The Importance of Imagination in Therapy 

Written by NRPC Editorial

March 6, 2024

The Importance of Imagination in Therapy 

What I am about to write here is true not just for Past Life Regression therapy but for hypnotherapy generally and almost every other therapy you will come across. 

Let us consider a few:

BWRT® – the client needs to be able to imagine a preferred response, and sometimes a future memory. 

Hypnotherapy for weight loss, the client needs to be able to imagine themselves making healthier food choices, being slimmer, exercising more.  Think too of symbolic removal; the client needs to be able to create a representation of their unwanted feeling or pain. 

Swish – the client needs to be able to imagine two images of themselves.

Do you see what I mean?  Can you imagine being able to effectively deploy those therapies without imagination?

Imagination is a power.   I want you to be very certain of this.  

It is a natural power and potentially infinite resource that we tap into every single day, so frequently, so successfully and so automatically that we hardly know we are doing it unless our attention is drawn to it. Conveying this fact to your clients is one of the keys to unlocking successful therapy with them. 

There are those clients who struggle with certain aspects of therapy, whether it is regression to cause or past life regression, whether it is Parts Work, a garden bench scene or Time Line, the Fast Phobia Cure or something else. There are multiple reasons for this, but I want to consider two of them.

Very often clients erroneously believe that their role is a passive one, and that all they need to do is to sit back, close their eyes and the images plop down into their minds as if you are broadcasting images into them.  Just think about that for a moment.  The client sitting there, eyes closed, passively waiting for you to put thoughts into their minds….. That is rather worrying, don’t you think? 

Then there are those clients who distrust their own imagination, just as many of them distrust their own experience of the world.  You can easily identify the client with a distrust of their own imagination or of their experience of the world; they use words and phrases like “kind of”, “maybe”, “possibly”, “I’m not sure”. They will often seek clarification so that they give you the answer that they think you want, rather than answering truthfully. 

When working with these clients whether in regression to cause, or past life regression they will want the images, ages, dates and scenes to drop into their minds like you or I are projectionists, often they feel that imagination is fraudulent, that they are making it up, that it is not real.  

We must get it across to our clients that imagination is not fraudulent – it is REAL!   Imagination is a very real activity which has observable and measurable physiological effects. Imagination affects and changes our reality.  You know this, don’t you?  

Maybe there is a doubt in your mind? If there is you must run down that doubt like the impeccable hunter who follows, flushes out and captures his prey. Otherwise you run the risk of conveying your doubt, consciously or unconsciously to the client. 

But don’t worry – you know I’m right about this.  Ask a client to think about a bag of salt and vinegar crisps, or hot fish and chips with aromatic salt and vinegar rising up to their nostrils, setting their taste buds bursting with the tang at the back of the tongue.  OK, for them it might be prawn cocktail crisps, or something else.  But chances are, even imagining doing this with a client, that YOU experience the effects. 

You might even have used as a convincer the technique of getting them to imagine holding, smelling and eventually biting into a lemon.  You could talk about yawning to see how easily you elicit the desired physiological response that is so hard to resist.  If you are feeling devilish you could talk about nits and fleas until you have the client writhing and scratching. 

So, believe me when I say that imagination is also a power and a potentially infinite resource.  By using our imaginations well we solve problems, using it badly we create them. 

Are you a parent?  Have you ever “thought” about how you were going to answer your kid’s question on where babies come from, menstruation, what happens after death, or explaining why you and their other parent are splitting up?  Have you taken on a DIY project at home, thought about how much wall-paper you might need, how it would look in that room that doesn’t get so much light, or the order in which you will clear the room, or work around larger pieces of furniture? You were using your imagination.  That wasn’t fantasy, it wasn’t fraudulent. It was real. You discovered potential pitfalls and short cuts, and might have even decided it’s better to leave it to someone else.   But you did that using your imagination. 

Imagination is how we work out the best way of being ourselves.  It is how we plot and  plan our domestic doings like shopping for dinner or deciding upon more exotic excursions abroad.  Aside from our passive automated processes of body and mind it is our imagination that gets us from A to B.  Our imagination enables us to see ourselves in the future, happy with the person we are dating.  Being able or unable to imagine this or that is a way of testing our feelings, of testing reality,  in a way imagination is the sense through which our experience of reality is refracted, mediated and affirmed.  

Earlier I said that the effects of imagination are measurable. There are many research papers that provide evidence of this.  Here is a link to an article more accessible for the imagined “average client” Become 35% Stronger by Using Your Imagination.

Once you have understood this yourself at a number of levels you will be able to convey this to your client with complete certainty and provide examples that resonate with you and them.  Once they know that they are to play an active role in their own therapy, and that they have to work at what you are asking them to do with your guidance they will gain confidence in the therapy and in you, and once therapy is successful they will also have gained the experience of success and a blueprint for any future successes that they might care to imagine. 

Gavin Bowtell – essexmindcoach.co.uk

Published : Mar 6, 2024