Where Can He Go to Get Guided Imagery Training?
A health educator who leads group guided meditations at a non-profit wellness center, reports that he has not received any formal training in mind-body approaches, and mainly just “wings it”. He wants to know where he can learn more about guided imagery. He writes:
I heard your keynote at a conference and was impressed with the whole idea of guided imagery exercises. I work as a health educator in a non-profit wellness center and have been leading group guided meditations.I have found some resources and done some reading, but mainly I just wing-it.
I have learned that there are workshops and trainings in guided imagery, and have thought of learning more skills at this. What do you suggest? How did you learn to conduct guided meditations?
I understand that since I am a health educator and not a mental health professional, I would have to stay away from therapeutic exercises and stick mainly with relaxation and wellness.
I appreciate your suggestions and welcome any advice you might have re: how I can grow my skills in this field. Thank you.
I learned by first listening to whatever recordings were out there – at the time, 30+ years ago, this was pretty much David Illig, Emmett Miller, Louise Hay and Bernie Siegel. I sampled and listened to everything I could find (nowadays an impossible pursuit, given all the resources that are out there).
Once I got the hang of what these experts were doing , I had (barely) enough confidence to try making my own versions for some interested clients in my practice (who gamely volunteered to be my guinea pigs). Continuous feedback and research results helped me refine what I was doing, and still does.
For some good, practical reading with actionable results, you might want to try one of Julie Lusk’s excellent volumes – 30 Scripts for Imagery, Relaxation and Healing, Vol 1 & 2. These are wonderful wellness and relaxation scripts, and include some good, solid pointers for group leaders.
Andrew Schwartz also has a fine book of guided imagery narratives, Guided Imagery for Groups, and if you work with kids, do check out Ellen Curran’s Guided Imagery for Children and Teens.
David Bresler of the Academy for Guided Imagery offers distance training in Interactive Guided Imagery, a form of imagery that uses inner dialogue. There is also training in the Bonny Method for Music and Imagery, which leads with music to generate internal images.
There is also a professional association of guided imagery practitioners – Imagery International – whose annual conference is coming up soon – October 21-23rd in Menlo Park, California. That’s a terrific place to network, learn more about technique, and get the best advice on the latest resources. If you can’t make the conference, you can still sign up for membership, get the practitioner-oriented journal and do your networking online.
Good luck. Hope this helps.
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