In Using Mental Imagery to Enhance Creative and Work-Related Processes, Valerie Thomas explores the productive use of mental imagery skills to engage with the processes of creativity. Practical and original, the book offers detailed guidance for a highly effective method that can provide rich insights into the development of a range of creative enterprises, including artistic and work-related projects.
In this accessible and innovative book, Thomas pays equal attention to the theory and application of mental imagery. First, she explains how imagination-based methods have been developed and theorised within the discipline of creative behaviour, especially with regard to dual-processing theories of creativity. The book then considers mental imagery as a dialogical method informed by contemporary post-Cartesian theories of embodied cognition that reprise an earlier premodern understanding of imagination as a mediator between body and mind. Thomas introduces a particular approach to mental imagery that, informed by a functional research-informed framework (the Interactive Communicative model of mental imagery), can be applied very effectively to creative processes. The second half of the book provides detailed guidance on how to apply this particular method and is copiously illustrated with case vignettes. It includes chapters on using imagery theorised as conceptual metaphors such as the plant image for representing creative capabilities and the building image for representing creative and work-related projects. It also explains how to use imagery to represent and work with the conceptual processes of undertaking qualitative research projects.
This original and wide-ranging book advances the scope and use of creative image-work in diverse settings. It will be an essential resource for everyone who is interested in developing their own mental imagery skills for creative real-world applications and for all professionals such as coaches, therapists and research educators who want to facilitate creativity in others.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; Preface; Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: How the method was developed; Chapter 3: Creativity: The broader context; Chapter 4: Understanding creativity as a dialogical process; Chapter 5: Mental imagery and creativity; Chapter 6: Viewing the mental imagery method from broader theoretical perspectives; Chapter 7: Applying the mental imagery method to practice; Chapter 8: Using mental imagery to represent and work with the creative capabilities of the self; Chapter 9: Using the mental imagery method for the process of developing creative and work-related projects; Chapter 10: Using the mental imagery method in a research practice context; Chapter 11: Further thoughts on the mental imagery method as a stand-alone practice; Chapter 12: Conclusion; Appendix 1; Index
Dr Valerie Thomas is a psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer and author of Using Mental Imagery in Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Guide to More Inclusive Theory and Practice (2016, Routledge).
'This is an excellent exploration of the relationship between imagination-based methods and creativity, and should be very useful for practitioners in particular.’ - Dr Ian Hocking, Director of Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
‘In this book, Valerie Thomas shares with the reader the development of the Interactive Communicative model of mental imagery framework and demonstrates how imagery can be used to enhance creative and work-related processes. It is written in an engaging style so it is easy to feel that you are sharing the same journey of discovery that the author has taken whilst developing her approach. Practitioners will find that it is a really useful addition to their bookshelf.' - Professor Stephen Palmer, Professor of Practice, Wales Institute for Work Based Learning, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK
'Val Thomas has contributed with a ‘classic’ in the field of creativity and growth. She offers an inspiring, insightful and rigorous account of the development of mental imagery practice. The book has many levels; it is useful for anyone looking for means of enhancing creative processes - but it is also a significant contribution to the post Cartesian project of reconnecting mind and body.' - Dr Sofie Bager-Charleson, Director of Studies (Management) PhD in Psychotherapy, Metanoia Institute London, UK
‘Thomas’s book theorises the use of image-work in a number of diverse non-clinical settings. The complex subject of the human imaginative potential is clearly structured into accessible practices, which can be used by professionals as well as users outside of health contexts. The book is an important contribution to creative image-work, for which the author makes a case as a discipline in its own right.’- Dr Iain R. Edgar, Emeritus Reader in Anthropology, University of Durham, UK; Author of Guide to Imagework: Imagination-based Research Methods (2004, Routledge)