Guidedimagery Intervention

• Using your own language, introduce the imagery by explaining to group that as they will be ending in_weeks you would like to take them on a journey of imagination to a time after the group is actually over.

• Secure verbal permission and/or head nods to do so, after answering any questions that might come up about guided imagery. Give group a time frame for how long the imagery portion will last, usually about ten to fifteen minutes.

• Make certain that enough processing time is left in the therapy session, at least forty-five minutes but preferably an hour. You can refer back to the imagery in subsequent sessions.

• After utilizing an approximately five-minute induction of your own choosing (Yapko, 2003) create a scene one month following the end of the group; utilize all senses and incorporate seasonal information. Remember to speak slowly, softly, and distinctly. Leave pauses (see the following example) for members to develop their own imagery and access their memories.

Example

Allow yourself to imagine sitting on the beach on a beautiful, sunny day in July... It is warm but not too warm____A breeze is gently blowing and you can feel the sun's rays on your skin. .. .You smell the tang of the salt air, the scent of sunscreen The sound of the waves gently washing onto the shore is like background music... .You watch the people playing in the water, enjoying their pleasure. . . .You sit comfortably, supported with the warm sand. There is nothing you have to do, nowhere you need to go,... you are comfortable, relaxed____You notice, to your surprise ... that the muted sound of the voices of other people on the beach brings you back to a vivid awareness of this group, like you were watching a video.

With that video playing in your head, you allow yourself to look carefully at each face in the group Allow yourself to be surprised at what you notice ... for I do not know and you do not know just what this awareness might be for you. Be aware of who you wish to look at further, just like when you were in the group, perhaps noticing who you may find it easy ... or difficult to look in their eyes. . . . Imagine each person looking at you . . . and because this video has sound, you can hear each member speaking You can allow your mind to drift deeper and focus on what is most important to you in these images Perhaps you are relieved that you did not avoid the ending of the group because it may difficult to say goodbye or may have reminded you of other endings in your life____Allow yourself to be fully aware of how you felt in the group with each of the members. ... Who, if anyone, did you feel attracted to and who did you feel you needed to have distance? Allow yourself to be aware of how that experience happened Did anyone in the group remind you of someone in your "real life" and did this affect how you interacted with them? You can gently notice if you told members of their impact on you, either positive or negative or in between? If not, how did you make that choice? ... Who do you wish you had supported more? ... or confronted? How did you make those choices to hold back?

____Perhaps you kept yourself from getting more of what you wanted out of group? ... Or, did you worry that you had asked for "too much"? ... Allow yourself to imagine what might happen if you talk about these feelings____As you continue this fantasy, be aware of any unfinished business. Imagine having attempted to work this through. . . . And, as this imagery begins to end: From whom did you learn? And what was that awareness? . . . and what have you learned from the group as a whole? What has been said, and experienced that you may wish to take with you into the rest of your life? Take a minute to review these experiences . . . allow yourself to hold them in your memory for the future ... (leave a full minute of silence)... and now, come back to this room, with your awareness that our group is not yet over in reality and you have an opportunity to use this guided imagery experience to deeply utilize the rest of the time we have together..."

Optional

Is there anything that the (use name's/leaders) did that helped you open up and use the group? Anything that the therapist did or said that led you to shut down?

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