The Imagery Toolbox: Mobilising inner resources for coping with a crisis

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ONLINE WORKSHOP - Friday 11th September at 7 pm - 9.30 pm

“A powerful source of inspiration, healing and inner freedom for those facing disease or crises.”
“Immensely useful for professionals and patients.”
“It feels as if you have found a magic treasure chest… that invites the mobilisation of inner forces.”

Why participate?

This is an introductory session to the upcoming and in-depth two day CPD workshop “Training with the Imagery Toolbox” on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November 2020.

Also known as the ‘Imagery toolbox’, this approach was developed by Jan Taal, a psychologist and psychosynthesis psychotherapist as well as a recognised specialist in this area. Jan has more than 40 years of experience of working with people with cancer and chronic illness.

Read more about this technique in the article written by Catherine Ann Lombard for Therapy Today (June 2020).

Who is it for?

This training is intended for all mental health professionals who support people going through a crisis, experiencing trauma or dealing with with a terminal or chronic illness. This includes psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists, coaches, psychiatrists, spiritual care-givers, medical doctors, health care professionals as well as lay people.

The workshop is also open to interested members of the public whether qualified or experienced in psychosynthesis or not.

Purpose of the workshop

Imagery and art provide a humanistic, individualised, empathetic and patient centred response to this challenge whilst improving physical, mental and emotional well-being by helping people to relax.

In an era where the costs of healthcare are constantly increasing, self-reinforcing methods such as imagery and artistic expression are important additions to the care of clients. When illness or crisis hits, we are often forced into an intimate meeting with ourselves, and both imagery and artistic expression can significantly contribute to promoting our inner and outer coping and resilience.

Our approach

Psychosynthesis as applied to psychotherapy is a unique approach that combines both psychology and spirituality. It is a holistic process that helps the individual deal with patterns of behaviours which inhibit or prevent living life in meaningful and fulfilling ways.

The psychosynthesis understanding is that human beings have the internal tools to overcome most situations (intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical), and that vital and healing sources exist in every human being. Those resources can be activated organically with the help of imagery to gain more access to love, wholeness, connection and power to act.

What to expect for this introductory session?

19.00 – 20.00: Theory - using imagery as a tool

20.00 – 20.20: Break

20.20 – 21.20: Practice – using imagery exercises

The first part of the workshop will consist of a theoretical and experiential overview of the use of imagery in guiding and supporting people who are confronted with a serious illness or a crisis. Examples of the use of the imagery tools from the Imagery Toolbox will be presented, with case studies and illustrations. There will also be a group discussion about the theory.

Find out more here:

In the second part, attendees will be asked to participate in two imagery exercises including sketching (simple drawing) which will then be followed by some sharing and discussion. The symbol cards gallery will also be used.

Learning outcomes

Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of:

• the possible benefits of simple imagery exercises for people going through a crisis, experiencing trauma or having a chronic or terminal illness

• how imagery works and how it can be applied in practice

• the pitfalls involved in working with imagery methods

Ticket price

Please note that the ticket price for this event (£20) will be discounted off the main November workshop price should you attend both.

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Jan Taal has been a practicing healthcare psychologist and trainer at the Amsterdam School for Imagery since 1980. He studied Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (1973-1976) and Clinical Psychology at the University of Leiden (1976-1979). He was trained in psychosynthesis in the Netherlands and Italy (1978- 1982). Prior to psychology, Jan studied cultural anthropology. He wandered in Afghanistan, the mountains of North-West Pakistan, India and Nepal (1969-1973). During this fieldwork, Jan had many adventures and significant encounters. It led him to study Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, Sufism, Jungian and transpersonal psychology, traditional medicine and rituals of the Indians in the Amazon region in South America.

In order to stimulate the coping ability and resilience in people with cancer, Jan co-founded the Foundation Cancer in Images (Stichting Kanker in Beeld) in 1987 of which he was the first chairman. This foundation promotes the use of imagery and creativity in many ways, imagining, drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, poetry, singing, etc. In collaboration with the Dutch Cancer Society Jan coordinated two large manifestations in the Old Church of Amsterdam, groundbreaking events full of art and performances of people coping with cancer.

In 2009 Jan started the Imagery Toolbox Project. The aim and purpose of the toolbox is to provide easily accessible and versatile imagery and creativity tools for coping with cancer, chronic illness and crisis, so that these means become available to an ever larger number of people and can be put to extensive use within the healthcare system. To gain a permanent place in the ‘mainstream’ of healthcare is the long-term goal of the Imagery Toolbox project.

Jan has been guest trainer and keynote speaker in conferences and institutes in the Netherlands, Europe and North America. Special mention can be made of his teaching imagery and psychosynthesis in Pakistan at the National Institute of Psychology at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad in 2000 and at the University of the Punjab (Centre for Clinical Psychology) in 2008. In 2002 and 2007 he did a pilot study regarding the possibilities and results of imagery in the remote mountains of the Hindukush with literate and illiterate people. In the tribal Pathan areas of Malakand Jan he has been involved in the development of special education for girls from the poorest families since 2000. He is secretary of the Foundation Girls Education Pakistan (Stichting Meisjesonderwijs Pakistan).

Read more on this topic:

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