List of Good Common Therapeutic Metaphors – Examples for Healing

List of Good Common Therapeutic Metaphors Examples for Healing

Good  therapeutic metaphors can be a super powerful therapeutic tool for healing.  It is good to have a common list available to prime the pump to better handle any situations that may come your way.

Therapeutic metaphors and  therapeutic stories too, are not only entertaining and good fun, but they can help individuals need for good common healing in a safe, indirect and very pleasant way.

Good therapeutic metaphors, whether common or not,  whether true or not, whether one or a list,  can let people shift their perspective and melt away old ways of thinking that do not work.

It is crystal clear: the use of good therapeutic metaphors can convey a very powerful message that is both healing and transformative us in good common and uncommon ways.

Lets dive deeper and look at a list of good common therapeutic metaphors –  examples for transformation and healing!


1.)  The Story of a Horse

List of Good Common Therapeutic Metaphors Examples for Healing

The late Milton Erickson was famous for his lively stories and use of good therapeutic  metaphors.

And one of Erickson’s most popular stories was the story of a horse.

It goes like this:

“As Erickson was coming home from high school one day, a bridled horse ran past him towards a farmer’s yard looking for water. The horse, which was not a familiar one by the local farmer, was sweating profusely.

Sensing the horse was lost, Erickson and some other bystanders cornered the horse, and then rather bravely, Erickson hopped on the horse’s back and yelled, Giddy-up!

Erickson just knew that the horse would go in the right direction, even though he didn’t know which direction that was.

The horse first headed for the highway, but then started to lose his way when he began heading for a field. Each time the horse would do this, Erickson would simply pull the horse back and start aiming him towards the road.

This went on for about 4 miles or so until finally the horse turned into a local farmyard. The farmer instantly recognized the horse, and asked Erickson where he found him.

When Erickson responded that he found him about 4 miles from the farm, the farmer, who now seemed rather astonished, asked, “How did you know you should come here?”

Erickson replied, “I didn’t know. The horse just knew. All I did was keep his attention on the road.”

This metaphor story could list several common healing lessons.”  You could easily draw your own conclusion and that could be the best way to get the most good out of it.

Here is a short list.

One common good example to draw from this is that a person typically knows which direction they want to head in, all you have to do is steer them a little

It also could show and illustrate that we all have the necessary expertise and resources, and that we just not know how to use them to make changes we aspire for healing.


2.)  Elastic/Rubber Band

List of Good Common Therapeutic Metaphors Examples for Healing

Do not let yourself get stretched too thin.  Be willing to say no without feeling guilty and set clear limits and good boundaries.  Make a list.

Also, elastic is like stress and we need some stress in our lives to feel vibrant and alive, otherwise like a limp rubber band, we will feel disengaged and of not much use.

But remember if you stretch too much you could snap. 



3.)  Hershey Kisses and Hugs 

Keep spreading the good love and joy.  Constantly remind yourself that being kind and good is more important than just being right.  Keeping Hershey kisses around might may prevent many arguments.


4.)  Forests Elf

List of Good Common Therapeutic Metaphors Examples for Healing

Here the person emphasizes a different aspect to getting to know someone who won’t open up, especially children.

This helps with the need for a person to share perceptions of the different aspects of the problem in order to heal and grow.

You might, start with, and say something like:”

My role is more like that of a kind of a forest elf, one who has been in many forests and knows a large amount of forest lore and mysteries; yet I’ve never been in your forest.  I am very near-sighted, so you will have to see what’s in the forest and report it to me. And being a forest elf, I can fit in your coat pocket and talk to you, but I can’t deal directly with whatever you encounter in your forest.”



5.)  Wine Tasting

List of Good Common Therapeutic Metaphors Examples for Healing

The development of trying something new that can help us or better us in some can be likened to that of learning to common wine tasting. This metaphor can help people learn to become aware of our feelings, which is an essential part of the healing process. Those who seek counseling or some sort of therapy often have become somewhat numbed and unable to describe the feelings evoked by various situations. They are often “out of touch,” so to speak. Usually, people like this, grow up in an environment where there wasn’t much talk about feeling and emotions. By using wine tasting as a healing metaphor, the process of relearning is made into learning skill in a new area, so they can feel curious, and adventurous, and as if they’re taking on an interesting challenge rather than defensive and shielding from the outside world.

The first step in wine tasting is to become aware that one is drinking wine and not water or any other beverage. This is a way of gently communicating that feelings are different than just sensations in the body or common thoughts in the mind. If a person can only respond to a stressful event with a rationalization such as, ” I guess they had to do it that way,” she may have hard time getting in touch with the idea that she did not like what happened. That approach, or the simple complaint, “I’m stressed” represent states of mind that have not yet learned to notice that they have emotional reactions.

The second step in wine tasting allows for a useful lesson: There are three basic tastes:  sweet, sour, and bitter.  Wines are basically different mixtures of these three tastes. For the most part, there are four basic primary emotions, and most feelings are a blending of these emotional elements:  happiness and sadness, anger and fear. Happiness can include both joy and simple relief. Mixed with a trace of anger, it becomes triumph; with a trace of fear, anticipation. Like the primary colors, when blended, sometimes make up new colors, fear and sadness become depression, anger and sadness, suspiciousness.




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