Do we really understand what can make a metaphor more effective for creating change? How is it some stories have a substantial effect on many, whereas others should be recorded on cassettes and distributed to insomniacs throughout the world? To help you understand the usefulness of intense undercurrents, I have provided a powerful metaphor followed by a facile explanation to clarify what should be at the base of every therapeutic story.
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Madeline who progressed through life in what appeared to be an easy fashion. One day while progressing along a road, she came upon a castle.
"Oh Wow!" she thought, "I think I'll go into that castle."
No sooner had she thought it, than she had done this very thing.
"Hey Cool!" she exclaimed looking around at the rich tapestries and glazed doughnuts on the walls.
"Hey You!" someone bellowed.
She whirled around to find herself face-to-face with a barely-wet-behind-the-ears NLP practitioner. His name tag read, 'Hi, I'm BOB'.
"Oh, hi. I was uhmm... just looking for a public restroom."
"Yeah right, and my sensory acuity's on the blink," he retorted.
"Oh, good," she returned.
"I was being sarcastic," he again retorted.
"Must you retort so loudly?"
"I'm afraid so, it's a genetic thing," toning down his retortion. "Now what is it you want? No, don't tell me. Let me use my incredulous acuity to foretell your desires.
Hmm... you want a new car."
"Ahh... your garbage disposal's clogged and you need to borrow a broom handle."
"Hmm... quick question -- What color is the upholstery in your car?"