What is Functional Imagery Training?
Functional Imagery Training is a new way of supporting behaviour change. It uses collaborative counselling techniques to help people think about their most important goals, and mental imagery exercises to strengthen the desire for those goals.
In our recent trial, participants receiving FIT lost five times as much weight as those receiving motivational interviewing and continued to lose weight after the intervention ended.
Many reported a ‘mindset shift’ where they exercised or ate healthily because they wanted to, not because they had to.
Functional Imagery Training differs from other counselling techniques by explicitly eliciting vivid mental imagery at each step and by teaching people how to apply motivational imagery themselves using behavioural cueing, audios and an app to support imagery practice and build self-regulation.
FIT has been used to change eating habits, increase physical activity, reduce anxiety, support diabetic self-management, treat alcohol dependence, manage cannabis use in people with psychosis and reduce self-harm.