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Exploring the Effects of Mental Imagery in the Solution Focused Approach

DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2021.102004, PP. 36-46

Keywords: Mental Imagery, Solution-Focused Approach, Emotion State, Time Machine Question

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This study examined the effects of mental imagery in the solution-focused approach by evaluating the impact of positive self-image about the future on emotional states using the time machine question (which is a questioning technique used in the solution-focused approach). We compared the change in the emotional state of 270 participants, using the Japanese version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), before and after the intervention. The intervention conditions included: verbal description of one’s positive future on a worksheet (the language description condition), and imagining one’s positive future (the imagery condition). The results of the experiment showed that after the intervention, the scores of the imagery group on the positive and negative affect scales of the PANAS were significantly higher and lower, respectively, than those of the language description group. We also found that the amount of change in the scores of the positive and negative affect scales of the PANAS was significantly larger in the imagery group as compared to the language description group. These results indicate that interventions involving the imagining of one’s future via the time machine question of the solution-focused approach have a more direct impact on emotional states than interventions using a language description. This suggests that mental imagery plays an important role in interventions carried out within the framework of the solution-focused approach.


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