Imagery in Hypnosis
All hypnosis requires an understanding on the Hypnotherapist's part of mind symbols and how to find the client's symbols during the therapeutic process. Each client has their own unique symbols based on their life experience. These symbols can be extremely important, especially when the Hypnotherapist is building inferred suggestions. For those clients who are more inferentially suggestible, imagery can be an excellent tool.
Imagery is a process that involves all of the senses. It is beyond visualization. While visualization can be an element, not always is it included in an imagery process. In imagery, clients are encouraged to also "notice the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the feel...." Since the mind doesn't recognize the difference between realities and fantasies, it seems that imagery constructs could accomplish new experience that is fuller and richer than visualization alone. Yet, it all depends on the client. Some clients respond to imagery, others request a more standard "visualize and imagine" approach. Although it may be a matter of preference of experience, this response variation could also be more dependent on what is going on in the client's life.
While there are different types of imagery processes, all work in imagery has an autonomous feel to it. Those who are facilitators of imagery processes usually hold the thought that the client will find their answers within. "Allow an image to form that represents...." is often a phrase heard frequently when working in imagery. Allowing an image to spring to mind rather than forcing it, is more encouraged. Even guided imagery scenarios, which may include archetypal symbols, allow room for the client's own subconscious symbols to arise. Traditionally, imagery processes may take a little longer to do in session, yet the results of the imagery come quickly.
When an imagery process is being experienced, the client is in a state of hypnosis, whether an "official induction" has been done with the client or not. It is a lighter state of hypnosis, since often the client will speak during the process. The word 'hypnosis' may not always be used with those who do imagery processes, but with Hypnotherapists, the word imagery is often used. Imagery has taken a giant leap up to the forefront in use within the last decade.
This is a term that is frequently used by hypnotherapists to help the client produce new positive pictures to look at while they are in a state of hypnosis. By visualizing, the client can "see" in their mind's eye a specific something. Since the brain learns by pictures, visualizing is a tool that can help the client to see themselves in new ways and begin to break up old learned habits, conditions, or behaviors.
While the client is in a state of hypnosis, the hypnotherapist might ask the client to "imagine" various positive scenes or images that have to do with the issue being worked on. Often, for someone who has difficulty "seeing" with their eyes closed, or visualizing, the word "imagine" will stimulate pictures that the brain will understand and learn.