Vitosha Hall - Marinela

Imagery Rescripting as transdiagnostic technique to address traumatic and other aversive memories - Part I

In Imagery Rescripting the meaning of the memory representation of a traumatic (or otherwise negative) event is changed by having the patient imagine as lively as possible a different outcome that meets the needs of the patient better. Imagery Rescripting is a powerful technique with empirical evidence for its effectiveness across disorders. It can be integrated in various forms of psychotherapy, or used as a complete treatment. Imagery Rescripting can be applied to memories of events that really happened in the past, but also to imagined events (like in nightmares, or feared future catastrophes). Although it is often applied when patients report intrusions (esp. of a visual kind), the technique can also successfully applied to change the meaning of experiences that contributed to dysfunctional schemas. Although its name suggests that the original memory representation is erased, research indicates that this is not the case. Rather, it seems the meaning of the memory (and not the memory of facts) that is changed.

The workshop will focus on the generic use of Imagery Rescripting, so that participants can use the technique in a variety of clinical problems, including PTSD, social phobia, chronic depression, and personality disorders. The basic protocol will be introduced, with both the therapist changing the script, and the patient from an observer perspective changing the script. Methods to increase the impact on the original memory representation, especially when it comes to (traumatic) childhood experiences will be discussed. Other issues that will be treated include when to start the rescripting, that full reliving of trauma memories is unnecessary, and dealing with problems like dissociation.

The workshop will be active, that is participants will practice techniques in pairs while support is provided; and there will be an interactive part where participants can raise questions and bring in specific cases.