A little birdie told me about the value and power of using metaphors in therapy. The exuberant language and impactful imagery of a metaphor can steer or coax a very important and sometimes elusive “ah ha” moment with your client. Sharing an often used and successful metaphor with adolescent and adult female clients is my Little Black Dress (LBD) metaphor. I guide the client to envision themselves as the LBD. The one they feel the most comfortable in, is it a bodycon, A-line, or gown? I remind her that she has tried on so many LBDs through the years but finally she has figured out which LBD fits her shape and sensibility. Once she is on board with herself in that gorgeous LBD, I guide her to imagine her platonic and romantic relationships as accessories to the LBD. Each relationship can provide her a different look, resulting in feeling different in the LBD. Wearing leopard shoes or converse chucks leaves her feeling different than the diamonds or emerald accessories, not necessarily right or wrong, but different. The constant is the stalwart and fine-fitting LBD. The client sits with the imagery while discovering the importance of loving herself in her own skin. Metaphors are effective, use them often. And that my friends, is what a birdie told me…
Why A little Birdie?
My goal for writing this blog was to highlight the remarkable work of our clinical staff. The tireless commitment to excellence from mental health providers can feel unrewarding or stagnant at times. I would send these “anonymous” shout out messages to all staff when I heard of some great and outstanding growth – the little birdie told me.. was a way to communicate this to everyone in a quick and meaningful way. Shining moments should be recognized.
Then, I realized I neglected to emphasize the courage and resiliency of our wonderful clients. The work begins with them. So, I began to write about magnificent moments of insight and daring movements of change. Our clients are remarkable.
We decided to share these little messages with you all.
So, I hope you all read through this blog with the spirit of which it was intended. To shed positive thoughts into our world.