How to Use Metaphors & Prime the Unconscious Mind in Hypnosis

Conversational Hypnosis is an art form in which you need to have access to the unconscious happening within a person.  Stories are a way to access this domain as stories evoke emotion and emotion is one of the key factors in activating the unconscious mind.  All your emotion is stored in your unconscious and by reaching an emotion through a story you are automatically accomplishing the first two steps in the 4 Stage Protocol.

When you tell a story you are automatically getting another person’s attention, if you tell a good story you are going to be able to absorb that attention fully.  Telling good stories is as easy as making it a topic the listeners can identify with on some level, and since we are all prone to similar experiences this should be an easy battle to conquer. 

Once the person’s attention is absorbed in a story you have probably already bypassed the critical factor simply because it is a story and it is unarguable.  People tend to not argue with another person’s experience, but they will identify with it on an unconscious level.

As they are identifying with the emotions and feelings the characters are experiencing in the story you are soliciting an unconscious response because emotion itself is an unconscious response.  Now you need to learn more ways to get what you want from that unconscious response as a result of how you tell that story.

One of these ways of getting what you want from a story is to offer metaphorical resolutions with in your stories.  These are often called isomorphic stories, which mean they take on the same structure or shape of something else. 

In the way of using these in hypnosis the story will be taking on some similar aspects you see in your listener.  You want to tell a story that mirrors indirectly the situation or problem of your client.   

A great and popular example of an isomorphic story is Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  In this example Goldilocks is simply unsatisfied with many of the things presented to her at the home of the Three Bears.  This is can be used as a mirror for a person who finds that nothing is good enough or just right no matter how many choices or how hard they try to make it so.

Isomorphic stories can be used to mirror almost any aspect of life from sex to fear.  The key is to find a completely unrelated topic and use it to show the suggested answers.  Someone who is unwilling to expand their sex life may need to hear a story about the many different type of food in different cultures.  How all those foods can be good and at least should be tried in order to really know if they like them or not.

Another example could be if a person wanted to quit smoking.  You could tell a story about how dangerous it is to be morbidly obese.  This is a dangerous way to live, it affects your heart and health and the other people around you negatively.  In these examples you should be able to see how two completely different subjects can be related by the themes that are involved in the suggestions.

The most important part of this type of story telling is to be sure it goes around and outside of critical thinking.  The person listening must not be able to tell consciously that the story is about their specific problem or situation.  This will bypass any and all resistance that would happen if the two were connected.
When you try to simply tell a person who has been smoking for years that they should consider quitting you are usually met with some type of resistance.  The same often happens when you tell them a story about someone who would not quit and died from it or became seriously ill; there is still a type of resistance.  This is where the unrelated part of isomorphic stories comes in handy.

When you use an isomorphic story you are able to give advice where it would normally be rejected, in this the unconscious has its own freedom to make associations and choose the experiences to attach those associations to.  If you have told a good isomorphic story the correct situation will be connected to it by the unconscious and a result will eventually occur simply because it is an unconscious process.

The next way you will learn to get what you want from stories is to prime the unconscious mind.  This is a lot like formatting or pre-teaching a concept to a person.  In using this concept you will use stories to set an expectation for the future through suggestion and experience. 

The best example of this in our daily lives is advertising.  Any ad you see will set an expectation, realistic or not, in your mind about what a certain product will do for you.  For example a certain type of car or truck will make you cooler with your children, or more popular with the opposite sex. 

Another way advertisements do this is to give testimonials.  This is when a person who has purchased the product somehow explains about their experience with the item.  Maybe they were apprehensive at first but purchased the item anyway.  Then how that purchase has affected them, usually the product is wonderful beyond belief and they do not know how they ever managed with out it in the first place.

This not only identifies with the new buyers reservation to spend money on an item but gives them a future expectation of the item.  It will change their life incredibly and they should not be without this product for one minute longer.  It also creates a bit of pressure in that if you don’t buy the product you may be offending the person with the great testimony, but this is beside the point for now.

These are great examples of how you can prime the unconscious mind.  There is a sort of formatting that goes on and brings the unconscious to a conclusion that not only benefits the person at the moment but looks into the future benefits of the situation. 

In this process the unconscious tends to account for many different variables that the conscious mind would not begin to grasp all at once.  Sometimes what would seem like an illogical decision is made but the future effects of it are astounding because of the frame work that was laid by the priming of the unconscious.

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