Notes for Clients

How to get the best from your symbolic modelling

Like an apple mac, Symbolic modelling just works, but here are some tips and techniques that may help speed you on your way to new and rewarding patterns of being:

Allow the exotic

Symbolic modelling is a conversation directly with your internal world, and as we know, our internal worlds are populated with dark towers, unicorns, mermaids and monkeys with wheelbarrows. We don’t often refer to these directly during ordinary conversation, but symbolic modelling is an extra-ordinary conversation: allow them out.

This is especially true with any kind of metaphor, image or idea that doesn’t quite make sense.

Report on images

So, feel free to mention any images that come to mind. Your facilitator will always be curious about images and their relationship to other aspects of your experience. It is obvious of course, but he will only know to ask if you mention it them.

Report on physical sensations

The same applies to the physical sensations that so commonly accompany this work. They are all interesting and relevant and commonly worth mentioning.

Report on changes

It is common for significant changes to take place during a session and it helps your facilitator to keep him up to date as things change.

Feel free to be brief

People vary in how many words they need to describe a situation. It is important to say what needs to be said and where you have a choice, fewer words can be every bit as effective as many. In particular there is seldom a need to explain yourself in symbolic modelling, the images and metaphors stand for themselves.

You could put this as: “Allow your metaphors to do the work”.

Feel free to go there (physically)

It is common as you work with your patterns through the session to find that some physical spaces hold new or different information. If you feel drawn to a place feel free to go there and find out what it’s like.

Feel free to say what’s important

The process is about you and what’s important to you. Your facilitator will be directed by this, but feel free to let him know if there is an area that you particularly would like to explore, or a direction that you would like to go in.

Pauses mean work

Silences or pauses in the process from either you or the facilitator are quite common. Generally they mean new ground is being processed and something new follows on.

Accept yourself

For all of us in any given situation there is a range though which we can accept ourselves for who we are as we are right now. In some situations this may be more and in other perhaps less. Where self acceptance is an issue symbolic modelling works beautifully to support your developing a new more enhancing pattern. Where is it is not the issue you can help the process by choosing to operate from a place of acceptance. For example by accepting that there was a good reason for every pattern to develop, regardless of how it plays out now.

Take a risk

It can be one thing to accept yourself and another to trust in that acceptance from your facilitator. A deep level of trust develops over time and part of that developing happens through taking a risk. Be open where you are able and trust that symbolic modelling inquires with such a light touch that the choice stays always with you.

Draw your map

After each session you will have worked with and developed a number of powerful metaphors as symbols or images. As soon as possible take the time to draw a picture of what you know. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, but the more you put in, the more new information comes out and the more lasting value it tends to take on. Typically this picture will be of the symbols and images who’s meaning developed and changed over the session. This picture is often called a metaphor map and represents your metaphor landscape. It is a good place to start subsequent sessions and looking back becomes a great record of the journey that you undertake. Bringing your metaphor map to the next session (even telephone sessions) helps to create a continuity between sessions.

Physicalise the changes

When patterns change they change you as a physical being. It is not possible to experience change and continue using the same posture, voice tone, microscopic muscle tone, joint resting position and so on. Physicalising or embodying changed patterns helps to ensure that they become permanent. Following a symbolic modelling session you may notice an unusual need to stretch, yawn, pull faces, make some repetitive movement, vocalise, shout, sing or any other of a hundred possible ways to physically adjust to and embody a life enhancing change. Of course you are free not to do those things, or to choose your time, but I do recommend that at some point you just go ahead and go with that need, trusting your body and unconscious mind to know what it is doing. You might have some sense of sillyness but it’s actually rather fun and you’ll find that you’ve grown half and inch, or moved in around the waist, or got longer fingers, or that your smile now goes much further towards your ears.

Be prepared to research significant words

It is surprising how much relevance a word can have, and through a little research with a good dictionary or the internet can lead to some remarkable insight. Be curious about those words that come up often for you in a session, or that seem to have a particular significance.

Be prepared to go somewhere different (metaphorically)

Part of the task of your facilitator is to take you to territory that is not habitual for you. Perhaps if your pattern is to stay in the present, for example, there will be a time to explore the future or past. One of the strengths of symbolic modelling is that it is utterly respectful moment by moment of every clients willingness and direction and you can never be taken anywhere that you are not willing to go. You can, however, be guided to discover some remarkable new treasures where you thought there was nothing at all.

After all of that…

Symbolic modelling works with you exactly as you are, this is in fact one of its unique strengths. Symbolic modelling comes to you, to your space, to meet you wherever and whoever you are. So what’s the point in the above notes? Simply to share some ideas about good choices you can make as and when you are able to make them.

Everyone needs to tell their story,

and when you do everything changes.