Listening To Your Symptom
Martin Rossman, M.D.
Dr. Rossman is a physician widely known for his pioneering work with guided imagery
and the healing arts. He is author of "Healing Yourself: A Step-By-Step Program for
Better Health Through Imagery." He is the Director of the Collaborative Medicine
Center in Mill Valley, California, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for
the Insitute for the Advancement of Health and is Co-Director of the Academy for Guided
I'd like to focus on the work you've done with the technique called "Listening
to your symptom." How does one begin to get in touch with the symbolism behind
a symptom or disease?
I start by asking them to relax and then focus directly on the symptom. "Invite
an image to come to mind." I encourage the person to allow themselves to accept
whatever image comes, whether it seems right or not, whether that image is what they
expected or not...and whether they like it or not. Let it be what it is. You're
inviting the unconscious to give you information about that symptom, so it behooves
you to let it answer you in its own language.
"Accept the image that comes and explore it for awhile." I encourage people
not to try to change it at first. "Just observe it in as much detail as possible.
Move around it. Get inside it. What does it look like? What color? What shape?
What texture? What density? What features draw your attention? How far away or how
close is it? How big is it? How big is it in relation to you?"
People may see a horrible image...but it may be much smaller than that person and that
alone lets them begin to reframe their relationship to the image.
Qualities Of The Image
Feelings About the Image
Beginning The Dialogue
Becomming The Image
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