Emotion–Image therapy (EIT) is the main method in my psychodynamic coaching. I use it to work with chronic negative emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, resentment, perfectionism, procrastination, envy, jealousy and emotional dependency. The main idea of EIT is that every emotion and feeling can be expressed in an image and then, through careful analytic interpretation and specifically chosen action, we are able to resolve the initial psychodynamic conflict, which transforms an emotional state of the person.
Using EIT, I help my clients to find lost inner resources, to access happiness, calm, and dignity. I also help to achieve success in personal relationships and on the job, to spur personal growth, to find balance between enjoying the process and achieving results. EIT is also an effective method for exploring existential questions, as well as helping one to understand how much control and freedom we have in our life.
Who developed Emotion-Image Therapy?
Emotion–Image therapy was developed by Nikolay Linde, PhD (psychology). Dr. Linde is a Russian psychotherapist, who has more than 40 years of professional experience in psychological consulting. He is the author of his original psychotherapeutic approach, which he developed in 1991. He is a founder and a president at the Center for Emotion-Image Therapy. He is leader of the EIT branch at the Professional Psychotherapeutic League of Russia, a senior lecturer, and a professor of Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Linde is the author of five books and more than 60 articles on psychotherapy. He has trained hundreds of EIT practitioners, consultants, teaches and supervises.
One of Nikolay Linde’s books is translated into English. It is called “Emotional-image therapy [Analytical and effective]”. There are also a few of his articles that are translated into English.
EIT is deeply rooted in established therapeutic methods such as psychoanalysis, transactional analysis, gestalt therapy, redecision therapy and body-oriented psychotherapy. However, EIT has developed its own theory, philosophy and techniques.
The goal of Emotional-Image Therapy is to transform the negative emotional state of an individual into a positive one.
The main idea of EIT is that any emotional state can be represented by an image, sound, taste, smell or even a texture. This image represents our current emotional state and our unconscious. Anyone can create a spontaneous and unique image of their emotions or feelings.
And through dialogue with the image or our unconscious, through careful analytic interpretation of it, we, together with the client, can identify the inner conflict that supports our chronic negative state. With guidance of the EIT practitioner, clients can modify and transform negative emotional states. And we do not stop at the level of insight, we take specific actions that help clients resolve their inner conflict at a deep level. And this action is what distinguishes EIT from other therapies. Our goal is for this transformation to happen irreversibly.
Freud said that dream interpretation is the “royal road to the unconscious.” Well the interpretation of spontaneously created images is like daydreaming and they allow us to have a dialogue with our unconscious.
Images can illuminate or elucidate the inner world and inner conflict. Images give access to more primitive material, forgotten memories. These images serve as a bridge to the understanding of the client’s inner world. Through free association, early memories come up, we can analyze these images which manifest defense mechanisms. It often brings up very early defenses. These images illuminate less conscious aspects of the client’s life. Why do we need to interpret it? Because interpretation enhances perception of client and it provides clarification of the client’s defensive style. Images provide access to past memories and sometimes provide a vivid evocation of a client’s inner state.
Client is encouraged to report his reactions to their images in a spontaneous flow of associations, which will help to clarify an elaborate latent meaning. I ask clients of feelings that are associated with this image and an early memory when that feeling was first formulated. And how it manifests in his life today.
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