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Guided Imagery in Eating Disorder Treatment

Guided Imagery and meditation is used to strengthen the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the area that increases impulse control so that you can carry out your decisions and not give into the eating disorder.

All of us have experienced various levels of consciousness. Several times a day, in fact, we enter a self-induced dazed state.  This is a part of the natural activity-relaxation rhythm of the body.  We conventionally refer to this as "spacing out."  The therapist may use a variety of techniques.  She may guide your imagination by storytelling using anecdotes and metaphors.  The therapist may ask you to imagine life without the eating disorder, so you can reinterpret, or re-parent original childhood wounds.

To the body, sensory images created by the mind seem as real as actual events.  Think about a big, yellow, juicy lemon being cut and notice the extra saliva in your mouth.  Stress and worry have a similar effect on the body. With the progressive relaxation techniques accompanying each Guided Imagery you learn to manage stress without using the eating disorder. Each client may experience Guided Imagery differently.  For some, it is a heightened awareness, for others, a profound relaxation.  Sometimes the client hears every word said, and other times the voice fades in and out or becomes completely inaudible.  It is much like reading a book when your mind wanders and then comes back to the text. Guided Imagery is an effective and dynamic therapy.  With the use of Guided Imagery, coping skills are combined with the relaxation response to reduce anger, anxiety and impulsivity because it is a self-soothing tool. Many people with eating disorders use the eating disorder to self-sooth or deal with stress.

Rebecca Cooper has created a series of Guided Imageries that are used for eating disorders or disordered eating. These structured guided imageries lead you to a place where you can make peace with yourself, heal, and create in your mind a life in recovery. Most clients with eating disorders cannot imagine a life of health and wellness, living their life to the fullest. The Guided Imagery provides the first attempt to change our distorted view of ourselves and our future. Our goal at Rebecca’s House is to empower you with tools that you can use for a lifetime.