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Monday, May 12, 2014

Achieving Your Goals: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Create a Vision of What You Want

We've all heard about how important it is to set goals in order to have the life that you want.  But for many people goal setting remains a mystery.  They're not sure where to start.  So, in this article, I'm focusing on the first stage of goal setting, which is creating a vision of what you want.

Achieving Your Goals: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Create a Vision of What You Want

Goal Setting:  Creating a Vision of What You Want
In order to set goals for yourself, you need to know what you want.  Although this sounds logical, for many people, this is a big stumbling block because they don't know what they want.

In many ways, the initial stage of goal setting, creating a vision, can be the most fun stage.  

By relaxing and using your imagination, you can begin to create a vision for yourself that will help you to realize what you want.

Achieving Your Goals: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Create a Vision of What You Want

During the early 1980s, I read a book by Shakti Gawain called Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life.

In this book, Ms. Gawain outlines how you can use, among other things, mental imagery to free up your imagination so you can create visualizations as the starting point of your goal setting process.  I would recommend this book as a start if you're having a problem at the initial stage of goal setting.

I recommend, at this stage, that people just allow themselves the freedom to visualize whatever their imagination comes up with without censoring themselves.

Allow yourself to dream and play with ideas.  Later on, you can get more specific.  But at this stage it's important to allow yourself to "play" with the images that come up without judging them.

Goal Setting:  Concretizing the Images and Using Your Vision as a Road Map to Achieve Your Goals
The next stage would be to write down the images or ideas that come to you.

It's important to capture your images and ideas and to concretize them in some way.  Whether this means writing down a list or, if you want to take more time and be creative, drawing or making collages that are symbolic of what you want.

Achieving Your Goals: Creating a Road Map

Symbols can be powerful representations that help to stimulate your imagination even more and also help you to develop other ideas.

Whichever way you choose to concretize what comes up in your imagination, capturing it in a concrete way, on the most basic level, helps you to remember it rather than allowing it to slip away like a puff of smoke.  It also helps to reinforce whatever comes up and helps you to create a road map to follow to achieve your goals.

Goal Setting: Clinical Hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing
For many people, who try to use their imagination to create a vision of what they want, nothing comes. No matter how hard they try, their minds remain blank and all they see when they close their eyes is, well, nothing.

Initially, when I first tried to do visualizations many years ago, I also got nothing.  I had friends who had wonderful, very detailed technicolor visualizations.  I was happy for them, but I also wished that I could do more than draw a blank when I closed my eyes.

Over time, I practiced visualizing and I got much better at it (see my article:  Wellness: Learning to Visualize in Meditation for helpful tips on improving your visualization skills).

For people who really feel stuck, clinical hypnosis (also known as hypnotherapy), as conducted by a licensed mental health professional who is a hypnotherapist, can help you to relax and open up to that creative part of yourself that you might not have even realized was part of you.

People have many preconceived ideas about clinical hypnosis, based on seeing stage hypnosis by a lay hypnotist, which is a distortion of what clinical hypnosis really is.

Achieving Your Goals: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Create a Vision of What You Want

Somatic Experiencing is a mind-body oriented therapy that can allow you, among other things, to tap into your creative imagination (see my article:  Mind-Body Psychotherapy: The Body Offers a Window Into the Unconscious Mind to understand Somatic Experiencing).

When clinical hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing are used together, they can become powerful tools for transformation.

Working with a licensed therapist who is trained in hypnotherapy and Somatic Experiencing can help to free your imagination so that you can create a vision of your goals so you can realize your goals.

Getting Help in Therapy
Since I began using Somatic Experiencing and clinical hypnosis with my clients in my psychotherapy private practice several years ago, I have found, in many cases, that these mind-body oriented techniques are often more powerful than regular talk therapy for people who feel stuck.

Rather than struggling on your own, you can overcome whatever is blocking you from creating what you want in your life by working with a therapist who is trained in clinical hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

I have helped many people to create and achieve their goals so they can live a more fulfilling life.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me: josephineolivia@aol.com.
























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