Amsterdam School for Imagery

Training courses, therapy & coaching

Everything we do in life is driven by the image of it. The inner world of images is the field of our drives, opportunities & obstacles and especially of our vital life resources.
With imagining you have the key to the art of living . . by putting your images and visions into practice with dedication.
Read Imagery in Therapy, Counselling and Coaching by Jan Taal.

Strengthen yourself

A free online imagery tool, with which you can step by step create your own image of the self-reinforcement you need in times of uncertainty or crisis and also advise you how to apply it in your daily life.

Strengthen yourself

A free online imagery tool, with which you can step by step create your own image of the self-reinforcement you need in times of uncertainty or fear and also advise you how to apply it in your daily life.

Since 1985

Amsterdam School for Imagery

How imagination and visual thinking work, its dynamics and its applications in coaching, therapy and human development is the specialism of the School.

The imagination has the ability to create something from nothing,
from a source that is, as it were, ‘the child of itself’,
from the principle of life that resides in each of us.


Jan Taal introduces imagery. 5:47 min.

Expertise and In-depth learning


In our courses and modules you can be trained in imagery in its many specialized forms, and for application in different fields. These areas include psychological treatment, coaching, psychotherapy, supervision, career counseling, psychosocial counseling, team building, organizational development, health care and education projects.

The courses and modules offer excellent training in the professional and respectful use of the inner image, in which knowledge and experience go hand in hand.

In-depth, concrete and tailor-made

Therapy & Coaching

The characteristics of our therapy and coaching are:  

  • Inspiration; the inner world of images is a rich source of inspiration
  • Integral approach to all aspects of life
  • Cognition and creativity go hand in hand
  • Tailor-made courses (no strict protocol)
  • The client receives practical assignments and guidance for application
  • Concrete end goals

Strengthening resilience in cases of cancer, chronic illness and crisis.

Imagery toolbox

The imagination is a domain where our inner resources are located. Resources we can draw from to strengthen ourselves. Everyone possesses this self-reinforcing ability.
The Imagery Toolbox contains high-quality ‘tools’ for this. These are simple exercises, suggestions and materials to start using your imagination, for strengthening your capacity and resilience in difficult times and for recovery.


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The art of living and imagery

The art of living and imagery

Everything we do in life is driven by its image. The inner world of images is the playing field
of our motives, desires, possibilities, and obstacles. With imagery, you can learn to navigate
your inner world and access vital life resources. Art of living is to be in touch with your
vitality and creative abilities and proactively apply these in the world in which you live.

The Art of Living

The art of living is managing your many selves. On the one hand, this means ‘coordinating’
everything that influences and touches you from within. On the other, it means dealing with
whatever confronts you in the outside world, such as the circumstances in which you live;
your family, relationships, and work; society, and the time in which you live. In the deepest
sense, the external world is a (hidden) part of you, the terrain that belongs to you, in which
your qualities and creative skills can flourish.
The first stage in the art of living is getting to know your inner world. Imagery is an excellent
method for this. In the second stage you start to coordinate the different needs, talents and
drives that live within you and begin to experience and express these different
psychobiological energies in a balanced way. Once a firm center is established within
yourself, your talents and creative abilities can mature.
Clearing blockages or inhibitions is, of course, an essential part of this ‘coordination’ process.
Imagery is an excellent means for this as well.

About imagery

The capacity to imagine is not something that is learned, but something we all have, it is
innate. After all, imagining is what people constantly do, just like breathing. It is a core
function of the psyche and continuously determines our behavior and experience. Every
action, every new development is driven by its image. Advertisers, influencers in every field,
and good teachers use imagery all the time. With it, you can consciously and purposeful use
your imaginative capacity for your personal development and give meaning and direction to
your life.

Just as in our solar system where the sun gives us life, so inside each of us there is a source
of self-reinforcement and realization. This can also be compared to the roots and trunk of a
tree from which branches, leaves and fruit continue to grow, if given the chance.
In the third stage of imagery we realize that our inner world and the outer world spring
from the same source, and that we have the extraordinary possibility to create qualities and
skills from this source.*

The mystical stage of imagery

The vital creative source within us is universal, we have all got it and at the same time it is
our deep connection to everything that exists, from ‘the other’ to every stone and drop of
water, but usually that’s a secret for our ‘normal’, limited consciousness.
The more we consciously make deeper contact with our experience of the inner and outer
world, the more we will experience the primal ground of existence, the immortal Self, and
realize there is nothing else then absolute being, all else is like the flickering of the shadows
on the walls of our cave (Plato). It is only when we come out of the cave that we perceive
the true source, the sun.
In a way every image is like a ray of light. Once we really connect with an image and accept
it, even if it represents a terrible, negative experience at first, it will bring us a core quality of
life, which we can master and use for the benefit of ourselves and the world we live in.

Benefits and pitfalls

There are lots of rewarding benefits to be gained with imagery. But there are also pitfalls.
If a firm psychological center is not developed enough in the person (I-strength; first and
second stage of imagery), excessive flooding of the consciousness may occur causing
disruptive effects on the person’s well-being.
Also, when imagery remains merely a cognitive or emotional experience without any
positive practical integration into everyday life, it can even have negative effects in the
person’s life and block personal development.**
As a means of developing the art of living imagery is a painstaking but rewarding enterprise.
It requires an open mind, a willingness for instance to encounter also ‘unpleasant’ psychic
parts and it requires proactive action in the external world with what is gained. Above all,
going through the stages of imagery is a tremendous fascinating process, because in its
deepest sense every image, whatever the sensory or intuitive form, sprouts from the source
of life.

Drs Jan Taal, March 2022

* Read more about the stages in The Three Stages of Imagery.
For more examples of imagery processes with illustrations: Course book Imagery Toolbox
** Oettingen, G & Mayer, D . (2002) . The Motivating Function of Thinking About
the Future: Expectations Versus Fantasies . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol . 83, 5,

The Crocodile Story

The Crocodile Story

Caroline participated in a workshop with the Imagery Toolbox. During the workshop and after, a meaningful imagery process swiftly develops. I was in an identity crisis. I had been working as a therapist for many years and felt that I wanted to take a different path, but did not dare to take it. Paralyzed with fear, I stood at the edge of a pool.

Caroline tells: I was having an identity crisis. I had been working as a coach/therapist for many years and felt that I wanted to take a different path, but didn’t know which one. Actually, I knew, but didn’t dare to smash them. Paralyzed with fear, I stood at the edge of the pool. For the courage I needed I took the symbol card[1] with the crocodile. Then I was invited to focus on the crocodile and, after closing my eyes, wait and see how the image developed. In my imagination the crocodile plunged directly into the water.

[1] Symbol cards are available on

Afterwards I made a drawing of it.

Looking at the drawing the workshop facilitator suggested me to try to feel, to imagine to be the crocodile.

I did and immediately I felt how nice it is to be this crocodile in the water, how natural this water is and how much I missed the water. I had stood beside the water for such a long time, it left me almost dehydrated.
It was then that I realized: if I take the path of writing and imagery as a therapist, I will feel at home like a crocodile in water.

The facilitator also helped me concretize: is there an action that would make you jump into the water? I immediately knew such an action. He let me choose a specific moment in the week where I would make that action a reality.

He also advised me to keep in touch with the drawing. I put it in sight at home.


Then I dreamed of the crocodile. How wonderful it was to swim in the water and see all the fish.


The next day, in an unguarded moment, this image came to my mind. I felt my crocodile making love to another crocodile. And how much fun they had with the waterbed. It was the first time that I felt so earthy. I felt how the crocodile lives very close to the ground, it drags its whole body over it. For me, making love was a symbol of connecting myself with the male decisiveness. In one way or another it was an incentive to put myself in the world, to ‘materialize’ myself. In the coming days I worked out my action in concrete terms. I was going to write an invitation to a workshop and it just flowed from my pen with a primal force.


A few days later, this image appeared on my retina. I needed a connection, I wanted to visit other crocodiles. Walking across the desert, that dry plain was not an option. Then the crocodile would dry out. In my imagination I built subterranean passages to the other crocodiles. I had been on my island for far too long.

After the drawing I decided to contact some of the people I feel connected to. I then saw a whole network of colleague-crocodiles connected to each other via underground passages before my eyes.


A few weeks later I dream of the crocodile, that I unite with it. I feel good, secure, strong. I am in an egg shape, protected by a rainbow. It feels like I am connecting with my primal power.
It’s extraordinarily how that crocodile lives its own life in my imagination and how she stands next to me as a companion in my development. I feel much more peaceful and happier now, more of a whole. It is an image that has emerged somewhere deep from my subconscious and gives me all kinds of things.