- : Both a mental process (as in imagining) and a wide variety of procedures used in therapy to encourage changes in attitudes, behavior, or physiological reactions. As a mental process, it is often defined as "any thought representing a sensory quality." It includes, as well as the visual, all the senses — aural, tactile, olfactory, proprioceptive, and kinesthetic. Imagery has been successfully tested as a strategy for alleviating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients, to relieve stress, and to facilitate weight gain in cancer patients. It has been successfully used and tested for pain control in a variety of settings; as adjunctive therapy for several diseases, including diabetes; and with geriatric patients to enhance immunity. Imagery is usually combined with other behavioral approaches. It is best known in the treatment of cancer as a means to help patients mobilize their immune systems, but it also is used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to cardiac rehabilitation and in many settings that specialize in treating chronic pain.
* * *A technique in behavior therapy in which the client or patient is conditioned to substitute pleasant fantasies to counter the unpleasant feelings associated with anxiety.
* * *im·ag·ery 'im-ij-(ə-)rē n, pl -eries mental images <eidetic \imagery> esp the products of imagination <psychotic \imagery>
* * *n.the production of vivid mental representations by the normal processes of thought. Hypnagogic imagery occurs just before falling asleep, and the images are often very distinct. Hypnopompic imagery occurs in the state between sleep and full wakefulness. Like hypnagogic imagery, the experiences may be very vivid. Eidetic imagery, commoner in children than adults, is the production of images of exceptional clarity, which may be recalled long after being first experienced.
* * *im·age·ry (imґəj-re) 1. the formation of a mental representation of something perceived by the senses, often used synonymously with visualization (def. 2). 2. any of a number of therapeutic techniques that use the formation of such representations to elicit changes in attitudes, behaviors, or physiologic reactions.
Medical dictionary. 2011.