I was really impressed by a Mom who wrote very straightforwardly on her blog about her 5 year old daughter’s constant hand-washing.  She describes how she came to realize that her kid had obsessive-compulsive disorder, and she writes about it without a trace of drama, self-pity or embarrassment, offering some excellent suggestions for resources. This is a more commonplace problem that you might think, which is why I’m mentioning it - if you have some concerns about this with your child, you may want to read more over at Cookies, Crayons, Classes & Chaos.

Also, just for the record, the research shows that cognitive behavioral training (CBT), often along with medication, is a best practice for OCD in kids and adults, yielding good, reliable improvements. We’ve even posted several studies here. It’s best not to let it go too long - intervene early! 

There’s a terrific overview of guided imagery as a healing modality at Juliet Rhode-Brown’s website. She writes:  

“I feel quite passionate about our ability to use our imaginations to create a more positive and loving future. When we use the term “imagery,” it does not simply refer to the visual field, but to all of our senses. Dr. Jeanne Achterberg, a leader in imagery exploration and application, refers to imagery as “the thought process that invokes and uses the senses: vision, audition, smell, taste, the senses of movement, position and touch. It is the communication between perception, emotion, and bodily change.”

“The well-known cognitive-behavioral psychologist and researcher, Donald Meichenbaum, has been a proponent of practices that involve imagery, explaining that imagery helps a person to be able to experience a sense of internal management. Psychoanalysis has used imagery with free association and dreams. Jungian psychology invokes imagery in a huge way with active imagination, dream work, and exploring in depth the metaphoric meanings around archetypal images that are both collective and unique for each individual. Gestalt and humanistic practices honor imagery for both amplifying experiences in the present moment and building upon personal awareness and responsibility. Indigenous practices have always involved imagery.

“One of my favorite statements is from Piero Ferruci, well known for psychosynthesis, who said “Images can either imprison us or liberate us. We can be their unconscious slaves and let them govern our lives, or we can deliberately put their immense power to effective use. By clearly imagining a possibility, we automatically bring it closer to actualization. Therefore, we can intentionally use images to aid our purpose in coming into full, embodied existence. And we can do so by thinking of the next appropriate step in our human evolution.”

“There are some wonderful resources out there if you are interested in learning more about the power of imagination to heal. Here are a few solid resources:

www.imageryinternational.com ~ Here, you will find a list of imagery practitioners in your geographic area. Among this list, you will find some of the leaders in this work who have training centers as well as therapy and medical practices. I urge you to join Imagery International if you are interested in this work. I am honored to be the President-Elect of the organization. In addition, the Imagery International Conference is happening right now - October 22 to 24. The theme for this year is “Imagery for the Future: Illuminating Lives.” This is a relatively small and intimate conference and is being held at Vallambrosa Retreat Center in beautiful Menlo Park, California.

To read the rest of this excellent piece and find more of her recommended resources, click here.

Take care and be well,