The beauty of NeuroImaginal® Practice is that it draws on metaphor, symbolic representation and embodied awareness. Treating not only image but embodied awareness as metaphor – so the images we connect with, envision, imagine and that show up in our art, and the awareness we have in the body, even though physical, is also a metaphor for the emerging story of healing. This way of working invites the healing image and offers applied or ‘real’ experiences of skill sets you may be working with in your program or hospital. NeuroImaginal® practices bypass verbal barriers and exclusively conscious memory, inviting a safe and non-threatening way to address psychological constructs and content. Self-censoring is side-stepped, allowing the patient/client to access, channel and express emotional content, belief structures, and perceived/experienced barriers to wellness – often times beyond what can be verbalized. Group processing of the experience, insights, and expression in their work allows for both personal and group meaning-making and cohesion.
This approach works well for most and particularly well for those who have a difficult time fully expressing through traditional talk therapy, who think or process visually, or kinesthetically, who are restless, anxious, depressed, unfocused, unaware of their feelings or emerging story, or disconnected from their body.
Participants are supported and invited to:
- express and represent repressed feelings and conflicts in a safe and supportive environment
- address and re-story trauma
- increase self-worth and social connectedness
- build self-esteem, a stronger sense of identity and self-competence
- build tolerance for their differences
- build congruence between their inner and outer worlds
- decrease anxiety, agitation, and tension
- experience coping strategies they can choose in daily life
- re-imagine, re-story, re-create and re-action their experience and perception
(These bullet points are a synthesis of research from various studies focusing on art therapy, the use of music therapeutically and body based/movement based interventions, as well as the working experience of the Institute.)