Mervin Smucker,(2013). Replacing Recurring Distressing Imagery with Coping Compassionate Imagery.

The presence of recurring, upsetting images and associated negative affect is a disturbing phenomenon that individuals are frequently confronted with following distressing, traumatic events especially from childhood. However, with the skillful application of imagery rescripting interventions, an individual can learn to modify and transform many of these distressing images and related traumagenic beliefs (such as, of powerlessness, unloveability, incompetence) into coping, mastery and compassionate-laden imagery. These imagery rescripting interventions combine imaginal reliving (visually recalling and re-experiencing the upsetting images along with related thoughts and feelings) with imagery rescripting (replacing the distressing imagery with mastery imagery) and self-nurturing imagery (visualizing oneself today compassionately nurturing, soothing and calming one’s traumatized or CHILD self back then). The use of imagery allows these negative, upsetting images to be visually activated through the eyes of the traumatized self back then, and challenged, modified, and reprocessed through the eyes of the empowered adult self today.

Mervin Smucker