Magical Metaphor

I’m over the moon to be writing about metaphors. You know – metaphorically speaking.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Metaphors are also described as figures of speech, allegories, parables, analogies, word pictures and symbols.

They creep into our everyday life without most of us even noticing.

Have you ever really been as sick as a parrot? (I didn’t even know parrots were particularly prone to sickness).

Do you ever get run off your feet?

Have you ever actually been on cloud 9? (or clouds 1-8 for that matter)

Does your head get foggy? (or rainy, snowy or windy?)

When was the last time you said something was amazing or awesome? When was the last time you were genuinely amazed or in awe?

Is the world a stage?

Have you ever drowned in debt?

Metaphors are everywhere.

Personally I rather like looking out for them? When you start to spot them you can start to notice the language people are using with regards to their metaphors – it can be quite revealing.

As a hypnotherapist I deal a lot with metaphors and symbolism. The subconscious mind is much better at changing things if you give it symbols to work with.

You might want to give this little exercise a go.

Let’s imagine you have something coming up that you feel uncomfortable with. Maybe it’s a test or exam, maybe it’s a meeting that you are worried about, maybe it’s a conversation you are not looking forward to having. What ever it is try to think of a symbol that represents how you feel about it at the moment. The symbol can be a shape, a colour, a character, an object – whatever works for you. Now think about a symbol that represents how you would LIKE to feel about it – easy, relaxed, confident – whatever is best for you.

Once you’ve got the new improved symbol in your mind, make it destroy the other, less useful symbol. It can squash it, rub it out, fade it away, blow it up, burn it down, screw it up and throw it away – what ever suits you – just make your new improved symbol the only one that left afterwards.

Now – ask yourself how you feel about the thing that you were concerned about….


Using this technique along with hypnosis can and does make powerful changes for people – you should give it a try – it could leave you feeling on top of the world!

(metaphorically speaking of course)


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9 responses to “Magical Metaphor

  1. I think I am on top of the world. After all, if I weren’t I’d be buried. I am going to pay closer attention to the metaphors I hear now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen this same technique used to ease pain (specifically headaches.) Never thought to try it for something less tangible!


    • With pain I usually try to help the client to grow and shrink their symbol to manage it, but I will give this a try too…Thanks for the idea! Have you tried the warm hands and feet approach to headaches? If you get the imagery of sitting in front of a fire with the hands and feet out getting warmer, it helps the body to transfer blood pressure to the extremities (which often relieves headaches) ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Hi Sue – interesting blog. you should check out Andy Austin’s Metaphors of Movement work – it takes metaphors to a whole new level. It was 4 days of eye (and ear!) opening training after which as a therapist I will never hear a clients language in quite the same way again.

    (Time for another ‘Ruby’ perhaps!)


    • Always have time for a curry with you – will have to check when Damon’s about as he’s training for his 3 peaks challenge at the weekends. Is Andy combining the NLP eye direction stuff with the metaphors? Have you done any EMDR? – I’m interested to see how that relates to the IEMT methodology.


  4. Pingback: Magical Metaphor | martinclegg

  5. Very interesting. I’ve always paid attention to symbols but more in the way of what seems to capture my attention at any given time or the symbology of my dreams. It is true that the words we use say a lot about us. On my birthday last week my daughter posted a very beautiful Maya Angelou quote on how she thought about her mother. My response to my daughter was that it took my breath away. I think metaphors add such richness to our language. Great read!


  6. No not done any EMDR although I believe it and IEMT both have their roots in the NLP eye direction model with EMDR being developed out of an original idea by John Grinder (co-founder of NLP) and IEMT from an original idea by Steve and Connirae Andreas top NLP trainers of long standing. IEMT is more about what we call the patterns of chronicity – you’d have to look it up as we don’t have enough space here to go in to it!!
    The Metaphors of Movement work of Andy Austin stands alone and can be used with any intervention at your disposal (in your case hypnotherapy) as it’s all about eliciting and understanding the metaphor in the client’s map of the world and then weaving your magic with your favourite therapy.


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