What is IGI?

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Imagery has a long and varied history in the healing traditions of mankind. The long standing knowledge that imagery is a critical component of all healing experiences is distinguished when we consider the vital roles played by placebos, suggestion, and positive expectant faith.

Interactive Guided Imagery℠ is an innovative process that includes all the features of guided imagery and adds the important element of interactivity to the mix. IGI℠ works directly with the images that arise from the individual's own imagination and inner wisdom. These images reflect the inner workings of one's own healing processes, and often permit access to critical information about the issue at hand. With IGI℠, the Interactive Imagery Guide℠ assists the client in learning to access and utilize the insights, resources, and solutions that arise from their own unconscious.

The guide’s role is not to provide “better” images for the client, but to facilitate an enhanced awareness of the unconscious imagery the patient/client already has, and help clients learn to effectively work with this imagery on their own behalf. This process is capable of bringing about profound psychological and physiological change, as it simultaneously empowers and educates the patients.

For example, a client can be asked to close her eyes and allow her mind to prompt a picture that symbolizes her problem. Using IGI℠ techniques, the client may then be guided in an imaginary dialogue with this image to explore and reveal its meaning and relevance to her problem or issue.

These images can provide important information about the problem, as well as the client’s beliefs, expectations, fears, resources and solutions. Since many clients have uncannily accurate intuitions about their problems and solutions, the imagery process makes these insights more easily available to them and their clinician.

IGI℠ can be useful for nearly all health concerns. It engages the patient/client in their own healing process, and engenders a greater sense of self-efficacy. IGI℠ is an approach that is empowering not only to the client, but to the practitioner, as well, and one that enhances the power of healing in the therapeutic encounter.

It is more accurate to say that IGI℠ treats people, not problems, and by empowering people, it helps them deal more effectively with any problem.

People with health issues ranging from musculo-skeletal problems to major addictions and life-threatening illnesses have utilized IGI℠ to relieve symptoms, find meaning, stimulate healing, and make the critical lifestyle changes that support and encourage healing.

Imagery has Physiological Consequences

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Physically, imagery has the ability to directly influence the autonomic nervous system, and the power of imagination can be recruited to promote specific physiological changes as an aid to healing. In addition, many studies indicate that certain imagery techniques may stimulate physiologic processes including immune, nervous, and endocrine responses which can accelerate the healing process.

There are few, if any, physical, emotional or behavioral symptoms or illnesses that are not affected to some degree by the mind. IGI℠ mobilizes the latent, innate healing abilities of the client to promote pain control, accelerated healing, rehabilitation, recovery and health enrichment.

The IGI℠ approach is eclectic, holistic, humanistic and non-dogmatic, incorporating skills from many related disciplines including hypnosis, Jungian Psychology, psychosynthesis, self-actualization and ego-state psychology.IGI℠ techniques are easy to learn with proper instruction, and carry few, if any, negative side effects when properly utilized; thus making them an ideal adjunct to any other type of therapy.

It is our sincere hope that health professionals from all disciplines will begin to utilize these techniques to help their patients and clients more effectively help themselves.

Why is there an “” after Interactive Guided Imagery?

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The service mark, or “℠” in superscript format, is applied following Interactive Guided Imagery℠, Interactive Imagery℠, Imagery Guide℠, and IGI℠ and denotes that these terms refer to a legally registered process that is owned by the Academy for Guided Imagery. These terms define the unique process taught by the Academy and must be applied at all times when referring to Interactive Guided Imagery℠, Interactive Imagery℠, Imagery Guide℠, and IGI℠ in print.

The use of this service mark in reference to this process indicates that the Academy’s specific way of using imagery is clearly defined and differentiated from other approaches to guided imagery. Because these terms are so protected, no individual or organization can legally use them without the express written permission of the Academy for Guided Imagery.

Individuals must be at least Level I Certified in the IGI℠ process to say they are using it, and they must include the service mark whenever they use these terms in print.

The service mark provides patients and clients with the assurance that certified IGI℠ practitioners have been properly trained and evaluated by the Academy and have demonstrated their competence by meeting or exceeding the criteria we have established.

For questions regarding the use of these terms or this service mark, please contact the Academy here.

What is the difference between Visualization, Guided Imagery, Hypnosis, and Interactive Guided Imagery?

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There is considerable overlap and some major differences between these approaches.

Visualization is a form of imagery that usually utilizes the imagination through scripted images. The guide reads a prepared script as a means of helping the client/patient to imagine a particular desired outcome, such as pain relief.

This type of visualization is also common with Neurolinguistic Programming, or NLP, as a way to reprogram or re-frame a particular situation. With NLP, an individual attempts to route and re-route the neural connections that make up a particular behavior or pattern in hopes of altering the outcome. There is an emphasis on the practitioner analyzing and understanding the client's patterns and creating an alternative strategy.

Hypnosis often requires an individual to enter a type of hypnotic state of focused, concentrated attention that allows suggestions to enter the unconscious mind. It is mainly through suggestive interaction that individual change can occur, and it includes an expectation on the part of both client and hypnotist that the hypnotist will provide the solution to the problem.

Guided imagery is a way to access the images of the unconscious mind to help resolve problems and to gain greater insights and deeper understanding regarding a specific illness, issue, or situation. It may or may not be interactive and it usually uses prompted or suggested imagery. Again, the guide is often expected to provide "better images” for the client.

Interactive Guided Imagery℠ utilizes all the features of guided imagery in a unique interactive manner to work directly with the images that arise from an individual's own imagination and inner wisdom. This provides a unique window of personal exploration into the inner workings of one's own healing processes. With IGI℠, the Interactive Imagery Guide℠ assists the client in learning to access and utilize these insights and solutions in their own unconscious, which is significantly more personal, specific, and empowering to the client/patient.