Trust the Unconscious! Especially when Metaphors are revealed…

You know how it is when you think after a conversation or (especially) a confrontation or argument – “Why didn’t I say that?” or “I wish I’d had the presence of mind to say that.

I had a moment like that hours after an in initial interview with a client, when I was just considering (in a period of quiet contemplation) some of the things said with regard to their presenting problem.

Normally, when using Clean Language, a client may well reveal the metaphor by which they unconsciously represent a particular behaviour. Generally, though, Clean Language questioning will facilitate this – however in the case of this particular client the metaphor emerged in the course of getting the client to make, in imagination, a short video clip of the particular behaviour from the moment the feelings that triggered it first started to happen and stopping the moment just after trigger had fired and the behaviour had taken place.
Essentially I was looking to establish the submodalities of the client’s experience of this behaviour – but what I got was the entire metaphor. Whilst this was most useful and yes I did utilise it, I did not entirely have my wits about me in terms of questioning – hence the “I wish…” thoughts later. However, the client has booked some further sessions so I will have the opportunity to more fully utilise what was revealed.

As a metaphor it was fascinating (aren’t they all?) – and as I began (hours later) to think more about it, more and more variations, by-plays, sub-plots, and little tricks, came to mind. These, however, have just been noted as investigative possibilities – as the client seeks to make positive changes.

I am really looking forward to the next session – and this time I won’t be fooled by restricting the number of routes to the outcome. This is what happened before, and I failed to spot at the time something I will certainly later rely on! I didn’t open myself up completely to every possibility at that interview – which is what I usually do, to be fair.
Advice to self: Always expect the unexpected and – as at all times – trust the unconscious!!