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The therapeutic use of spontaneous imagery: A review of the literature

27 July 1993


This thesis reviews the literature from 1976 to the present on the use of spontaneous imagery in psychotherapy, in other types of personal growth work, and in holistic health care. Following a historical overview, the literature is organized into four traditions of imagery use: (a) the manifest/lmythopoetic tradition; (b) the latent/lived-experience tradition; (c) the somatic symptom relief tradition; and (d) the European directed imagery tradition. The major unifying themes emerging from this literature review are that an unconscious level exists in human beings and that spontaneous imagery is an effective way to enhance communication between the conscious and the unconscious levels. The differences found in the use of spontaneous imagery within and among the traditions are rooted in differing beliefs about the unconscious


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