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Mervin R. Smucker, Ph.D., is an Experienced Psychologist

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Imagery to Assist Cognitive Restructuring

FAQ: Using Imagery to Assist in Cognitive Restructuring of Trauma In 2001, Dr. Mervin R. Smucker, a psychologist who graduated with a B.A. from Antioch College and a Ph.D. in psychology from Pennsylvania State University, held a workshop on using imagery to improve the results of exposure and cognitive restructuring for victims recovering from abuse and assault. The following is a brief overview of the information presented.

Much like the techniques he promotes, Dr. Mervin R. Smucker utilized visuals such as video demonstrations in conjunction with lectures and case examples to advocate his use of imagery as a means of therapeutic recovery. He explained that the goal is to first rely on imagery to gain access to cognitions related to assault, such as memories, schemas, and flashbacks. Moving forward, he advocates imagery to challenge those cognitions and finally modify them. Dr. Smucker’s use of imagery to modify cognitions was particularly fascinating. He described how patients were taught concepts such as self-nurturing imagery, which aided in reducing traumatic memories and replacing them with mastery imagery, giving patients control over their flashbacks and memories.

Those interested in learning more about the techniques discussed in the highly recommended workshop should read the doctor’s works, which include Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma: Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing.