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Title: Mental imaging as a psychotherapeutic tool : a comparative study with reference to Britain and America
Author: Martinson, Kirsten K.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3620 3991
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1999
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Studies have shown that mental imagery is necessary for proper mental functioning. This dissertation critically analyses the history and perceived significance of mental imagery as a psychotherapeutic tool in counselling in both the United States and Great Britain. The different routes the two countries have taken in phenomenological and behavioural schools of psychology are also examined. Teachers of counselling in the United States and Great Britain are then surveyed in order to compare the perceived significance mental imagery has as a therapeutic tool in each country. There is no other research to date which has worked with this data. The results suggest that due to the emphasis on behaviour therapy in the United States, although mental imagery is utilized in other historically significant psychologicaltherapies, it is only referred to in the United States with reference to behavioural approaches. The most notable approach being "systematic d e sensitization" . Because of this, the perceived significance of mental imagery as a psychotherapeutic tool is high among American counselling professionals only when linked to behavior therapy.Consequently, the perceived significance of mental imagery as a psychotherapeutic tool is lower when considering any other therapies outside of behaviourism. The results further suggest that counselling professionals in Great Britain havea higher perceived significance of mental imagery as a psychotherapeutic tool. A reason forth is may be because most counsellors in Great Britain are trained at institutes which often focus on particular theories rather than all of thehistorically significant ones. Further, Great Britain psychologists never rebuked the concept of mental imagery as psychologists did in America at the advent of behaviourism and "scientific thought" during the World Wars. Moreover, behaviourism, which initially rejected mental imagery, was not as widely appreciated in Great Britain during that time. Therefore, the mental image was still accepted as credible in the British psychological community. The outcome of the survey suggests that in America the growth of mental imagery as a psychotherapeutic tool isinhibited by the lack of references to mental imagery usage with in historically significant therapies. I f the study of these therapies among American counselling students is to continue, a systematic examination on mental imagery usage could heighten the perceived significance among American practitioners. This, in turn, could pave the way for the emergence of more imagery methods in American psychologicalcounselling
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Counselling; Metaphor; Imagery therapy Psychology