Distance Learning Information

Distance Learning Information

The Deep Imagery Distance Learning program is a distance learning version of The Core Curriculum Training  in Deep Imagery, as developed by E.S. Gallegos, PhD. It is a 3 year program, certified by the IIVR (international Institute for Visualization Research). The residential program has been in operation for over 30 years. Until 2017, it had been only offered as a residential training. In the residential format, it consists of 12 full days a year, divided it into 2×6 day or 3×4 day periods, each year.

The distance learning format allows people to take the training but not need to travel themselves. It also allows the group to be smaller. The DIT program allows people to integrate Imagery very much into their lives and deepens their imagery practice through that daily interaction.

Like the residential program, its core requirement is that the trainee experiences Imagery and imagery journeys and through that, gain the familiarity and the trust they need to work effectively with others. In the residential training, trainees primarily work with each other. In the distance learning group, the work between the group happens long distance but people also work with others…. friends, family, perhaps clients…in one on one sessions.

The distance learning program works with a small group. Each training group is currently between 3-6 people. This allows for close supervision by the trainer and allows for flexibility in scheduling.

Our group currently meets through Zoom, an online webinar app. Each session is recorded and uploaded afterward to the website so people can listen to the sessions as they need. The structure allows for group journeys, individual journeys, discussion and instruction and has been very effective. I use a conference call setup which also has the option for video. The format we are using has been very effective and does not make people who are not technologically minded shy away and our sessions are very rich.



Trainees also have access to video of Dr. Gallegos and others guiding and journeying so they get to see how individual the experiences can be. I also bring in ‘guest” speakers occasionally as I want to expose the people I work with to the widest possible array of quality, in terms of trainers and uses of imagery. My experience also is that it gives more direct trainer interaction than the residential might.


Residential vs Distance learning

Some people will prefer a residential setup. It is a block of time in which nearly all the work takes place. Check with www.deepimagery.net for upcoming residential trainings or contact trainers individually from the IIVR trainer listings on this site.

The distance learning is more fluid than the residential training in its timing and is split into discrete bites that will suit some people and their lives. As a group, we meet for about 1.5 to 2 hours, once or sometimes twice a month. This is the main instruction time and we decide on that time together.  The people involved have to be self-motivating to a certain degree. They have to schedule time with members of the group to journey and to practice. They may also schedule sessions with others to practice one-on-one in person guiding. They also occasionally send the trainer questions or schedule a consultation time. It is very flexible.  It will suit some people and not others.


All our deep imagery trainings are very experiential. We want people to experience imagery as deeply as they can. We nurture the relationships people build within the deep imagination. That is the core of what we do. Out of that, people find their own depths and trust their own paths and know how to be with the depths, both in themselves and in others.

Deep, Relational, Interactive Imagery

Deep, Relational, Interactive Imagery


In deep imagery as we understand it in the Personal Totem Pole Process, the emphasis is on relating directly to the imagery guide and in fully partaking in the experiences that occur in the imagery journeys. A jour­ney begins with the practitioner leading the journeyer through a relaxation process. The aim is to help shift the journeyer’s attention away from where it is currently focused and into their body experience. From there it is easy to shift attention to the window of imagery. 

In a deep imagery journey. our first action is to call for an inner guide, usually an animal, inviting it to come to us. Experience in Imagery journeys is deepened by our active participation with the inner animals rather than by simply ob­serving the animal, thinking about it or interpreting it symbolically. Thus the primary tasks we have as journeyer, are to communicate with the animal, listen to its response, and allow space for further interaction. 

Greet the inner guide and thank it for coming. ,Asking the animal some open- ended questions, such as “What do you need from me?” “What needs to happen now?” “Is something ready to heal?” all allow a deepening of the Imagery journey and enable a truly interactive and relational experience.

By remaining curious about our own process, responsive to our imagery guides and keeping the journey outcome open-ended, the deep imagination 

has the space it needs to bring us to where we most need to go for our own growing, be it emotional, psychological, or spiritual. 


“It is alright to understand it metaphorically but the animal needs also to be related to in the immediacy of its existence, not merely as if it were ‘a message about.’ To treat the animal as if it were only a metaphor about other aspects of one’s life is to miss the fact that it is also the living nucleus of the connection to those other aspects.” 

E.S. Gallegos, The Personal Totem Pole Process, 190 

An Experiential, Process oriented Training 

An Experiential, Process oriented Training 


To be a successful deep imagery guide, we must become familiar with the realm of the deep imagination and trust our own inner imagery guides. We need to become skilled at guiding without intruding, of holding space with clarity, with giving direction without distracting the journeyer. 

Training in the Personal Totem Pole process is thus highly experiential, allow­ing participants to plunge deeply into their own process, in order to familiar­ize themselves with the workings of the deep imagination. The training holds that the foundation for any therapist is his or her own inner growth. One can only guide where one has gone before so the training requires a depth of com­mitment to one’s own growing, an openness to change, a curiosity about one’s own process and a willingness to experience whatever needs to happen for one’s own healing. 

The trainee is not merely taught a number of techniques but has an opportunity to undertake his/her own inner work which insures that their eventual ability with the Personal Totem Pole process emanates from deep personal experience. 

Right now it is not a matter of understanding but of experiencing our presence and your own aliveness:’ answers Elephant “Understanding will come later. Understanding always follows experience and cannot precede it If it precedes experience then it is a false under­standing, a sham, a fantasy, a make-believe. 

ES. Gallegos, Nothing is Nothing, 10 

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