Mervin Smucker. Attachment Theory and Its Relevance to Imagery Rescripting

According to attachment theory, psychotherapy is a process of reappraising and reworking inadequate, dysfunctional, outdated schematic models of the self and attachment figures (Bowlby 1988). It is the task of the therapist to create a reliable and secure base from which patients may begin to explore their internal schematic attachments. Similarly, in IRRT [Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy] a primary task of the therapist is to provide a secure base or safety zone that serves as a therapeutic anchor, within which the individual’s unresolved traumatic material can be re-experienced, re-scripted, and reprocessed.  The therapist facilitates cognitive and affective shifts back and forth in the therapy session from the secure therapeutic base to the anxiety-provoking imagery of the individual’s traumatic material.

Adapted from Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma: Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing by Mervin Smucker and Constance Dancu.

Mervin Smucker