There are a number of places both on this website and on DeepImagery.net where we outline the benefits of our training and tell you about the curriculum and the expected outcomes. All that information is valid. This type of description appeals to our logical, thinking side. It may be needed if you wish to speak to an employer in order to take some time off or if you are invested in learning skills. All we describe, we provide. Indeed, I don’t believe that there is any other imagery training currently available that offers as much as we do in the line of skills and exposure to types of imagery work. But this work goes deeper than skills alone.
Our deep imagery training is not just about learning skills but it is about attending to your own wholeness, about your own inner process, about going deep within and discovering your own inner allies. It gives you the luxury of a dedicated time in which you can go deep within and discover the beauty and profound wisdom of your inner world.
This training allows you develop relationships with the deepest aspects of your self. Sometimes, maybe even mostly, these aspects come to you as animals. Sometimes, they come as other beings. Through this work you get the opportunity to grow your relationships with them so that they become your allies and friends, your companions on the journey of your life.
Yes, there may be scary moments during the training. There will undoubtedly be injuries that need healing. There will be parts of you that perhaps you have never before met, powerful parts, sad parts, joyful parts. There will be injured animals, lost animals, sad animals but there will also be happy animals, powerful animals, loving animals. There will be feelings, emotions that may be new or recurrent. You will encounter your thinking both as it supports you and also in those places where it doesn’t.
But through even the darkest of places, you will never be alone. You inner guides will walk with you and will never bring you anything you are not ready to handle. Your trainer and training group will also walk their paths beside you, in companionship, as they too, (trainers included) do their own work, meet their own guides and journey to those places of deepest healing.
Your deep imagery guides will teach you to be compassionate and tender with yourself. They offer you endless compassion on your journey. They allow you speak the things that are deep in your heart, to say the words that perhaps you have never expressed, or words you did say but were never before heard. Your inner guides become your best friends and your best teachers. They have been waiting for you to come and say hello, to walk with them, to experience their love for you. They will teach you to trust, to know the ways of your soul.
In the training, there will also be times of great joy and celebration, of insight and of owning the parts of you that you pushed away because they were too big, too powerful, too whole. Our training gives you the time to know yourself, to discover and celebrate your wholeness; to know wholeness as an continuous, beautiful path.
Your trainers and the other people in your group will also accompany you. You will not be alone for human companionship. Your training group will hold the space you need. They will listen with respect. They will guide you in to your inner world. And you too will learn to listen to yourself, to make room for the beauty that is within you, to trust that your healing is not only possible but fully available to you, waiting for you to say “I’m here. I’m ready to go with you.” That is all it takes to begin.
My advice to my trainees is “Pay attention your own healing first. Dedicate yourself to seeking your own wholeness. Your own healings, your experience with deep Imagery will teach you best of all how to be with others. This training is a chance to deepen yourself. Seize the opportunity with both hands and all of your heart.”
Deep Imagery changed my life. It continues to do so! It can change yours too.
© Mary C. Diggin, PhD
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.
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
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