How Mental Imagery & NLP Works

  • How do learning difficulties begin? 
  • How well do you control your imagined pictures?
  • In what contexts of life is visualization essential?

Everyone visualizes / imagines / sees pictures in their head. When you were 6 weeks young,  you started smiling at your mother. You did this by matching a picture in your head with the picture of the person looking at you. You might also recognise her voice or smell, but if she put on a wig, you would cry!  That is visual recognition. Blind people visualize too.  Vision and visualization are different things!

If your friend walked into the room now
, would you recognize him/her?  Now imagine the same person with pink hair.  Did you change your picture?  Now imagine that you are watching a car driving up to the red traffic light. Imagine it stopping.  Imagine the movie going in reverse.

This is how you control the pictures that you imagine. You are born with this skill.  But in some cases a person gets stressed and the brain gets confused and loses this skill or starts applying it wrongly.  And that’s how learning difficulties start to happen.

Now make sure that you see images

  • easily, sharply, clearly
  • far enough to be comfortable, yet near enough to be easy to see
  • as movies or as still pictures, whichever you need at a given moment.

In what contexts of life is mental imagery essential?

  • A hairstylist needs to see what a haircut will look like before starting it.
  • A taxi driver must picture where s/he is going.
  • A double glazer, construction worker, carpenter imagines the finished item.
  • An architect imagines the finished building and then draws the plans.
  • An artist imagines what s/he is creating.
  • A surveyor must see whether the building matches the plans.
  • A student visualizes mind maps, sequences, formulae, equations, materials for revisions and exams.
  • A good speller imagines the word to be spelt written before s/he spells it!
  • A person excellent at math imagines the mathematical progressions and draws results.