The most obvious effect of ImTT treatment is that a person no longer has any intense negative reaction to the memory of the event or its representative image. The image diminishes in intensity, loses its “gripping” quality, and no longer preoccupies a person’s feelings or memories.
The second result is less immediately obvious because painful events vary in their foundational importance. For example, if a person experiences a significant negative event during their teenage years, many feelings/thoughts/behaviours may have been driven by the image of that event. When the image is released, the driving force behind those feelings/thoughts/behaviours is no longer present.
A consequence of the releasing of a foundational image is that the person may feel unmotivated for several days. The motivation to do old behaviours has been eliminated, but not enough time has passed for new behaviours to emerge. For a few days after the image has been released, the person may feel tired and have no desire to do anything. There is often sadness and/or grief or regret about choices made and lost years because of the negative event. This occurs because, without the image and the psychological patterns driven by the image, the person can examine his behaviour through a different lens.
While the new feelings and behaviours are emerging, the person experiences something wonderful, a feeling of expansion and growth. The feeling has been described as a release from an unknown bondage and a new, deeper sense of a self with feelings and wants more truly aligned and more freely expressed than previously. Awareness of this experience is most acute in the first few weeks. After a few weeks, the most obvious changes have taken place and have become a predictable part of a person’s repertoire, and the new way of looking at the inner and outer world has normalized to the extent that the person takes for granted the changes and new behaviour.