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

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Dr. Mervin Smucker: Underlying Cognitive Processes of Imagery Rescripting

Best known for his development of imagery rescripting, a clinically proven treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, Dr. Mervin R. Smucker has focused his career on developing and refining this system. He has traveled the world training practitioners in this method, while writing and publishing extensively on the topic.

Centered on transforming maladaptive schemas, imagery rescripting actively alters the mental response to a damaging memory. For many who suffer from PTSD, these memories both encourage and are affected by a sense of victimization. These individuals may feel that they are inherently worthless or bad, or that they are helpless and vulnerable in the face of the world. These schemas are so ingrained that they form the basis for the person’s response not only to the memories of the event but to stimuli in the present.

For this reason, imagery rescripting seeks to change this schema and replace it with one in which the person is able to cope. The treating professional begins by calling up memories of the event, which is then relived in the therapeutic environment. However, images are also introduced in which the person responds constructively to the event. This reprograms the original maladaptive schemas and replaces them with a sense of self-worth and capability.