I often use imagery when I work with patients. What do I mean by imagery? To put it in completely unscientific terms, imagery involves processing ideas or information and expressing it through pictures, sounds, tastes, textures, or smells.
We all can think in words and concepts, to be logical and linear. This capacity is governed by the left hemisphere of the brain.
But the capacity to create images, which is not a logical process, is governed by the right hemisphere of the brain. This is the same part of the brain that houses intuition.
The image modality has a sensory, immediate quality. It communicates information in a special way. There are ways in which imagery is more powerful than language, particularly when we are vexed by a problem.
Images may have a greater capacity than words to focus on emotional material. Verbal logic is linear. Images let us tap into deeper feelings.
In fact, imagery may provide the main access to memories which were encoded during a developmental stage when we did not have language.
I find that imagery is particularly helpful in getting around mental blocks. (I first applied it to treating infertility in 1990.) And imagery is powerful in treating sexual inhibition. It might even help us get in contact with stored memories of how our parents reacted to our bodies, especially our genitals.
In fact, imagery is a technique you probably use in your life without labeling it “imagery.”
Here is an imagery technique I use with my patients to overcome sexual inhibition:
Get into a relaxed state. Imagine yourself standing up in front of a beautiful, long, wooden table. Now, imagine all of the negative beliefs you have been actively taught or you unconsciously absorbed from your family, your siblings, your peer group, your church, or anyone or anything else. As you imagine each negative belief or experience, imagine throwing it up, out of your body, and put each one in a pile on the table. Go through all of your experiences and beliefs about sex.
Now, stand back and objectively look at all of the different beliefs and ideas and feelings that you ingested growing up. Think about which of these beliefs and values you want to keep. Which ones are holding you back? Pop each of the positive thoughts and beliefs about sex back into your body, incorporate them again. Leave the negative and unhealthy and inhibiting thoughts, beliefs and experiences on the table.
Walk away from the table. Notice how much happier and freer you feel in your body.
Congratulations on taking a step to transform your sexuality.
If this technique appeals to you, Dr. Martin Rossman has written an excellent self-help book on using imagery. If you are curious about how your family affected your sexual life today, you might check out my book SexSmart.
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