Guided Fantasy represents one of many specialized approaches that may be used to help clients achieve healthier and more satisfying levels of personality functioning through increased insight and self-acceptance. It may also help clients deal with conflict and situations to which they experience phobic reactions. In addition to the use of fantasy in the systematic desensitization and aversive counter-conditioning of behavioral therapy, it has been made a part of some approaches to Implosion Therapy or emotional “flooding” as a way of extinguishing fear.
Shaffe has described the therapeutic value of Guided Fantasy in dealing with nightmares and dream fragments, and as a way to help clients experience fantasized age regression. Another popular use of the technique may be in helping clients focus on bodily concerns and their causes (Alexander, 1971). Guided Fantasy has been useful in the treatment of children, adolescents, and youth. Hartman and Fithian (1974) employ Guided Fantasy to explore body imagery in clients with sexual dysfunctions. There are also reports of success in sex therapy to resolve psychological conflicts that are playing a part in generating dysfunctions (Kelly, 1976).
Some counselors and therapists have begun employing Guided Fantasy in group settings, and these approaches represent an exciting new trend in the therapeutic use of mental imagery. Adaptability and flexibility are the characteristics that render Guided Fantasy a valuable tool for a variety of psychotherapeutic
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