5-Minute Guided Visualization: Leaves on a Stream

Cognitive defusion is a technique that allows us to separate ourselves from our thoughts. To know that we have the power to observe our thoughts. We can notice them enter our awareness, acknowledge them, and then allow them to leave our awareness. This can help with getting unstuck from patterns of thought that are causing suffering, such as recurring anxious or negative thoughts.

This guided visualization is called Leaves on a Stream. Get comfortable, close your eyes if you want to, and give it a listen.

Leaves on a Stream is an exercise from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based approach that helps with recognizing the suffering caused by attempting to suppress, control, and deny emotional experiences. ACT acknowledges that human experiences of suffering and discomfort are normal, and we can live healthier, more meaningful lives by embracing the full spectrum of human experiences.

This recording has no music, for those who find music distracting. See below for another version of this visualization with music included.

Version with Music (Binaural Beats)

The recording of the Leaves on a Steam exercise below contains music with delta wave binaural beats, which are which are said to help with sleep and deep relaxation. Please do not listen while driving or performing activities that require concentration. In the unlikely event that you experience any unusual physical or mental discomfort, immediately discontinue use.

The guided portion lasts around five minutes and there are an additional two minutes with just music to allow you to continue on your own if you wish.

Music: Chris Collins, https://indiemusicbox.com

🌱 The content in these videos is for educational purposes only and does not constitute a provider-patient relationship. It is not a substitute for personal therapy or medical advice.

Source for Leaves on a Stream cognitive defusion exercise:Harris, R. (2009). ACT with love: Stop struggling, reconcile differences, and strengthen your relationship with acceptance and commitment therapy. New Harbinger Publications.