by Katherine Zimmerman
In the past few years I’ve developed a fascination for using a beneficial metaphor. I became so interested that I conducted a brief study to satisfy my own need to know that they really do lead to positive change.
I was also fortunate enough to work with a client who responded to metaphors quite well but, because of her circumstances, was unable to do process work, e.g. age regression, parts therapy, etc.
I was well trained in process work and find it to be powerful and effective. My clients make dramatic changes with it. They don’t, however, always like the process. So, which approach is best for the client in your office? Direct suggestion? Metaphors? Regression/parts therapy?
Here is an example of a client who will clearly respond well to metaphors. I’ve put her images in bold and put the words that I might use as ego strengthening in italics.
“I’m a basket case. I feel as though the seas are choppy, churned up (personal metaphor), sleep is compromised, I wake up in freak out mode. I feel oppressed, in a dark place without enough oxygen, I need lightness of being and to lift myself up.
“In a recent trance I saw myself lifting myself up. I carried my self away to new place, new unobstructed path. My mind is cluttered. Mind impacted with “to dos”, I need to reclaim power/realize/create power. I want to show up for life.
“I have constructed thick wall between myself and the world. I’ve noticed how fervently I need to reframe “moi” mode. I’m in dire financial straits but it’s not about “me”. I am here for a purpose. How can I be of service vs what am I doing?
I have fleeting moments where I think ‘I can do this,’ but it’s transient.
“The Wall equals safety. ‘It is my overriding issue, my default state, the overwhelming monolithic thing that’s encased me.’
“I need a quick kick in my fanny, get in gear, step on the accelerator. I’ll have no more excuses without the wall. No choice but to proceed in direction of dreams. Something serendipitous will happen that I can’t refuse. Those have come and gone. I can attract good things without energy of fear.
“At times, I feel like a dork, seems like I could just brush aside the enclosure I’m in.
I’m ready to move into an all knowing place. When my gut speaks boldly, I want to listen.”
Since she talks about a restrictive wall more than anything else, I would most likely use a metaphor about going through the wall. I’ve included an example below.
Excerpt from Hypnotherapy Scripts, Vol. 1. Self Discovery
…However, your journey comes to abrupt end when you suddenly see before you a thick, stone wall. Although the wall is in a dark place without enough oxygen, you are ready to find a lightness of being and to lift yourself up.
Approach the wall that barricades your way. (Pause) As you look around on either side of the wall you see that there’s no way around this wall. As you look up at how high the wall is, you realize that you have to go past this wall to progress on your journey. Remaining on this side of the wall blocks your life purpose.
Perhaps you can jump over this wall. Move back just a bit and run a few steps, jumping up as high as you can. (Pause) However, you cannot reach the top and you slide back. This time you walk back even further and you run harder and jump toward the top of this wall but you still cannot reach the top. Again, you slide back down the wall. So now you go back many feet and with a running start, you run as hard as you can and jump as high as you can and clinch your fingers on the top of the wall, but soon you start scratching your arms and hurting your elbows as you fall back upon the ground. (Pause)
And suddenly you realize that this wall is a part of yourself that has blocked your way. It’s a part that you’ve carefully hidden from the world and, perhaps, even from yourself. This wall is a block on your journey through life. It’s a part of yourself that needs to be healed… , it’s time now to get in gear and step on the accelerator
Once she has moved through the wall…
Next I would explore the other side of the wall with the client and follow her lead, finishing with some ego strengthening using her own words.
(For example) I’m now in a light, open place where I can breathe easily. I’ve found a new lightness of being and can now easily lift myself up. I’ve carried myself away to new place, I’m on a new, unobstructed path. I am reclaiming my power. I am now showing up for life. I am now proceeding the in direction of my dreams. I can now attract good things. I deserve it. I can now be of service and fulfill my life purpose. Now that I have eliminated the enclosure, I awaken every day feeling calm and safe. My sense of safety comes from within and is with me always. I’m now moving into an all knowing place. When my gut speaks boldly, I listen and take action. I can do this!”