This interesting article from Fast Company, the business magazine, explains how good advertising is more effective when using metaphors. A metaphor being a word or phrase that expresses the ‘unfamiliar’ with the ‘familiar. Let me explain further: If I were to describe someone as ‘elegant as a fine Wedgewood vase’, we immediately imagine something like ‘she is a person who is slim, skin like porcelain, fragile, beautiful, etc.’ or indeed how we would imagine a Wedgewood vase to be.
For those of you familiar with Hypnotherapy, when my clients experience the trance part of the therapy session, I will use wonderfully positive and strength-building metaphors in the words that I use. Why? Simply because we know that the subconscious mind (the part of the mind we access when we are beautifully relaxed and calm) understands metaphor as positive suggestion and ultimately positive mental action, rather than direct facts and instructions (anti-smoking treatment is slightly more direct).
In fact if I were to use direct suggestion of a certain situation when working with a customer to overcome anxiety, the subconscious mind could build up a wall of resistance (see, another metaphor!). However if I use metaphor, such as “…previously perceived problems are now no longer obstacles that cannot be overcome…and just like the river (a previous metaphor within the trance session) which always find the right way…you will find the right way…to overcome those problems and difficulties.” The words are non-specific yet the mind totally understands the abstract concept of water flowing around boulders and other obstacles as a way of working around problems and carrying on.
That is why when hypnosis is used within the consulting room as part of a solution-focused approach, my clients have such incredible results.
Enjoy the article.