Hellenic Mail Interview: Knowledge Exists in All of Us
by Demetra Monocrusso
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Mrs. Monocrusso, you are currently the only experienced consultant and trainer of Mental Imagery in Greece. How did this wonderful journey begin?
I had started my training in professional coaching after 18 years of service in the human resources sector of multinational companies in Greece. In the process I realized that the coaching process needs something extra. While the basic principle of coaching is to practice active listening and not interfere in the individual’s process of finding the answer they are looking for, I found that the process of achieving the goal required a different approach. Personally, I found the existing coaching models somewhat standardized and that coached individuals did not seem to have much faith in them. What was missing between goal setting and achievement was a direct and personal experience that brings about self-awareness during the session. Self-awareness strengthens the individual’s intention to achieve their goal. In my search for a solution, I found the American Institute for Mental Imaging in New York where I trained for 4 years under the personal guidance and supervision of its founder and director, Dr. Gerald Epstein, MD. While following a similar philosophy to coaching, the Institute’s methodology also gives individuals a powerful and purely experiential tool to bring about the change they wish to see. This tool is Mental Imagery.
Would you like to tell us about Mental Imagery? How is it different from other visualization techniques?
The first difference is that this is a revelatory experience by which coached individuals immediately discover what is organizing their life at the moment and, at the same time, they discover what they can do about it. In addition, we do not consider that people are in need of improvement. Therefore, we are not talking about a tool for self-improvement. On the contrary, we believe that everyone is born self-luminous and whole and that constant suggestions they have been receiving in their course of life from their environment together with their personal experience of events have created obstacles that limit their development. Another difference is that the purpose of the practice is not to envision a desired outcome in order to feel better. When practicing Mental Imagery, through images and through their senses, coached individuals are able to perceive what is limiting them. The choices they have made and their behavior are reflected in an image. What usually happens is that we realize our behavior and the choices we have made after some period of time having experienced their adverse consequences and following time-consuming analysis. Coached individuals see for themselves a depiction of their situation in a completely safe and natural manner. They really understand how they have been behaving and what belief pattern is governing this behavior. This realization immediately gives birth to the revelation of how to reverse the situation and move forward with voluntary will and restore balance within themselves and, consequently, in the organization of their life. This is possible because knowledge already exists in all of us and we do not need someone outside of us to point out how to specifically think and act. The instructor simply facilitates the coached individuals by training them in the understanding of the language of imagery which is the native language of all of us and the common language of all people worldwide. A coached individual’s intention to achieve their goal is a product of their own revelation. This strengthens their will and ensures that they move towards achieving their goal with consistency. In this way, coached individuals learn to trust themselves in the course of their life and their sense of autonomy is significantly enhanced.
We have been informed that online sessions are now also available. This is something new. Would you like to talk to us about that too?
Yes, sessions have always been offered in-person and online, but online sessions have increased recently due to Covid-19. The experience is the same though. There is no real difference.
More specifically, coached individuals begin the session by stating either that they are experiencing a difficulty in their relationship, or that they want to expand their self-awareness or that they want to find something meaningful in their life. They do not know what this is and feel that they are stuck somehow. We do not engage in detailed and analytic discussions since we do not perform psychoanalysis or psychotherapy. We are not looking for the causal relationship between what is happening today and what has triggered it. Instead, we start from where the coached individual is today and explore the situation to see what can be done from this point onwards. We do a Mental Imagery exercise that only takes a minute or so. Coached individuals sit in a chair and they begin a few cycles of breaths that calm their system down as they enter into heart coherence. We set an intention for what we are about to explore and the instructor guides them through the exercise which triggers a spontaneous image and experience. This happens while the individual is alert. This is not hypnosis or hypnotherapy. We explore the experience the individual is currently having in his or her life with a mental imagery exercise that is specific for that purpose and in which the individual sees, feels, senses and perceives certain things. Upon completion of the exercise, the individual describes his/her experience and is taught how to read this experience. We do not analyse, nor do we interpret. The experience is “read” by means of analogical thinking and it is examined phenomenologically. That is, we explore the experience we have before us. We bypass the compulsive linear and logical thinking of cause and effect. For example, the individual may state that he/she feels a weight in his/her heart. We ask what is weighs him/her down and during a specific brief mental imagery exercise, the individual sees, feels, senses and perceives a reflection of what is truly weighing him/her down. Then we proceed with reversing this situation to free the individual of the burden so that he/she can move forward with freedom, self-trust and, as a result, with increased autonomy.
First published in Greek by Hellenic Mail Printed Version / July 22, 2020.
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Professional Coach and Mental Imagery Clinician
All services provided by Demetra Monocrusso are in alignment and in accordance with the wholistic model of health taught by the American Institute for Mental Imagery of New York which is chartered by the New York State Regents to train clinicians in the GEMS integrative healing system.
They have been personally endorsed and approved by the founder and director of the institute Dr. Gerald N. Epstein, MD, an internationally renowned psychiatrist and one of the foremost practitioners of integrative healthcare for healing and transformation.
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Demetra is not a medical professional and none of her advice should ever be taken in the place of medical advice. The information provided is purely for educational purposes. Individuals must use their own discretion, judgment and commonsense at all times and should not break any local, national or international laws. Under no circumstances will Demetra be held liable or responsible for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special or consequential damages arising out of the use of, or inability to use, the information he shares. If you have a medical condition or health concern, always consult your doctor.