Focusing metaphor therapy technique
Focusing Metaphor Therapy

Focusing Therapy

<< Metaphor Therapy

Focusing Metaphor Therapy

Focusing metaphor therapy is a flexible and simple way of creating change. This script shows how you can use the focusing technique on your own. You should read over the script and become familiar with the general structure. Then get into a quiet place and run the script through your mind. The exact words are not important, as long as you get the sense of the script right.

It may takes several tries before you get into exactly the right frame of mind for this to happen. If nothing comes up, leave it and try another time.

The most important thing is to allow yourself to become aware of how your body represents the problem and to learn to consider that representation as an object, something that has an independent existence, that exists in its own right. It does not matter if the representation is vague or ill defined, any representation will do as a starting point. The most common representation is as an image of some sort. This script shows one way to allow the mind itself to identify what your real issue is.

Every time you use this script you will get a different response, because it will be tackling a different issue. Do not try to control what happens, just let the images or feelings flow naturally. Try to resist being startled by what you experience. Remember that whatever comes up, nothing in your own mind can ever harm you. Just regard whatever your unconscious comes out with as something to be wondered at, as if you are in a cinema watching it happen on a screen, or sitting safe inside a car watching things go by on the road outside.






Imagine a hillside somewhere.... a gently sloping...soft grassy hillside... with a blue sky up above.... maybe some clouds drifting by.... and there are times when it is nice to be alone... and enjoy the peace and quiet... the calm that comes from not having to think... about anything .... or anybody... to be free to relax... to unwind...


and maybe you can imaging sitting or lying in soft grass.... and get comfortable... and look out over the view.... and it can be so good.... on a summer's day... to just relax... and let go... let everything go... all your thoughts... ideas... worries can just drift away... sometimes when you are relaxing like that.... you can feel your arms and legs getting heavy... and your head getting heavy and just lying back to relax...

Indirect suggestion

And as you lie back in the grass you can feel the soft warm earth under your back.... supporting you... ... and when you close your eyes you can maybe remember how you can still be aware of the sunshine on your face and how a gentle breeze feels... and it can feel as if the whole world is at peace... as if you can just sink into that soft grass... as if there was an endless sea of green... and allow you mind to wander....



And I wonder if you have ever plucked a blade of grass.... and looked at it... in your hand... and I wonder if you have ever considered how many shades of green there are.... olive green... and lincoln green... and light green... and April green... and apple green.... and how every blade of grass is a different shade of green... how if you put two blades of grass together.... and compare them... in your mind... they are always different.... different in little ways...


And you can maybe imagine... how you could pick one blade of grass... then two .... and then another... and decide which two were most alike... and you might consider colour... or width... or length... and maybe shape or texture or anything else that can make one bit of grass different from another bit of grass... and maybe you could decide that two were quite alike and different from the other... and just allow the other blade to fall away... to flutter down and down.... and imagining that little blade drifting and falling can make you feel so more relaxed....

Metaphor for experience

And you could pick another blade of grass... and compare that one to the first two... and maybe you could make a better pair, a pair that matches more closely in colour or shape or length... or something else.... and let one blade go... allow one blade to go tumbling down...

Making choices

and that blade could fall... drift.... flutter through the air... and it might get mixed up with other loose blades of grass... and all those blades of grass could be picked up the breeze... and begin to swirl around... lifted and carried by the wind... swirling and turning... round and round... mixing and merging... more and more joining now ... and that little breeze swirling them all together until they begin to form the shape of a ball.... all the individual blades of grass getting woven together... forming a ball of grass that turns and shimmers... and that ball is suspended in the air... light and airy.... turning slowly...



And as you look at that ball.... you realise it's hollow and fragile and only held together by air... and it could change shape... or change colour... or shrink ... or expand... it can become anything....


And as you watch that ball.... you can allow you mind to decide what you would like to change that ball into.... and that ball can become a different thing... it can become some other thing...


And as you think about that ball... you can allow you mind to become aware of what that ball represents... for you... and as you think about that... you can allow your mind to open up... to just allow your mind to become really open to ideas, feelings, thoughts, memories.... that are important to you... and that ball, as it is changing.... can become the focus of your mind... you can watch as it changes... because that ball can become anything you want... anything it needs to be..


and it might become a different thing altogether.... it might become an image... or a memory or a word or a phrase... or a feeling somewhere in your body... but as you allow you mind to focus... you will become aware of something... something forming... from the depths of your mind...


And you can just watch .... and be curious... as it develops... you can welcome a gift... a message.... emerging like some new life form from the depths of an ancient sea...


And whatever appears for you... will be the right thing for you right now... Do not challenge it... or question it... or try to change it.... just accept it... wonder at it.... enjoy it... examine it like a something washed up on the sands of time...


And if any thoughts go through your mind... thoughts about everyday things... worries... concerns... whatever... just let them pass... mentally acknowledge them... and maybe stack them off to one side to be dealt with later....

Do not allow other thoughts to intrude

Just focus on the thing your mind has presented to you.... examine it from all sides... Do not try to make sense of it... or wonder where it came from or what it represents.... just accept it.... as what it is....



Allow a word or phrase to come... do not force it... or try for it... just allow it come... that describes the essence... the core.... the centre of what that thing is for you....


And it may be a word or a phrase... something that really sums up what the thing, the feeling, the image, is all about... something that really encapsulates it, that you know deep down inside... feels right....


And when in that process it is possible that the thing might change itself... on its own... change to something else... and that's OK too.... just let it happen.... don't try to control anything.... just keep listening for the word or words that capture that essence... that make complete sense of the experience for you.... or for the feeling, a bodily sensation, that you know is connected with an issue you need to deal with...




The next step is about matching the image or feeling with the word. Focus on the image or feeling, and keep testing for the word or phrase that seems to fit best. Keep trying to identify the exact word or words that sums up the image or feeling.


As you do this the image or bodily awareness may change, there may be a kind of dance, an exchange, between the words and the image, as one changes so does the other. If this happens just keep watching the changes and seeking for exactly the right words to express the new image or feeling until the whole thing settles and stops changing.




If the symbol or image or feeling has not changed at all, or has stopped changing, ask it what is it is for.


Contemplate the image or bodily feeling and think to yourself 'What purpose does this thing serve?'...'What are you doing for me?'... 'What is thing about?'.


The answer should come to you as a feeling, not as words. If you get words, especially if they come instantly, let them pass and continue asking.


Be open to whatever comes up. Some people immediately see an image, usually something disturbing like a snake or an angry face. Others will become aware of something lodged in their body, and will report 'a brick in my left arm' or 'an oval shape in my stomach'.



Whatever comes up, accept it. Do not challenge it or argue with it or start to apply logic. Accept that it just is. It is what it is.


Look the image or sense the object as if it something that exists outside of yourself. Treat it as you would something in a glass case in a museum. Just inspect it.



Now you are ready to make changes. Consider the object, the image, whatever it is... and try to imagine changing it in some way... try to imagine it with a different colour, or a different shape, or a slightly different size.... Try to get it to move from where it is....


Ask yourself... 'What would I like to have happen to this thing?'. And your own mind will supply an answer. Allow your mind to find ways of changing, shrinking, wiping away, whatever... By changing the way your mind represents the 'thing' your mind will change how the 'thing' affects your emotions and behaviour.


And now just give yourself time to make changes, or more likely, to let changes happen to the feeling or the image... it will take as long as it takes... but you will know when a major change has happened, somehow the mind just knows... and you will feel the difference very strongly... When it happens there will be no doubt about it... this is not a 'wait and see' thing... the change is immediate and obvious. You may not be able to say exactly what the change is, but you will know that something important has changed.