It is much easier for our brain to processes abstract concepts through visual images rather than words. By bringing to mind an image, we can immediately relate to it and understand complex processes faster.
In early childhood, we try to understand the world with the help of books, stories and illustrations parents read and show to us. While we are learning to speak and label the objects with words, we have already formed basic concepts about the world. Up until we are 3-4 years old, our main language is images, not words.
Words are the language of conscious mind. Images are the langues of unconscious mind.
In order to access early childhood patterns, experiences and beliefs, words might not be an effective enough as they will not allow to connect to the depth of the unconscious. Thus, non-verbal psychotherapy approaches that are based on mental images and their consequent transformations are winning against traditional talking therapies.
The image is perceived much faster, creates more emotional response and speaks better than words. There is more possibility for images to have a transformative impact on a client - to generate an insight, to reconsider previous attitudes or to understand the consequences of current behaviour. Same as a picture of a cute baby would cause more emotional response than just written words “cute baby”.
Mental imagery helps to shift the processing of information from the verbal to the non-verbal level. This allows any person, even in a non-resourceful state, to simply identify their problems and start working on resolving them.
By identifying with image, a client tends to understand much deeper their emotional state and the reasons behind it. Detaching from the image and observing it allows to create a space and therefore to see the problem from a new perspective for effective resolutions and new decisions.
Let’s test the power of images. What do you feel when you look at this image?