The subconscious mind has a wealth of information but the problem
is how to get at that information. The answer is in using metaphors,
the language of pictures.
Access to Stuck Emotions
goal in Emotional Healing is to release stuck emotions. But in order to
release the stuck emotions we first need to get to or access those
emotions. And the way to get to those emotions is through the
As we've talked about in other pages, the
subconscious holds all the buried thoughts and emotions from our past.
Most of this information isn't relevant to the healing process. What
we're after is the stuck emotions, or more specifically, the stuck energy of the emotion.
The Language of Pictures
therapist, and even some hypnotherapist, doubt the usefulness of
getting at information from the subconscious mind. They claim that the
information is unreliable or not accurate, and they're right. That is,
if they are thinking in logical terms.
But what if we turn off
logical thinking and started thinking in pictures while talking to the
subconscious mind? Now we start to see some very interesting
The Logic of the subconscious is seldom accurate, but the Emotions (represented in the pictures) are always right on target.
visiting an art museum. As you sit in front of an impressionist
painting you won't see the Story of the picture if you look at the
details. In order to understand the painting you need to allow yourself
to take in the painting and allow the painting to speak to you.
master artist is able to convey scenes, stories and emotions within a
single painting. Our subconscious mind is a Master Artist, but we need
to step back and listen to the Metaphor of the story and not the
Making use of the Metaphor
Once you begin to
understand your own metaphors, or those of your clients, you can begin
to make use of them. As you step into their paintings and look around,
you'll begin to see how to make better use of their own existing
A female client that is having trouble with relationships might offer the following metaphor.
Client: "I don't know why I have trouble with men. I guess my thorns are just too sharp."
Facilitator: "Roses do have sharp thorns. Do you see yourself as a closed bud, or have you started to bloom now?"
Client: "I guess that I've been seeing myself closed up and that's why I needed the thorns, to protect me."
"And that's been fine in the past, but now we need to nurture this bud
to allow her to start blossoming, don't you think?"
working within the metaphor we can find the most effective and
beneficial way of guiding or directing how we view ourselves and our
When working with clients I'll sometimes slightly
modify or change the metaphor that they're using. By taking this subtle
approach we can often make profound changes for the client.
entering the metaphor we can then depersonalize it. Now we aren't
talking about a "personal problem" with all the emotions encompassing
the problem. By talking about the outer metaphor the client is able to
speak freely about his problem without the emotional attachment to it.
The Benefits of Using Metaphors
can be used to understand subconscious thinking patterns or they can be
used to understand underlying emotions. The metaphor can guide the
facilitator not only to where the problem is, but can also be used to
help the client find solutions.
In cases where the problem is
from subconscious thinking patterns, metaphors offer a tremendous
advantage over traditional logic arguments. Using metaphors, once the
subconscious mind resonates with the picture that is being presented as
a solution, it will often accept this picture and begin to use it
immediately. And when the subconscious mind accepts solutions, changes
As Emotional Healers and facilitators
(or even working with our own emotions), you and I need to have the
flexibility to make use of all that our clients tell us. Much of what
are clients tell us will be in metaphors. As we begin to listen to
these word-pictures and make use of them, we can further assist our
clients and ourselves in greater happiness, wellness and fulfillment.
The Subconscious Mind Sure
the subconscious mind may hold all the answers, but how do we get to
them? How do we begin healing emotions when we don't know what they
are, or how they got there?