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Distress Tolerance Imagery Training


Syd Hiskey ,

The Oaks Hospital, GB
About Syd

Syd Hiskey is a clinical psychologist in full-time independent practice.

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Neil Edward Clapton

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, GB
About Neil

Neil Clapton is a clinical psychologist working in the NHS.

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Martial artists often use imagery training, both for technical skill development and for managing the self and others in conflict situations. There appears, however, to be no consistent method of imaging work employed to help develop such skills. We therefore present the PETTLEP approach – Physical, Environment, Task, Timing, Learning, Emotion, Perspective – drawn from the field of sports psychology, as a unifying theoretical framework for dynamic imagery interventions and propose a novel protocol for distress tolerance imagery work to help train martial artists in coping with stressful/conflict events. Such tools have a range of values and may be particularly important during periods when face to face, hands-on, or simulation drill training as part of martial arts practise may be impractical, such as during the COVID-19 crisis.

How to Cite: Hiskey, S. and Clapton, N.E., 2021. Distress Tolerance Imagery Training. Martial Arts Studies, 11, pp.46–55. DOI:
Published on 19 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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