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110 Guided Imagery: Beyond Procedural Fear and Pain - Techniques For Children, Adolescents and You, the Health Professional
  1. B Whitaker
  1. Top-Down Pain Control, Redhill, UK


‘You have had blood tests before, haven’t you?’

“Yeah, but never this exciting!”

The response to the question quoted above came from an 11 year-old boy with special needs following his venepuncture ‘in imagery’. The procedure was ‘exciting’ because he was playing his favourite game - cricket. He hit a fantastic score, got ‘run out’ and won the game, all in the space of seven (7) minutes from the beginning to the end of the procedure.

Guided Imagery is a therapeutic technique that enables a top-down shift in experience from pain and fear to a chosen reality in imagery. It is used to help a child gain a sense of being in control in the face of fear, anxiety and pain during medical procedures.

This presentation will include:

  • an overview of guided imagery

  • video of a child undergoing a procedure in imagery;

  • mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - ACT (Hayes & Smith, 2005) in relation to procedural pain and fear; and,

  • moving from patterns of ‘avoidance and bravery’ to ‘acceptance and achievement’ in managing pain.

Delegates attending this presentation will have an opportunity to engage in a mindfulness exercise.

Hayes, S.C. & Smith, S. (2005). Get out of your mind and into your life: The new acceptance and commitment therapy. Oakland: New Harbinger.

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