Mining Your Metaphors offers training courses to professionals in (or currently studying) the helping and healing professions, such as counselors, therapists, life coaches, hospice chaplins, and energy body workers.
When you work with your clients using Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling, you will get better results than your colleagues because:
- Mining your clients’ metaphors means you are working with powerful resources other healers do not make the most effective use of. Brain researchers are realizing it’s experiential processes like Symbolic Modeling that rewire the brain’s neural networks (and these neurons are in other parts of the body, in addition to the head.) But more than creating a new experience for a client, a Symbolic Modeling session opens up the brain’s file folders: its metaphors. And it is these metaphors that have concisely and efficiently organized the vast repository of information each client stores as the go-to reference library for strategies on how to stay safe and respond to what happens. Change a metaphor so it gives more accurate information about what an appropriate response is, and everything in its file folder is affected.
- Exploring metaphors often leads to surprising places and outcomes neither you nor your client would have thought of when working with rational logic and conscious awareness.
The applications of Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language are many and varied:
Counselor …Therapist… Pastoral Counselor… Art Therapist
If you’re a counselor or therapist looking for a technique that rapidly addresses your client’s core issues and builds your client’s resources, you’ll find Symbolic Modeling effective and fascinating. Clean Language questions, with their deliberate limitations, means the Symbolic Modeling process is client-directed. It says to your clients, “You are the expert on you.” It strengthens their trust in their own intuitive knowing of what is right for them. And your use of the clients’ own words means they feel an instant empathetic connection and you are keeping your content, assumptions, and interpretations out of their work. First developed for use with trauma survivors, the process is now widely used with many types of clients.
If you’re an art therapist, you can use Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language as a tool for facilitating your clients’ exploration of their inner worlds as their art making is in progress, gently guiding their attention. Or use the technique to work therapeutically with their completed piece to deepen awareness and promote healing.
Life Coach… Business Coach… Career Counselor… School Counselor
If you’re a life or business coach, you can use Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language questions to address “real life” content as well as metaphors. You can help your client get clear on what s/he wants and needs, keeping many of the solutions coming from your clients (not from you), building their confidence and self-awareness. And when needs arise of an internal sort, like helping a client be comfortable with being in transition, be open to change, to take risks, or to ask for help, these issues are best addressed below the level of cognitive analysis. For that, use metaphors.
If you’re a career counselor, you may provide information on skills like resume writing and job hunting resources, but clients may also need help identifying their values and interests. And, like the life coach, you are there to help empower the client to be open to and ready for a next, new chapter. Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling promote clarity and change.
As a school counselor, children may be more adept with pictures then with words, and you can engage them in self-exploration and development with this creative approach. It is a fine match with sand tray therapy, too. But do not think it is just for the elementary school child; we all engage with our own narratives and dream-like inner images. Clean Language will also help with your communications with parents and teachers.
Creativity Coach… Body Worker… Energy Worker
If you work with creative artists, learn how to remove the blocks that keep artists stuck. Help them tap into their own vast treasure trove of personal metaphors and unconscious creative wellspring. And do so with a process that will appeal to their creativity! It is not that either you or your client needs to be particularly artistic or creative to enjoy working with Symbolic Modeling or for it to be effective; it is just that those that are likely will find this a particularly fun way to work.
If you are an energy or Asian body work practitioner, you are well aware of the body/mind connection. Working with metaphor addresses the ying qi of Chinese medicine, making your bodywork therapy deeply effective at removing energy blocks and facilitating change. And using Clean Language questions can help your clients clarify their thoughts and feelings and target what they really want from each treatment.
Applications of Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling are limited only by your imagination!