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Metaphors in Mind - Transformation through Symbolic Modelling

by James Lawley and Penny Tompkins

listed in mind body

[Image: Metaphors in Mind - Transformation through Symbolic Modelling]

Symbolic Modelling in a nutshell

Symbolic Modelling is a method for facilitating individuals to become familiar with the symbolic domain of their experience so that they discover new ways of perceiving themselves and their world. It uses Clean Language to facilitate them to attend to their metaphoric expressions so that they create a model of their symbolic mindbody perceptions. This model exists as a living, breathing, four-dimensional world within and around them.

When clients explore this world and its inherent logic, their metaphors and way of being are honoured. During the therapeutic process their metaphors begin to evolve. As this happens their everyday thinking, feeling and behaviour correspondingly change as well.

Some clients benefit just from having their metaphors developed with a few clean questions. For some the process leads to a reorganisation of their existing symbolic perceptions, while for others nothing short of a transformation of their entire landscape of metaphors will suffice. As a result clients report that they are more self-aware, more at peace with themselves, have a more defined sense of their place in the world and are more able to enrich the lives of others.

What you will learn from this book

What do you do as a therapist, teacher, doctor or manager when your client, student, patient or colleague says "It's like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall" or I'm so wound up I can't see straight" or 'Things keep getting on top of me"?

Do you ignore the metaphorical nature of their communication? Do you unwittingly introduce your own metaphors ("Why do you continue punishing yourself?" "I can tell you're stressed." "How does that make you feel?")? Or do you take their metaphors as an accurate description of their way of being in the world and ask questions within the logic of the information – without introducing any metaphors of your own ("And is there anything else about that brick wall?" "And what kind of wound up is that?" "And whereabouts on top of you?").

This book describes how to do the latter.

When using Symbolic Modelling you give your clients, students, patients or colleagues an opportunity to discover how their symbolic perceptions are organised, what needs to happen for these to change, and how they can develop as a result. In order to do this proficiently, you need to be able to:

* Attend to client-generated verbal and nonverbal metaphors* Communicate via Clean Language* Facilitate clients to self-model* Be guided by the logic inherent in their symbolic expressions.

Our primary focus in this book is psychotherapy. And while we describe a complete process that can be used in its own right, many therapists and counsellors have found ways to combine Symbolic Modelling with their preferred approach. In addition, in Chapter 10 we describe how Symbolic Modelling is being used in education, health and business.

And finally

Like learning to play the piano, no amount of theory or observation can substitute for the actual experience of your fingers moving over the keyboard. Our main purpose in writing this book is to encourage you to use Symbolic Modelling because only then will you discover how much your clients can benefit from this approach.

And it is not only your clients who will benefit. As a result of using Symbolic Modelling we have developed acute listening and observation skills, an improved ability to retain and recall information and an increased capacity to think systemically and at multiple levels.

Also, being facilitated to model our metaphors and patterns has been an indispensable part of learning to facilitate others to model theirs – not to mention the gift of our own personal development.

Yet perhaps the most unexpected benefit of regularly facilitating Symbolic Modelling has been learning to become comfortable with 'not knowing', to be in the moment with whatever is happening, and to trust the wisdom in the system.

Sandra Goodman PhD
The Developing Company Press

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