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MPD & Imagery

source: Sheppard Pratt - Dissociative Unit

What Is Imagery?
Imagery is using the imagination to create a picture in the mind as an aid to using a specific coping skill. This mental picture may include color, sound, texture, scent, taste, or feelings and emotions.

How Can Imagery Help Me and My System To Function Better?
Imagery can be used to help you and/or your internal parts of your system to reduce tension and promote relaxation; it can be used to create safe places for you and your internal system.

Imagery can be used to create and maintain a distance between you and painful or intrusive thoughts, feelings, and recollections; it can be used to help in containing these painful or intrusive thoughts, feelings, and recollections until you and your therapist are able to process them. It can be used to control the pain of body memories.

How Do I Do Imagery?
For relaxation and safe places work, create a picture in your mind of a peaceful and comfortable place. Add to that picture the colors, sounds, scents, tastes, textures, feelings, and emotions which help you to feel comfortable, calm, safe, and rested to create a comfortable safe haven for yourself and the internal parts of your system.

For distancing and containment work, use your imagination to create a control device to make intrusive thoughts, feelings, and recollections less vivid, less intense, and less frightening. Use your control device to move the intrusive images away from you, then create a "container" in your mind and store them in this container until you can share them with your therapist.

One example of this kind of imagery is to imagine that you are watching these troubling recollections on a television screen. you can create a remote control device which you can use to record what you are seeing on a video tape. At the same time, you can reduce the volume, diminish the brightness, reduce the contrast until the screen is fuzzy and blurred. You might want to use your remote control to fast-forward your intrusive recollection on the screen in your mind. You might then mentally remove the tape from the machine and store it safely in a container in your mind until you can "watch" it with your therapist. This is only one example. You and your system will need to work together to develop ways of your own to use imagery of this type to meet your special needs.