Imagery Rescripting is a form of therapy that aims to process negative memories of early experiences in life, thus reducing distress associated with it. Rather than avoiding these negative memories in an unproductive way, imagery rescripting helps to make sense of these negative memories by showing what it’s like to have their emotional needs met. This would allow an individual to experience love, change negative beliefs and promote self-validation and self-love.
How Is Imagery Rescripting Conducted?
It is conducted by asking individuals to rewrite their autobiographical memory in a way that would meet their unmet emotional needs. This would be conducted through an exploration of memories that were negative or traumatic and steps would be conducted to prevent the possibility of re-traumatization. Some of these steps include; Raising hands to stop, monitoring of levels of distress, and the teaching of self-soothing methods.
What Can Imagery Rescripting Help With?
- Social Phobia
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Personality Disorders
How Does Imagery Rescripting Work?
The underlying cognitive mechanisms of Imagery Rescripting are still under debate. Evidence suggests that Imagery Rescripting lowers negative self-beliefs that arise from traumatic memories, by rewriting and perceiving these negative beliefs as unhelpful beliefs. Imagery Rescripting not only changes the salience of these negative memories, but also the individual’s learned, goals and beliefs about themselves from the negative memories. Through reprocessing these adverse memories, negative beliefs of oneself may be changed to a more adaptive and healthy belief.