Who is it for and what are its aims?

This book is written primarily for counselling and psychotherapy practitioners with an integrative or pluralistic approach who want to develop their thinking about and practice with mental imagery. It will also appeal to all practitioners who have a particular interest in developing their work with creative imagination-based methods and who view imagery and symbols as an important means of facilitating therapeutic processes. It has been written on the assumption that the reader has a thorough grounding in counselling and psychotherapy theory and practice that would also include some familiarity with the way mainstream approaches make therapeutic use of clients’ mental images.

It has also been written with researchers, counselling educators and academics in mind, in the hope that it will prompt more interest in developing more inclusive theory and practice with mental imagery.

The aims of the book are summarised below. It is intended to:

  • • shed light on the current state of the theory and practice of mental imagery by setting it within a much wider historical and cultural context;
  • • consider how more inclusive theory can be developed through identifying commonalities in its practice;
  • • introduce a potential framework for inclusive practice, i.e. the interactive communicative model of mental imagery;
  • • provide a detailed guide to using this model in clinical practice working with a set of mental images deemed to represent conceptual metaphors;
  • • encourage a deeper ongoing integration of mental imagery within talking therapies.
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