Psychology as Technology
for Self Development
Our Subconscious Mind , which is storing all of the information which determines us, our personality, doesn't speak with the words, it communicates with us via our body, through emotional responses. If you ever tried some self-observation, you could notice when we experience feelings, there is an image which is popping off in our mind's vision. This close emotion-image connection is used in Emotional Imagery Therapy. through images and methaphors we can communicate with the subconscious and rewrite it for our own will. The specific point about this direction is that it is not simply a set of techniques , its ultimate goal is to teach us to construct a language for us to speak with the subconscious. From NLP you know that , our experiences are coded in our brain in a specific manner (submodalities), by imagining them in the form of images ,achieving a change in image in a spontaneous way (the mechanical change of the image won't work), we can transform the experience, which is our deep seated beliefs system's base.
Methods of Emotion-Image therapy.
In a general way the method can be outlined in a simple scheme :
Feeling ➡ Image ➡ Transformation ➡ New Feeling
The first step is identifying a request , for example: the elimination of discomfort, which creates difficulty in social communication. First of all , a similar situation is imagined , and the feeling in the body is singled out. These feeling is only a symptom of the core problem.
2. Creating an image.
Now the person is required to portray this feeling in the form of image, which is standing before him in space, or on a chair. It is common to use the visual image, but in some cases the audial and kinaesthetic channel is also used (see perception channels ).
The image might also be drawn on a paper.
The first image which comes into mind is the authentic image, no matter how meaningless it might look to you. Do not try to change it by yourself. In some cases , there is a difficulty in identifying what the image is actually. In this case , the following trick can be used : "Let the image show full of its emotional potential" . And the image usually becomes more clearer afterwards .
3. The exploration and decoding of the image.
The image is explored from the point of view of its characteristics (size, color, shape), in terms of its function (how does it serve to the person?) in terms of atitude to and from the image (whcih attitude from the image does the person feel).
Not all the images are easily decoded. But taking into account the nature of the request (the problem) of the person and his life circumstances, finding out its content is not so difficult.
There is a list of common image interpretations.
Needles and daggers , usually symbolize painful feelings connected with love.
The image of a swamp - depression.
Items of steel and brick, subjectively localized in the head usually tell about strict commands and prescription of parents.
Image of a rock - symbolization of a parents which pressured the person.
4. Check-up for the fixation.
Under fixation we understand the existence of emotional-energetic connection between the image and the emotional state of a client. If this connection exists, the modification of the image , must bring the change in the emotional state of the person. For example, increasing the image in size must increase the negative feeling. This is just a check-up stage. In some cases it might help to portray the problem brighter, and help for achieving the awareness of the root problem.
For example: A client has been complaining about fear of public speaking. She portrayed this fear in a form of anuran. She didnt feel powerful emotions regarding the anuran, but when it was increased in size, the anuran has placed its foot on her throat and started to strangle her, which made her feel bad phisically. It was then founf out that she had a conflict with her father , when he ran to strangle here.
Here , one of the basic strategies of transformation might be suggested. Mostly used ones are : thoughtful interaction with the image, interaction with pair image.
The goal of transformation is bringing change to the emotional state which is creating the problem, not craeting new images. On an external plane the work is carried out on the image, on an internal - on an inner state of the person. That is why the sincere and emotional work of the client is needed.
The transformation is carried out untill the negative image transforms in to something positive, or eliminates completely. For example , the dissapearing black baloon symbolizing the aggression will mean the freedom from that feeling. Its confirmation will be the feeling of relaxation in stomach or area of solar plexus.
6. Reality check and integration of the new part.
The final step is checking the results. Usually firstly , the previous situation where discomfort was showing itself is imagined, what is experienced in imagination and what is experienced in real life is the same, so if the discomfort dissapeared, the problem has been solved. The next step is the integration of this new part of personality. After transformation , the new image has to be somatized, integrated into the body. You can imagine how you walk through new life pathway together with the image, and new emotional state is with you.
Techniques of EIT for different problems.
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