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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 Imagery.

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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