the sense of seeing is more a sense of feeling or a rising up of various emotional states which convey a similar feel to seeing actual pictures in the mind’s eye.
Guided imagery is facilitated by some sort of a guide. This may be a licensed psychotherapist, a spiritual instructor, a teacher, or simply a friend. Depending on what the recipient is trying to get out of the experience, and what the guide is trying to convey, they may take different approaches. Most often, however, guided imagery begins with the facilitator leading the individual through deep breathing in order to create a relaxed state of mind and body. Once relaxed and fully immersed in the scenery of the mind, the individual can explore, learn, create and even release things that no longer serve them.