What is Guided Visualization (GV)
Why we do GV
How GV is Done
A typical Guided Visualization (GV) is 3-5 minutes – that not a limit – but a good time period to start with. It always starts by relaxing the participants. So the first few lines is how will you relax them – deep breathing, relaxing different parts etc. Then you transform or take children from the present (as in sitting in campus) to whatever or wherever you want them to become or go. A GV ends with bringing back the participants to where they started (sitting in campus). Typically GV is always in the second person – “You are now …”. Rarely we use “we” – only when you as a person is also an important character in the GV.
For example after relaxation we may say “Imagine you are becoming lighter and have started floating and soon you float out of the window and you see the roads below and soon you are like a cloud floating in the sky…”. To end the GV, we can say, “Now slowly you float to near Aarohi and slowly come inside the window and now as you settle down in the place where you are sitting you feel heavier and feel relaxed”.
An interesting way to do ask participants to become something – eg: you can ask them to become a cloud, a boat, an eagle, a car, superman etc. (any object, animal, natural element, character, etc). Using these prompts are not mandatory but they just make the process more interesting. Once we establish the character – decide what kind of journey you want to take the participants through – it could be an actual journey (going to some place or places) or going through an experience by doing something step by step (eg making or doing something)
Since GV is imagination, it is done in the form of questions. While we may “tell” some things, people experiences these things because of questions we ask. Otherwise it would become more of what I think, not what they could imagine. Have lots of questions – give a small pause after asking the questions – time for them to imagine and explore the questions. Finally GV should be a good mix of –
- Visual questions (eg: what is the colour).
- Auditory questions (eg: how does it sound).
- Kinesthetic questions (eg: how does it feel)
Once the script is ready, include some background relaxing music and practice. Use deep, soft voice and a medium to slow pace of speech. Give pauses after questions – to let listeners imagine the answer- (mark pauses in your written GV – usually done by adding dots (…).
You can get the participants to sit, or lie down – could be a row or a circle. Some participants may not close eyes – that is fine. However when they sit in circle with open eyes – they get distracted seeing each other. So in that case get participants to either face a wall or better lie down. When lying down, ensure each of them lies down with heads inside and legs outside. Ensure music is the right volume. Ensure your volume is MORE than the music volume. Typically be in the center so that your voice is same level to all participants.
Example GV Script
Close your eyes and relax your body.
As you feel totally relaxed imagine that you are becoming smaller and smaller and smaller you become so small that you are able to step into a drop of water.
Now you are safe inside a drop of water. How does it feel? As you look around .. this drop of water rolls onto a patch of mud. It sinks into the soil. How does it feel inside the soil, how does it look around you. How does the soil smell? Presently you land on top of a root of a plant. How does the root feel? What kind of sounds do you hear? Soon you are absorbed by the root. How does it look inside the root? How does the root feel? Soon, you with the drop is travelling up the plant stem. How does the stem look? What kinds of colours and patterns do you see?
How does it feel to be travelling vertically up the slim stem? Soon you are inside a leaf? How does the leaf look? What all activity is happening around you? You see the leaf busy preparing food for the plant? The chlorophyll needs water and invites your drop and you to be part of the process, but you excuse yourself, as you want to explore more.
Soon you are on top of the leaf. Go around the leaf to learn more about the leaf? How does the leaf feel – smooth or rough? What kind of design is there on the leaf? What is the colour and the shape of the leaf? How does the leaf smell? As you smell you realise that the other plants around you are also giving some kind of fragrance. You look around – first you see the flower of your own plant? How does the flower look? What kind of petals it has – shape – colour – how many?
You study the flower from the leaf. Then sounds around you make you look at the other plants? What kind of sound is the breeze making? What kids of plants can you see around you? How does the sun shining on you all feel? You feel warmed by the sun rays and decide to say bye to the plant? You jump off the leaf and since you are so small you gently float down till you land safely on the ground. You look at the plant through which you have been once again for the last time.
How does the plant look from down below? How are you feeling? With a nice deep breath you step out of the drop and slowly start becoming bigger and bigger and bigger till you are your original size. Keeping your eyes closed, take a moment to think about the journey you just had. What all you liked and enjoyed.
Now you can open your eyes.