Archive report of meeting
Thursday 26th July 2012
Past notice
Metaphors of Movement

A talk by Andrew Austin

So what is "Metaphors of Movement"? Well, to put it as concisely as possible, it's a structured exploration of the verbalisations of non-verbal communication and behaviour.

And it was the subject of Andrew Austin's talk to the James Braid Society at its July 2012 meeting.

The Metaphors of Movement work concerns itself primarily with metaphors of … well … movement. Consider for a moment this descriptive explanation by imagining someone, a man, standing some distance away from you

He points his index finger at you, with the rest of his hand forming a fist and then rotate his hand to have the palm turned upward and extend and contract his index finger repeatedly.

That is a non-verbal communication that communicates: “You, come here!” And it is also an example of a non-verbal communication.

Similarly a shrug, stamping one's foot, folding one's arms and tutting and so on are all non-verbal (“without spoken words”) communication.

A metaphor of movement – a verbalisation of a non-verbal behaviour – might be: “I put my foot in it”  … “I stand up for myself” … “I’m stamping my foot on this issue” … “I get to grips with an idea” … “I race ahead of myself” … “I point the finger of blame.”

These verbalisations are descriptions of a physical activity or movement.

  Andrew Austin
Andrew T. Austin
is a clinical hypnotherapist in West Sussex. Author of "The Rainbow Machine - Tales From a Neurolinguist's Journal" he teaches internationally, including in India, USA and Poland.

Similarly, there are metaphors that depict movements from one location to another. “I am moving forward with this idea,” … “I’m going around in circles,” …“I’m just not going anywhere in life,” and so on.

Andrew explained: "In the metaphors of movement model, we explore the movements that create change and reveal the steps a person can take to create effective change.

"What this does it to take our work beyond that of merely making a person feel better.  Feeling better is a good start, but will it change the direction that a person is moving in their life?  

"With Metaphors of movement we move beyond simply changing emotional state and move much more into the area of problem solving strategies and behaviour."    


A further flavour of this approach can be found at


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