I’d never heard this term, but I did this technique in therapy (and found it very helpful). Part of why it may have been necessary for me was that I had saved the original image-heavy memories. I’m curious if you save traumatic memories in the same way. I mean, you probably don’t “in the same way,” but whether you save them in a way where you would benefit from rescripting them. My first thought is that, without imagery, retelling the story would be easier, like you would be in control of your words and able to resave a memory with new words without those pesky pictures coming and proving you wrong. Of course, I’m sure the emotion is still somehow saved, even if not visually. (What are your dreams like? That might be an interesting topic for another piece.)

As to whether visualizing makes someone less likely to have anxiety, maybe it’s true for some people that, as you say, they can visualize how things will turn out okay, but when people with anxiety visualize, we visualize all the infinite worst-case scenarios as well, which is very overwhelming.

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience and process.

Empathy for the win! Published in Gen, Human Parts, Heated, Tenderly —Feminism, Sexuality, Veganism, Anti-Racism, Parenting. She/They darcyreeder.substack.com

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