Guided imagery (visualisation) explained: how to find your peaceful place


What is guided imagery or visualisation?

The technique of guided imagery has been around for centuries. Rooted in Ancient Greek times and establishing itself as a mainstay in Chinese medicine along with many religious practices, the gentle yet powerful technique can provide a whole host of positive outcomes within the spectrum of mental health and wellbeing.

Simply put, it is the process of being guided through peaceful, calming journeys being prompted to visualise; utilising the power of imagination to relieve symptoms and promote relaxation.

More recently, support for the practice began to build throughout the 1970s and 1980s as it started to gain popularity as a complementary therapy particularly used in the treatment of chronic pain, cancer and other serious illness.

Renowned Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung created his own form of guided imagery, referred to as active imagination. He said of the practice "when you concentrate on a mental picture it begins to stir, the image becomes enriched by details. It moves and develops, and so when we concentrate on inner pictures and we are careful not to interrupt the natural flow of events, our unconscious will produce a series of images that makes a complete story."

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