Guided Imagery, Guided Interactive Meditation, and Visualization are similar words and practices. The point of this type of exercise is to exercise your belief system to work for you and not against you. Even though there are many benefits of talk therapy alone, it is important that the therapeutic environment offer experiential tools to facilitate new experiences within you. The imagery that you use must come from you. It cannot come from me. It has to be believable imagery. Usually, as in the case of my Tiger, the imagery comes from a place of history inside of you and not something that you just think is a good idea or symbol. Your kinesthetic and proprioceptive system must resonate with the image. For instance if you have always had a proclivity toward bears or dragonflies you might want to develop a internal relationship with one to help you experience a guided quest as if it were real. If you choose something like a bear and you have no history with bears and you know nothing about bears you will not be able to experience an authentic relationship. It is possible however, when you are in the middle of imagery for an animal or person that you have no experience with comes to you. If that happens, go with it. Below is a simple exercise to try.
I believe it is helpful to think about Guided Imagery as an interactive meditation. It is important to start with setting aside some time for yourself. In the past, twenty minutes was the magical number. But, what you really need is time to relax, explore where you are and then allow yourself to go anywhere that you can imagine. I like to look at Interactive Meditation in the following steps. First decide what you are exploring, seeking, or asking. Then follow the steps below and see what happens.
1. Start by setting aside a certain amount of uninterrupted time.
2. You can do Interactive Meditation from anywhere.
a. Don’t sabotage yourself by thinking you can only do it in your living room in a prone position with perfect music playing in the background.
b. Allow your body to find a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe.
3. Turn your attention to your surroundings and just notice the things surrounding you.
4. Allow your eyes to close naturally.
5. Focus on your breathing.
a. Extend your breath.
b. Inhale as deeply as you can and exhale slowly as if you are blowing out a candle.
c. Imagine the room filling with your favorite color. Inhale the color and exhale it back into the room until you can imagine your entire body filling with the color you chose.
6. Once you imagine yourself full of and surrounded by your favorite color then imagine there is a path just outside your mind’s awareness. Follow the path and explore where it goes.
7. Allow your mind the freedom to express itself. Imagine your footprints making colorful imprints along the path. Let yourself visualize a complete setting: mountains, oceans, rivers, little cottages, benches beneath the tree, a picnic area. Invite animals to come along beside you.
8. When you notice you have created an area that feels very pleasant to you, invite wisdom to show up in whatever form you need it to and allow your spirit to be open to what wisdom has to say. Be careful not to edit. Just let your thoughts free-flow.
9. Stay as long as you need to and then allow yourself to walk back up the path until you are ready to gently open your eyes.
10. Jot down what you heard wisdom say to you. Ponder it throughout the day.
11. Take one small step of action to honor what wisdom said.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Robin B. Dilley is an Arizona licensed psychologist in private practice. She received her doctoral degree from Union Institute in 1992 and has been practicing as a clinician in the field of psychotherapy since 1978. She has studied extensively the literature on Shame and believes that often it is the "trance of shame" that keeps the client powerless to make his/her life different.

Dr. Dilley uses an eclectic approach to psychotherapy. She believes that each session and each client have unique differences, and that the key to psychotherapy success is in the psychotherapy relationship. If the therapist can establish a trusting relationship with the client and then be intuitive enough to use all of her professional resources, then the client is enabled to achieve the personal growth he/she came in to find.