Metaphor Therapy

Metaphor Therapy

Metaphor Therapy Hypnotherapy Stories and Techniques

Metaphor Therapy Scripts, Examples, Tutorials

Metaphor therapy is powerful, flexible and easy to use. Metaphors can long and involved, or short and simple. They give a unique way to do hypnotherapy. Every therapist should learn how to create and use metaphors in therapy.

Metaphor techniques

Using tales and metaphors in hypnosis is as old as hypnosis itself. You can use pre-written stories. Fables and fairy stories are designed to engage the listener's mind and teach them some lesson about how to behave. Such stories are usually artfully written, but are the same for every client. Some make their point very clearly. Others leave it up your own mind to determine what they mean.

A different type of metaphor therapy has no fixed format. You explore what your client says or does and work with that. You make up a story to fit the exact situation. You can use the client's own words to make changes in their behavior. Or you can turn  their feeling into a bodily metaphor and create profound changes through that.

Some of the ways of using tales and metaphors in hypnosis are explored below.

Reframing Metaphors

Metaphor stories are a great way to get you to think about things from a different point of view. This is known as reframing. A simple story can have huge effects. One you see something a different way, you can never unsee it.

Reframing Mini Metaphors

Metaphor stories can be long or short. These short metaphor stories get their point across in a very few words. Notice how each focuses on a single point, and cleverly reframes the meaning. This encourages the client to do the same when thinking about their own problem.

Clinical Metaphor Therapy

Clinical Metaphors are stories designed to match the issues that are affecting your client. The story describes how someone had a problem and found a way to end that problem. The unconscious mind of the listener matches the problem of the story to their own problem. Then finds a way to find a solution. Interesting and provocative therapy.

Client Metaphor Therapy

Client metaphors are like mind reading. Your client's metaphors reflect exactly what they are thinking right now.  If you listen. you can capture and use the metaphors your client uses. Client metaphors provide an easy and effective way into your client's subconscious mind. Check out how to do this form of hypnotherapy.

Metaphor Replacement Therapy

Metaphor replacement therapy uses the client's feelings of anger, or shame, or fear and turns these into a body metaphor. The body metaphor exactly matches the feeling. When you replace the body metaphor with a different metaphor, it removes the old feeling instantly. Powerful and effective. Learn more.

Metaphor Therapy Techniques

Most hypnotherapy involves the use of metaphors. Metaphors do not have to be formal stories. There are many other types of therapy based on metaphor. This section looks at how metaphor is used in flexible and creative ways.

NLP Metaphor Therapy Techniques

NLP is a metaphor therapy. Most of the NLP techniques rely on metaphor methods. The Fast Phobia Cure is an obvious visual metaphor. As is the SWOOSH exercise. Anchoring is not such an obvious metphor but it actually uses a bodily metaphor to work. 

What is a Metaphor?

'a metaphor is something that stands for something else'.

Definition of Metaphor

A metaphor is a figure of speech. A statement containing one obvious literal meaning is implied to be something else in a different context. Good metaphors are vivid, brief and insightful. 'He is as sharp as a bowling ball'.

A metaphor always contains at least two parts - the thing stated and the thing compared to. So a metaphor always communicates on at least two levels, the face value meaning, and a symbolic meaning.

'The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another' (Lakoff & Johnson, 2003, p5).

Metaphor Example in action

Consider the example 'You had better pull your socks up'. This is not making a comment about how you are dressed: it is suggesting that you need to do something about your present situation. The speaker gets their point across through generating a vivid image in a minimum number of words. Metaphor TherapyBecause it is image based, the metaphor allows the speaker to imply things without actually saying them: that you are in some ways like a child; that there is a power situation where they are an adult and your are a thoughtless child; that your shortcomings are immediate and obvious; that the problem is easily fixed; and many more.

The words create an image in your mind, but that image comes out of a complex mental process. The words on the surface make no sense. In order to make sense of the words, you have to search your memory for something about 'pulling the socks up'. And you will find something, or possibly many things, that match parts of the suggested image. In identifying those things your mind also accesses resources or lessons associated with those things. The metaphor will suggest action you can take, or should take.



Types of metaphor

Metaphors can be verbal or non verbal. A metaphor can be obvious: for example "I feel like I'm dragging a great weight around with me" or they can be hidden in sensory expressions such as "I don't know why I keep punishing myself this way". It can express an abstract concept such as "I feel a song in my heart".

Non verbal metaphors include 'body' expressions such as body language, posture, dress, sounds, gestures, lines of sight. Non verbal metaphors also include 'artistic' communication such as painting, writing, music, dance, play, drama, ritual and many others. Even how you decorate your room is a metaphor for how you feel, or how you want people to think of you. Every form of communication has its own form of metaphor.



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