Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March/April 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Visualizing Fear Away

This article was written by Keith Randolph on May 10, 2002
posted under Creative Visualization

Psychologists and psychiatrists increasingly make use of visualization techniques to deal with patients’ fears and anxieties. Two psychiatrists independently devised methods of using negative imaging for positive purposes.

One of them, A. Beck of the University of Pennsylvania, has described his work with a man who was troubled by uncontrollable fantasies about being in a car as it crashed into a wall. Whenever the image appeared in his imagination, the patient would be overwhelmed with fear, as if the event really were happening.

First, Beck taught his patient to let the image vanish when Beck clapped his hands. Next, he taught the patient to make the image disappear by clapping his own hands.

That accomplished, he taught the patient a technique whereby he could call up the image at will. The patient now felt he had control over the image and was no longer captive to it. When he realized this, the image lost its power and the associated anxiety faded away.

Beck and other therapists have developed an-other visualization technique that they call "forward time projection." This technique involves visualization of a subject of anxiety, such as a forth- coming medical operation, and the projection of images related to it, into the future. The patient is instructed to see himself or herself six months after the operation, when he or she is well and happy again. This enables him or her to put his fears into perspective and to see that life will go on beyond the crisis of the moment.

Behavioral therapist Joseph Wolpe has invented a technique that works in the opposite way. He has his subjects overcome their fears by visualizing images associated with the cause of their phobias or anxiety. For example, someone who is afraid of cats is instructed to imagine the least frightening scene he can think of in which cats appear. The resulting image produces a mild level of anxiety which patient and therapist work together to eradicate entirely.

Then they go on to a more anxiety-producing image, until the fear associated with that is similarly eradicated. The process continues, with ever more frightening cat-related images concocted and overcome, until the patient is free of his irrational fears.

True health is more than a lack of disease or pain. Emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being all contribute to our overall experience of good health and positive satisfaction with ourselves and life. The new and evolving paradigm of health includes empowered self-awareness and active participation in our everyday, health-related choices. We are... read this article
Wisdom from the Trees
Gold and Alchemical Healing
Why the Waite-Smith Tarot Was the Almost Perfect Tarot
Demons, Fairies, and Saints in a Renaissance Manuscript of Magic
5 Reasons to Combine Crystals, Oils, and Essences to Facilitate a Life Well Lived

Most recent posts:
Angelic Ritual Possession
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

Answer the Call Spread
Taken from Tarot Spreads: Layouts and Techniques to Empower Your Readings by Barbara Moore. The Judgement card is about, in part, hearing a...

Wisdom of Swords Spread
Sasha Graham’s book 365 Tarot Spreads has a spread for every day of the year. She also includes an important historical moment from that day and...




Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Bite the Biscuit Bite the Biscuit
By: Linda O. Johnston
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Come to Harm Come to Harm
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
The Final Reveille The Final Reveille
By: Amanda Flower
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams
Over 1,000 Dream Symbols and Their Universal Meanings

By: Michael Lennox
Price: $24.99 US,  $28.95 CAN