& guided meditations in the Metaphor Toolbox

In the Metaphor Toolbox, Debbie Waller has brought together metaphors and stories by a number of authors. They cover a wide variety of themes, from modern to traditional. They work equally well as hypnotherapy scripts, guided meditations, or when used conversationally during counselling or coaching sessions.

But it is more than just a book of metaphors and hypnotherapy scripts. We explore why and how storytelling works as therapy and what research tells us about stories’ effects on the brain. and include notes about how to adapt and personalise each approach for different audiences. The themed chapters make it easy for you to pick just the right story for your client, and the book is an invaluable resource for therapists of all kinds.

Foreword by Marion Robb, co-moderator of the international forum ‘Hypnotic Women’

Quoted from the Foreword: The book itself is both a delight and a resource … demonstrating diversity, intelligence, and creativity in the use of therapeutic metaphor, and providing inspiration and insight for students and seasoned practitioners alike.

Chapter One – Telling stories: why they matter and how they heal

Stories have been part of the human experience for around 30,000 years as a way of passing on history and teaching. We start by considering why we use stories in therapy: the way they affect the brain; the hidden meanings we read into them; and how stories constantly change to maintain their relevance. Then we look at how to use metaphors in therapy, how to polish up your storytelling skills, and how to develop original metaphors of your own.

Chapter Two – Kaleidoscope: a twist on some classic metaphor themes

Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope…” In this chapter, we put a few classic therapeutic metaphors into that kaleidoscope and come out with some new, modernised and imaginative variations.

kaleidoscope image to illustrate chapter guide of the Metaphor Toolbox

Chapter Three – Metaphors for finding inner strength and resilience

Some clients don’t recognise that they have the strengths and resources they want. They just need to reinforce them or transfer them to a new situation. Others need new skills built from scratch. In this chapter, you’ll find therapeutic metaphors that encourage them to do all those things. To build or rebuild, discover or rediscover the inner strengths and power that they need to achieve their goals.

Chapter Four – Clearing metaphors for therapists

When your client needs to clear out and let go of the underlying factors that created or maintain their unhelpful thoughts or feelings this is the chapter to visit. They provide a kind of mental spring-cleaning if you wish (which, of course, would make a perfectly good clearing metaphor in its own right, at the right time of year).

butterflies in a magical wood to illustrate fairy tale metaphors

Chapter Five – Fairytales and the wisdom of old wives

Familiar stories and sayings inspire the hypnotherapy scripts and metaphors in this chapter, although they usually have a bit of a twist or an unusual point of view to make the therapeutic message clear. They appeal to the child within us and are suitable for most clients.

Chapter Six – Metaphor scripts based on jobs, hobbies and interests

An extremely effective way to make a metaphor meaningful is to use one based on ideas and themes that are already familiar to your client. In this chapter, we have stories that specifically talk about hobbies, interests and even jobs that clients might have.

island image to illustrate the metaphor toolbox book

Chapter Seven – Metaphor scripts to help with readiness for change

Clients need to be ready for change before it will happen. If you think your client needs a bit of a boost to help them get there, these metaphors will help. They’re an excellent option for a first session since they set the scene for the changes that therapy will bring about.

Chapter Eight – Mini metaphors for therapists

The metaphors in this chapter are less than 300 words. Everyday experiences with your family, car, or pets can inspire mini metaphors. Or even a word or a phrase that your client uses. Perhaps they are the Country and Western side of metaphor creation? (Although singing them is optional!)

This book is an anthology and has many contributors. Check them out here.

Purchase the Metaphor Toolbox from the author (UK only)

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