clinician asks BR how she makes her imagery scripts
I am about to make a guided imagery tape for some patients of mine suffering from various illnesses and complaints. What resources or research do you use to help you write/compose your guided imagery?
I do several things, and in no particular order. I research the biophysical and emotional nature of the condition, through books and discussions with experts. By “experts” I mean both clinicians who treat the condition and patients who experience it. My idea here is to not just understand what physically causes the problem, but the symptoms it creates, how it feels to have it, and what the emotional challenges are like that go along with it.
After I feel I have enough understanding (which may or may not be the case at this point) I write a first draft, often using opening and closing elements from other scripts that seem like they would be appropriate for this one. Then I send the script out to expert practitioners who can look it over for accuracy; then I test it out on focus groups of people suffering with the condition, so that they can set me straight on insensitivities or blunders in wording or phrasing that escaped me the first time around.
Then I rewrite, record the words, have our sound engineer, Bruce Gigax clean up the pops and clicks and adjust the sound, and then choose and mix the music with Bruce and our composer, Steve Kohn.
That’s about it. I wish you the best of luck with your efforts!
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award
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