September 1974

Imagery Techniques in Psychiatry

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(3):283-290. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760150005001

Hypnagogic or "affective" imagery is not an uncommon phenomenon; it is based on preconscious, preverbal "thinking in pictures" and characterized by symbol-content, changing thematic scenes, motion, color perception, relative autonomy, and affective connotations.

Integrated with established dynamic principles and competently used, imagery techniques are regarded as a worthwhile addendum to the diagnostic-therapeutic armamentarium of the dynamically trained therapist for exploration and therapy of neurotic conflicts and related emotional difficulties.

A brief historical overview and "primer" on the topic is presented along with a concise procedural outline of one established clinical method (Leuner's), a didactic approach used by the author, and a discussion of some theoretical questions implied in these approaches.