A rose by any other name?
As a Hypnotherapist I am working with words and their multiple potential meanings all the time.
It is not just a matter of what they mean to me, it is mostly about what they might mean to you. What memories and feelings do they evoke? What sensations, smells or sounds? What images?
Take an example.
Think of a tree…
The chances are your tree is a different one to mine. It could be anything from a bonsai to a Christmas tree, or a willow to a Giant Redwood. (By the way does yours have squirrels in it too?). You could be imagining yourself climbing it, or swinging from a branch; perhaps, just sitting beneath it, watching the world…… And that is just one, simple, word.
So we hypnotherapists tread carefully with words.
Today, I was asked why I used the phrase ‘weight management’ instead of ’slimming’ or ‘losing weight’.
Partly, of course, it has become a habit. I have been taking care about using those terms for so long that I have established my own preferred vocabulary. There are some very good reasons behind that, however:
Some people who come to me are really not looking to reduce their weight. They may be wanting to gain control over their eating, but still want to maintain their existing weight/shape. They may even want to put weight on. Or, perhaps, they want to feel good about their bodies and lead healthier lives, but are not worried that they need to be any particular weight.
A lot of ‘slimmers’ who come to hypnotherapy, however, have negative associations with the term. They have often become locked into an unproductive round of dieting and weighing themselves, and for them slimming may have come to mean: self-deprivation; hunger; failing; feeling out of control. If you had feelings like this about the word, then we need a different word for your successful goal, a happier, realistic one that suits you. Besides, being slimmer and staying slimmer are rarely actually enough. People want to be feeling happier, enjoying life – especially, being able to maintain the new look without constant monitoring.