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Does Combining Guided Imagery with Tapping Increase Positive Impact?

18 Nov

Dear Belleruth,

I am an EMDR therapist [Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing].  I am thinking that using alternating bilateral stimulation during a guided imagery session would intensify positive affect.  

Any experience or research to support this idea? What’s your opinion?

John McCardle PhD.

Dear John,

I’m not yet aware of any research on this, but I’ve heard from many therapists, especially those treating posttraumatic stress, that this is a great idea.  Bilateral tapping on alternating knees  (or with arms crossed in a butterfly hug, tapping the upper arms on alternating sides) seems to increase the positive impact of each therapy in a lovely synergistic way. 

Evidently this combination is such a natural that it seems to have independently occurred to a lot of practitioners.  Hopefully the research will soon follow.

Similarly, some encourage their clients to do any of the tapping protocols along with their guided imagery, from TFT (Thought Field Therapy) or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to TAT (Tapas Accupressure Technique).  

I would encourage you to try it and see for yourself how you or your clients respond to it.  From everything I’ve heard, it’s a dynamite combination.

Thanks for asking.  And if you remember, please let me know how it goes.

All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

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