- Every time a therapist who isn’t a neurologist talks with confidence about the human brain, take a drink.
- Five minutes later, call 911, because you’ve had waaaaaay too much to drink.
Why all this brain talk? As far as I can make out, it’s because this was the kind of pseudo-scientific gibberish that was in fashion during their trainings. The brain is all medical-ish and scientific-y, and opposed, to say, the mind.
And when people run out of brain structures to blame, they might skip to something they have even less experience with: say, molecular biology. Neurotransmitters, anyone?
All of which adrenalizes my limbic system! Why? Because it violates an important rule of thumb: “The therapist is supposed to be at least as coherent as the client.”
Metaphor and Reality
Most human communication is metaphorical, and we’re all fine with that. When someone says, “I laughed my head off,” we understand. Communication is about picking the right metaphors. That goes double for therapy.
In hypnosis, in particular, metaphors add power through seeming simplicity. For example, of the interesting things about hypnosis is that everyone already knows what “going deeper” means, though hypnotists rarely explain it. All of us already know so much, and we can pick up so much just from context, that explanations are more a burden than a help. A word to the wise is sufficient.