Using Imagination to Help Heal Through Guided Imagery – Helpful Tips for your Patients

Guided imagery, a therapeutic technique that has been used for centuries, involves creating images in the mind which can help reduce pain, stress, and other symptoms associated with a patient’s condition. Further, the technique includes envisioning a certain goal to help cope with health problems or the task or skill a child is trying to learn or master.

Guided imagery is offered at CHOC Children’s as part of our integrative health services. The experts at CHOC teach patients to imagine sights, sounds, smells, tastes or other sensations to create a kind of daydream that “removes” them from or gives them control over their present situation.

Your patients can practice the technique with these six useful tips:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Take 3-5 deep belly breaths.
  3. It’s time to imagine you are going to your special place. Where would you like to go? If you could be anywhere in the world at this moment, where would you be?
  4. When you have picked out a place, picture yourself there. Through your mind, you can be at this place as if this were really happening.
  5. Use your daydreaming skills and think about every little thing that makes this place and experience just as you like it. What do you see, taste, touch, hear and smell?
  6. Be aware of how comfortable your body feels when you imagine yourself in this place. You may notice your breathing slow down and your muscles feel looser as your whole body starts to relax.

Click here for more tips, including audio clips from CHOC’s pediatric psychologists that help guide patients through scenarios to help them feel better.