Leone Centre Glossary

Imagery Rescripting

Imagery Rescripting in CBT

Imagery rescripting is a powerful tool in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) that helps individuals alter the emotional impact of distressing memories by changing the images in their minds. This approach uses the brain’s visual processing to create new, more positive outcomes for past events.

Mental Reprocessing

Imagery rescripting addresses issues such as trauma, anxiety, and negative self-beliefs by allowing individuals to revisit and transform distressing memories, leading to emotional relief and improved mental well-being.

Transforming Memories

Imagery rescripting involves guided mental imagery where the individual is encouraged to imagine a distressing memory and then change the outcome or context. This process can significantly reduce the emotional impact of the memory and promote healing.

About this Approach

Imagery rescripting is a therapeutic approach used within CBT to help individuals reframe and reprocess traumatic or distressing memories by changing the mental images associated with those events.

How It Helps

This method helps with reducing the emotional intensity of negative memories, overcoming trauma and promoting a more positive outlook on past experiences.

How It Works

Through guided imagery, an experienced therapist helps the individual to visualise the distressing event and then alter the imagery to create a new, less distressing version of the event. This can involve changing the outcome, the setting, or the roles of the people involved.


What is imagery rescripting?
Imagery rescripting is a CBT approach that involves changing the mental images of distressing memories to reduce their emotional impact.
How does imagery rescripting work in therapy?
An experienced therapist guides the individual through visualising a distressing memory and then altering the image to create a less distressing version of the event.
What issues can imagery rescripting address?
Imagery rescripting can help with trauma, anxiety, and negative self-beliefs by altering the emotional impact of distressing memories.


  1. Psychology Today – Imagery Rescripting: Repairing the Past
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information – Imagery Rescripting for PTSD
  3. ScienceDirect – Efficacy of Imagery Rescripting in CBT
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision