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Mental Imagery and Interpretational Processing Biases

Part of the CBT: Science Into Practice book series (CBT)


Mental imagery can provide a particularly effective means to affect emotions, cognitions, and behaviour, and has long been used within psychological therapies for this purpose. This chapter explores the relationships between mental imagery and interpretational processing biases, including how mental imagery can be used to change these biases. It starts by considering the broader connections between imagery and interpretation, before addressing techniques commonly used within cognitive behaviour therapy to modify interpretation biases and how imagery can potentially enhance these. It then discusses computerized cognitive training procedures that are designed to target interpretation biases directly, focusing on those in which mental imagery plays a central role. Mental imagery offers many possibilities for changing interpretation biases, and investigating these, and the more fundamental question of the interplay between imagery and interpretation, presents many opportunities for future research to improve treatment outcomes.


  • Interpretation bias
  • Mental imagery
  • Cognitive bias modification
  • Imagery rescripting
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy

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Blackwell, S.E. (2023). Mental Imagery and Interpretational Processing Biases. In: Woud, M.L. (eds) Interpretational Processing Biases in Emotional Psychopathology . CBT: Science Into Practice. Springer, Cham.

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