Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy


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Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)

Javascript is not enabled in your browser. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. Imagery is important in cognitive therapy because images often trigger strong emotions, and imagery techniques such as imaginal reliving and imaginal rescripting are increasingly used in therapeutic treatments.

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Imagery and the Threatened Self considers the role that images of the self play in a number of common mental health problems and how these images can be used to help people to recover. Stopa and her contributors focus specifically on images of the self which are often negative and distorted and can contribute to both the cause and the progression of clinical disorders.

The book includes chapters on current theories of the self and on imagery techniques used in therapy, alongside chapters that examine the role of self-images and how images can be used in the treatment of disorders including:. Imagery and the Threatened Self is an original and innovative book that will appeal to both clinicians and students who are studying and practising cognitive therapy.

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Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase. Overview Imagery is important in cognitive therapy because images often trigger strong emotions, and imagery techniques such as imaginal reliving and imaginal rescripting are increasingly used in therapeutic treatments. The book includes chapters on current theories of the self and on imagery techniques used in therapy, alongside chapters that examine the role of self-images and how images can be used in the treatment of disorders including: social phobia post-traumatic stress disorder eating disorders depression bipolar disorder.

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Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Acquiring Pragmatics: Social and cognitive perspectives. Acquiring Pragmatics offers a comprehensive synthesis of state-of-the-art research on the acquisition of pragmatics.


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It introduces the current topics of research in theoretical pragmatics and explores the issues they raise for language acquisition research and the new experimental designs which The therapist first wondered whether swimming could be a positive activity for her. However, Susan explained that she had always loved swimming and that it was really beneficial to reclaim this activity. Because it was important to her to include being in touch with others in her positive image, she imagined that when she finished swimming, she alighted on an island, where she met her friends.

After elaborating this sequence, the therapist guided Susan through these images. Susan managed to focus on the imagery very well and amplified it with more details, such as eating pancakes with her friends, something that she normally would never do. At the end, she was asked to practice this imagery every day. Third session. Susan explained that she had listened to the entire tape of the imagery only twice because it was stressful for her to hear her own voice. Nevertheless, she had found a way to further integrate imagery into her daily routine by adding a short version imagining the rain, the swimming and the being with friends at the end of her daily yoga exercises.

Furthermore, she remembered a song that her aunt had often sung when she was a child. This song symbolized to her the possibility of being in harmony with others and therefore could activate the power of the positive imagery when she was feeling guilty during contact with others.

At the end of the intervention, Susan explained that the rational arguments against her guilt and the process of developing the imagery had been especially important. Figure 1 shows the reduction in the self-report measures.

Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy

Furthermore, there was a relevant reduction of depression: the BDI total score was reduced from 34 severe depression at t 0 to 13 mild depression at t 2. After cognitive restructuring during this intervention, the central negative self-concept is activated by finding a corresponding negative image, which is then transformed to a more positive image.

Going beyond the use of CRIM to address the feeling of being contaminated [14] , this case study illustrates how CRIM may be used to reduce PTSD symptoms in patients who suffer from distressing negative self-concepts other than the feeling of being contaminated. The results of a pilot study [20] show strong pre-follow-up reductions in PTSD symptoms and trauma-related negative cognitions regarding the self as well as depressive symptoms.

Figure 1. Instead, it works with a negative core belief that resulted from the traumatic situation and transforms this belief into a mental image to better address the underlying emotions. In the described patient, rapid substantial reductions in PTSD and depressive symptoms were observed; nevertheless, the patient will likely need further treatment to address the remaining symptoms. Furthermore, the intervention may be used as a first therapeutic step to increase treatment motivation or may be included in the course of longer, well-established PTSD treatments e.

This study was approved by the ethics committee of Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Journals by Subject. Journals by Title. It combines cognitive restructuring of core trauma-related dysfunctional beliefs and mental imagery. Results: The intervention showed substantial reductions in PTSD symptoms and depression in the patient comparable to those observed in the pilot study. Furthermore, this tool could be included in well-established PTSD treatments. In addition to the pilot study, a randomized controlled trial is needed to further explore the feasibility and effectiveness of this short intervention. Method 2.

Case Report History. Results At the end of the intervention, Susan explained that the rational arguments against her guilt and the process of developing the imagery had been especially important.

Stopa, Lusia Aldona [WorldCat Identities]

Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science , 8 , Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, In: Stopa, S. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 6, Psychiatry Research, , Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 36, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 38, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 18, Clinical Psychology Review, 43, Journal of Behavioural Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 9, European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42, Verhaltenstherapie, 21, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 82, Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 3, Psychotherapeut, 60, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 54, Hogref, Gottingen.

Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15, Psychological Assessment, 18, Hans Huber, Bern. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, All Rights Reserved.

Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy
Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy
Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy
Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy
Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy Imagery and the Threatened Self: Perspectives on Mental Imagery and the Self in Cognitive Therapy

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