Imagination plays a crucial role in therapy, be it psychoanalytical or depth psychological. Being generated by processes of conceptualization (mostly within the prefrontal cortex), imaginations are closely linked to strategies of solving contradictory or conflict laden situations in life. In fact, they generate dispositions of behaviour. With respect to therapy, the question of the rationality and the „intentionality” of imagination is critical because it might open up new creative options. Such options are generated interactively (described by Martin Heisenberg as „initial activity”), reflected upon, and assessed with respect to their viability. In this context, free association, dreaming, and day dreaming play an important role by unleashing acts of imagination. This process was labelled by Jung in his depth psychology as „therapy guided by imagery”. Thus imaginations are not only reflections of experiences but reactions to what is experienced. They may trigger further processes which possibly have a therapeutic effect.
Hinderk M. Emrich, born 1943; 1968 MD (University of Bern); 1998 PhD (University of Munich); 1972 Habilitation in Molecular Neurobiology (Technical University of Berlin); 1973–1974 patho-physiological studies at the Pediatric Hospital, University of Munich, in collaboration with the Department of Physiology of Munich; 1975–1978 Postgraduate training in psychiatry, neurology and clinical psychopharmacology; 1979–1987 Group Leader and later Department Leader of clinical psychopharmaco-logy at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry; 1991–1992 Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; since 1992 Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical School, Hannover. Several guest professorships, e.g. at the University of Witten-Herdecke and the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie, Berlin.
Publications: Psychiatrische Anthropologie – Therapeutische Bedeutung von Phantasiesystemen (1990); as co-author and/or co-editor: Vom Nutzen des Vergessens (1996), Welche Farbe hat der Montag? – Synästhesie: Das Leben mit verknüpften Sinnen (2001), Psyche und Transzendenz (2002), On Time Experience in Depression – Dominance of the Past (2004), Emotional Time, Creativity, and Consciousness: On Time Experience in Depression (2005), Geist, Psyche und Gehirn. Aktuelle Aspekte der Kognitionsforschung, Philosophie und Psychopathologie (2005), Facetten der Sucht. Von der Neurobiologie zur Anthropologie (2006).