Nancy A. Bent, Ph.D. mail:
Beyond MS Introduction
Book Samples
Buying "Beyond MS"
Contact the Author
Dear Friends,

Although some thinkers in the social sciences have speculated in a theoretical way about what happens to the body during illness and the power of the mind that contributes to the healing process, one can say that the real truth of the tale is found in the imagistic expression of the experience itself. The experience of illness and what it means to the ill person varies with the individual. What the reality of illness means to the physician is another story altogether. In fact, two entirely distinct realities exist between patient and doctor. Nonetheless, medicine is believed to be the process that makes us healthy and whole, and it persists as the predominant way to maintain good health and longevity. Scientific, medical, and clinical writers have provided valuable data and advice about various disorders and treatment procedures. However, a rift remains between the scientific writer and the lay reader because the methodologist focuses on symptomatology and a specific treatment modality while the reader is looking for what it feels like to have a certain illness.

In contrast to the traditional medical view of the patient as a bearer of symptoms, those working in the realm of psychosomatic medicine see the patient as a whole human being, with images, thoughts, and emotions, not just a container of organs. The experience of multiple sclerosis (MS) involves a collection of motor disorders and a loss of sensation that makes the body feel like an opposing force that changes one's sense of self and is capable of causing humiliation and shame. However, the entire experience also contains powerful and clear images called eidetics, which can treat and heal the negative emotions and change physiology. Conventional medicine views illness as a diseased state and focuses on pathology while treating the body as a faulty mechanism. The Eidetic Method explained in BEYOND MS offers a different approach to treating emotional and physical health with a focus on the well body and its connection to the power of the mind.

Eidetic Image Therapy is a unique system of psychotherapy based on the pioneering work of Akhter Ahsen, Ph.D., who is the originator of the field of Image Psychology and leading theorist in the scientific and clinical study of mental imagery. I have trained extensively with Ahsen and worked closely with him on the eidetic approach to the treatment of MS since 1988. BEYOND MS: Itıs All in the Image presents a thorough introduction for the professional and non-professional audience to this new and different psychosomatic approach to healing multiple sclerosis.

The innovative method of eidetic therapy techniques and exercises presented in this book have been successful in not only altering everyday behavior, but also, and more important, in strengthening emotional and physical health. An overview of the eidetic concept is given for general understanding and the use of specific techniques and images demonstrate more specifically how eidetics can be operationalized to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However, the reader will ultimately understand that any symptomatology can be treated with eidetics. This model is an important development in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, psychosomatic medicine, neurophysiology, and neuroimmunology.

With the growing use of mental imagery in psychosomatic medicine and psychology, the question of possible physiological mechanisms by which imagery may affect somatic, cognitive, and affective processes has become much more relevant. For example, recent studies have focused on emotion-related brain activity and have found that meditation decreases anxiety and increases positive affect. This activity is said to occur in the part of the brain that is associated with enhanced immune function.

The body does not lie! It tells us the truth about how we feel and shows us that there is an imbalance in our physiology...if we listen. Most of the time, we do not pay attention to our body because the pain of feeling and knowing may be too much. The eidetics carefully and compassionately show us what is needed through images to heal and activate the body and mind toward better health. BEYOND MS is about the psychology of illness and a method of healing that has deep significance for understanding the important subject of psychophysiology.

In the never-ending attempt to make sense out of life itself, some of us look to other people's life stories to see if their real-life experiences match the pattern of ours. In a step toward wholeness and in an effort to satisfy our hunger for a shared experience to help sustain us, we read about the pain of other people, and usually we find that they are not unlike us. We want to know that we are not alone and that other human beings in the world know our basic emotions and desires. Memoirs fill this need since they involve a particular portion of or thematic conflict in one's life. In the telling of the story, the writer celebrates the mystery and complexity of life and speaks about resilience, loneliness, love, hope, and transcendence. BEYOND MS is such a story. Through eidetics, many have experienced the extraordinary capabilities of the mind and the body for healing and restoration of emotional and physical health. There has been a steady increase in the number of practitioners in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia who are currently using Dr. Ahsen's eidetic method. For information on training, the Journal of Mental Imagery, more books on eidetics, or for any questions you may have, please click on the "Contact" button.

Nancy Bent, Ph.D.
©2011 Nancy A. Bent, Ph.D. All rights reserved.