What are visualizations? And to what extent can they be therapeutic?
Visualization is a very valuable tool that is based on the capacity of imagination. Through it we can recreate past scenarios or build future ones. We have access, through imagery, to transport ourselves to other spaces-time, and to transform situations in our lives
For a long time the resource of the imagination was despised, considered useless, and even evasive regarding action.
Fantasy has been studied a lot, especially since Psychoanalysis, and it has often been associated with a way of avoiding reality. The excess of fantasy, it is true, can be an avoidant behavior precisely to avoid action. Imagination was frequently located in this same line. Imagination, according to this perspective, is to stay in the clouds and prevent taking action. This is true if it is excessive and if it is erected as a mode of defense.
But this does not imply that the ability to imagine and fantasize cannot be a resource that, on the contrary, enhances our creative capacity and that this leads us to action
We could make a distinction between fantasy and imagination. Fantasy can be thought of as an evocation, at a certain point, more passive, and frequently, repetitive of a certain scene. Imagination is a process, and it involvesthe possibility of transformation and creation.
Visualization is the possibility of mentally recreating different types of scenarios, through a trigger or a guide both from someone external and from the person himself. This resource is very interesting from a therapeutic point of view because it can take us, precisely, to other scenarios than the one we are currently experiencing. It allows us to deploy a creative capacity that is the one that enables us to generate new spaces, from elements that we have at our disposal.
The psyche is capable of transforming and creating. We can build scenarios that have not happened, we can transport ourselves or bring back moments that caused us pain, for example, in order to connect with that emotion, and be able to work on it from there. In the same way, it allows us to bring the emotions that accompany a desired future scenario. It is a way of giving support to what sometimes remains in words or ideas and passing thoughts.
Taking the time to visualize a scenario, not only allows us to experience it, with the emotional aspects at stake, but also enhances our creative abilities to configure new ways of facing what happens to us, and new ways of projecting future
Visualizations can be more or less directed, and it is interesting to use them in cases where this is evaluated as beneficial. There are people who are not available for this type of activity and it is important to respect that. This type oftools should be carefully evaluated by the professional before being implemented.
In the vast majority of cases, visualization can be a great resource that helps to work with emotions and body register, delve into desires and memories, and unfold creative capacities.