Enhancing Visual Rehearsals and Guided Imagery with Hypnotic Language

Imagery is an active part of the cognitive-behavioral therapy regimen, utilized in the treatment of panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias, and PTSD. At the same time, most of these treatment interventions directly challenge a client’s sense of insecurity. Clients are prone to respond with rigidity and a tendency toward experiential avoidance. The linguistics of modern hypnosis can enhance the effectiveness of imagery within the treatment session through several means. Clients can strengthen their ability to harness and develop control over internal images. They can intensify the vividness of imagery, thus producing central nervous system activation. They can better utilize imagery to activate parasympathetic activity, counterbalancing the images that activate sympathetic activity. The linguistic skills that will be reviewed include: indirect suggestions, questions and rhetorical questions, qualifiers, negative adjectives and adverbs, all possible alternatives, and implications. Demonstrations will illustrate their incorporation within relaxation training, guided mindful meditation, worry exposure, self-control desensitization and visual rehearsal of coping skills.