The Subconscious Mind
& Metaphors

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

The 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 subconscious mind.

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

Some 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 revelations.

The Logic of the subconscious is seldom accurate, but the Emotions (represented in the pictures) are always right on target.

Imagine 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.

A 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 details.

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 pictures.

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."

Facilitator: "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?"
By working within the metaphor we can find the most effective and beneficial way of guiding or directing how we view ourselves and our clients.

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.

By 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

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 happen instantaneously.

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.

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Related Articles:

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?

Emotions, Thoughts and Feelings
If our emotions are the result of our thoughts and feelings, then how do we change them to get to new and better emotions?

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