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What Is Imagery Rescripting?

Unwanted images are a feature common to a variety of problems including PTSD and depression. Imagery rescripting is an evidence-based treatment technique for intrusive images. The tehcnique is thought to work by addressing the meaning associated with intrusive images.

Imagery rescripting is an experiential technique for working directly with traumatic or bothersome images or memories. This What Is Imagery Rescripting? information handout gives a description of what imagery rescripting is, steps involved in different imagery rescripting techniques, discussion of theory, and a clinical example.

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout – use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point – use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool – improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource – use as a learning tool during training
  • Holmes, E. A., Arntz, A., & Smucker, M. R. (2007). Imagery rescripting in cognitive behaviour therapy: Images, treatment techniques and outcomes. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 38(4), 297-305.
  • Smucker, M. R., Dancu, C., Foa, E. B., & Niederee, J. L. (1995). Imagery rescripting: A new treatment for survivors of childhood sexual abuse suffering from posttraumatic stress. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 9, 3-3.

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