Is guided imagery emotional intelligence?

titleImagine finding the secret formula for wellbeing. Intellectually and culturally, if it can happen at all it depends on our belief systems that it even exists. The mission of this blog is to explore this issue and show that it indeed does exist by advancing the conversation and in finding support materials, anecdotal or evidence based, to support your wellness journey. David King’s article “ Brighter Paths to Wellbeing” delivers. The four stages process offers a solid foundation for expanding our beliefs regarding wellness and illness.

Since the emphasis here in this blog is to explore how these theories intersect with Guided imagery please read on!  “A holistic perspective would maintain four general classes of intelligence: (1) bodily or physical intelligence (awareness of bodily processes, physical mastery, etc.), (2) rational intelligence or IQ (linguistic, mathematical,  and spatial abilities), (3) emotional intelligence (awareness of emotions, emotional control, social abilities, etc.), and (4) spiritual intelligence (critical existential thinking, personal meaning production, transcendental awareness, and conscious state expansion). All of these ability sets or “intelligences” function in different ways within various domains of our daily lives. Depending on a individual’s potential, each class of intelligence acts as a tool kit for living, providing unique means of decision-making, reasoning, problem-solving, and adaptability.

With regard to our health and wellbeing, it is suggested that each intelligence plays a critical role in illness and injury prevention,detection, and management (including treatment and recovery).This proposition is supported by current research which has observed positive relationships between health and each class of human intelligence. The role of emotional intelligence in our health and wellbeing is far more internal, in so much that it depends on emotional processes related to injury and illness. Nevertheless, it is our emotional ability set which contributes significantly to our management of stress, and it is the avoidance of the by-products of stress (e.g., anxiety, depression, fatigue) which contributes positively to our health.

Emotional intelligence also functions in the detection of injury and illness via the perception of emotional manifestations of underlying conditions. Spiritual intelligence plays a similar role in the prevention and detection of injury and illness. Not only does it provide unique means of stress management, but it also functions in the perception of spiritual shifts (i.e., changes on a holistic level) related to underlying physical or mental conditions. It is in the management of illness and injury, however, that the full potential of a spiritual ability set can be observed. It is during this stage that the interpretation of an injury or illness first occurs. It is also in this stage that meaning and purpose are extracted from the event and context for the experience is created within one’s life… What we are left with is a model of health in which each class of human intelligence plays a critical and necessary role at all stages, from the prevention of illness and injury to their detection and management.”

Deepening the discourse regarding wellbeing and health James H. West states, “Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man.” Email D. King at:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for cited references.

The significance of King’s four stages of intelligence is that they fit seamlessly into much of the new studies and teaching that are part of Guided Imagery and mindfulness meditation. In guided imagery there is an inner advisor that is the conductor of the body’s ability to adapt to the messages or scripts that are the directives of going into a healing ritual. One’s intelligence expands or contracts as one explores inner metaphoric encounters. The levels, grades as it were of deepening in which one finds oneself actualize neural pathways (where attention flows neurons grow) influencing the healing response in one’s body-mind. What is nice is that we can begin redefining how the healing potential gets activated and construct maps that can be visual reference pointers, or way finders.

The essence is in believing one can access and grow into advancing one’s intelligence with tool or maps. The more we can bring these new constructs to the foreground the greater will be their acceptance and then shifts will begin to redefine our cultural and intellectual landscape regarding our role in the healing cycle. Guided Imagery has an important role in exploring this inner ground to promote such advancements. Using guided imagery or self-directed imagery is in fact using intelligence based on knowledge.


The caveat or refrain regarding adaptation of types of self care management therapies is from the institutional establishment that they may be a detour around physician directed interventions, One has the freedom to decide and using an integrated fourfold model can add balance to finding the best support! David’s site is at


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