They said you’re not trying hard enough…

It’s been a few weeks since our last update on aphantasia and the mind’s eye.

A few of you noticed and emailed me to check-in. I appreciate the support and ongoing curiosity!

As the first publicized case of aphantasia in 2015, I’ve been thinking about aphantasia for almost 10 years. We receive hundreds of emails each week from new discoverers, many in distress, and we do our best to respond. aphantasia.com gets ~70k visitors per month, and we have just crossed 750k VVIQ surveys completed – making it the biggest dataset on mental imagery in the world. 

We’re collaborating with researchers at several universities worldwide, including in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Japan, and Australia. We’re pushing to understand how and why aphantasia is experienced, and how it impacts our life, work and well-being. As noted by Dr. Paolo Bartolomeo, a neuroscientist from the Paris Brain Institute, aphantasia gives us a new window into human consciousness

Hyperphantasia is just as interesting, and its impacts on life, work and well-being may be just as profound. 

It’s important to note that aphantasia is not a disorder. Yet, for ~35% of those with aphantasia, its discovery can be a significant psychological stressor. 

In fact, many of the emails I receive are from those who are experiencing psychological stress, and looking for support. 

We’ve heard many stories about counsellors using visualization in their practice, and telling aphants “you’re not trying hard enough” when the approach doesn’t resonate. 

We currently don’t have a method to identify locally qualified specialists or make referrals to therapists, counsellors or education consultants. ~4% of the population have aphantasia, so most major cities have a large number of individuals seeking support. 

To address the need for support, we’re exploring the creation of a new program to train and certify aphantasia specialists. In collaboration with select research partners, we will offer a training program so those looking to support aphantasics can obtain training and materials to be equipped with the latest insights into the aphantasic experience. After completing the program, we can make their contact information available to aphants seeking support. 

If you’re interested in this new initiative, either as a professional or someone seeking support, please complete the form on this page. I’m open to your thoughts on this new initiative – please share your feedback with me directly.