A Multiple Component Model of Clinical Imagery

  • Kirk Strosahl
  • James C. Ascough


The previous decade has witnessed a rapid proliferation of imagery-based psychotherapies, ranging from psychodynamic techniques such as psycho-imagination therapy (Shorr, 1974) to more structured and focused behavior modification procedures (Cautela, 1967; Wolpe, 1958). Despite the promise of imagery as a psychotherapeutic tool, a host of issues remain about the functional and structural characteristics of this complex private process. A frank assessment of the literature indicates that theoreticians and researchers alike continue to grope for a way to conceptualize the experience of clinical images. Many theories with little consensus explain therapeutic significance of imagery, but are constrained primarily by being “technique specific” in that they describe the therapeutic impact of a single therapy or a generically related group of therapies (Singer, 1974). Conversely, limited effort has been directed toward an understanding of nonspecific imagery effects that may be related simply to the fact that imagery provides different modes for organizing personal world conceptions. Clinical experience suggests that there is something distinctive about imagery as a form of cognition that cannot be duplicated by verbal processes, but one is pressed to identify what these distinctive elements are.


Mental Rotation Emotive Valence Gain Score Imagery Ability Systematic Desensitization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirk Strosahl
    • 1
  • James C. Ascough
    • 2
  1. 1.American Lake Veterans Administration HospitalTacomaUSA
  2. 2.PurdueWest LafayetteUSA

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