Visualization – Why Size, Position And Color Matter

When we construct a visualization to use in hypnosis, we usually got a pretty good idea of where we want to go with it. We know the main points we want to cover, the overall path we want to follow, and we’re usually pretty clear on the beginning, middle and end (if you’re not clear on those, you really have got a problem!)

But no matter how brilliant your initial idea is, it’s the little details that can trip you up, making your creative visualizations less flowing, meaningful and powerful than they could be.

The Size of Your “Visualization” Does Matter

So today, I want to talk about why the size, position and color of things in your visualizations matter, and why it’s important to phrase your descriptions of them carefully. And the first point I want to make is probably the most important one; if the size, position or color of an object is of no significance, then don’t mention it at all.

I don’t mean don’t mention the object, of course, because presumably you’re including it in the visualization for a good reason! But unless it’s significant, avoid mentioning it’s color, size or position altogether. Why?

Firstly because the color of something or the size of it or the position of it may all have significance for your client that you are completely unaware of, which could lead to unintended consequences within their unconscious or even their conscious minds.

Secondly, (and I’ve mentioned this in a previous article about making your visualizations more powerful) unless you’re particularly careful about the order in which you say things, if you mention the object first, your client may already have pictured it in a particular way.

When you then tell them that it’s blue, that it’s to their left, or that it’s huge and towers above them, this can jar with what they have already pictured.

So what do you do if the color, size or position is significant and you want to use it as part of your therapeutic technique?

You make sure you mention the color, the size and/ or the position before you say what the object is… so when you introduce the fact that there is a beautiful old oak tree up ahead, beneath which your client is going to sit, you might say something like this:

“As you walk along the path, enjoying the sights and sounds of this beautiful place, you notice up ahead and to your left, the pale green leaves and the tall, spreading branches of a huge, old oak tree. The dappled shade in the space beneath the branches is inviting…”

Notice how your mind is encouraged to create the “correct” picture here. Because the objects themselves (the oak tree and the space beneath its branches) are mentioned last, our minds create a vague image until we’re told exactly what it is that we’re looking at.

When the words “oak tree” are finally said, we immediately picture it, huge and old, at the right time of year (in full leaf, not autumn colors), tall and broad, just as we’re meant to. And when the space beneath the branches is mentioned, we already know to make the light soft and dappled.

But even assuming we’re careful about the order in which we say things. How can their size, color and position be significant? Well, let’s look at each of these individually.

Size. Rather like the ancient images on the walls of Egyptian pyramids, the size of anything we visualize indicates its importance. So if someone is constantly worrying about something in particular, they will almost certainly “see” that thing in their mind’s eye as huge and rather overwhelming.

Getting them to change that image, making it small and less significant would be useful element within their visualization. On the other hand, if you want them to see something positive within the visualization as powerful and significant, then making it large can help.

Color. Each color can have its own personal significance for every client. You might unwittingly put an object and a color together that brings up a traumatic memory that you’re completely unaware of (the beautiful red dress immediately reminds them of the time when they were 5 years old and their mother came in from a party, very drunk and beat them).

So unless there is a particular reason for you to tell the client what color a certain item is, I would encourage you to allow them to visualize whatever colors their subconscious mind dreams up.

So if they are to discover a vase of beautiful flowers, you might say, “Notice what type of flowers are in the vase, their shape and their colors…” You can discuss this with them later and explore whether the color or type of flowers has any significance for them.

Some situations are so generic that you don’t really have to worry… e.g. you’re unlikely to run into problems when you say that “there is a beautiful, clear, blue sky”. And there are some generally accepted properties for certain colors, which you can usually make fairly safe use of.

For example, green and blue are seen as calming and relaxing, red and orange as energizing, yellow as mentally stimulating, white as pure and cleansing and so on. But do remember cultural differences.

Red may mean danger in one culture and good fortune in another. One culture may wear black to funerals while another will wear white. Colors can carry all sorts of meanings for people, so use them wisely, or not at all!

Finding The Right Position For Your Visualization

Position. Rather like size, the position of an object can convey meanings relating to significance and importance. Position something up high and it may seem unobtainable. Position it as small and beneath you, and it may seem insignificant and lacking in power.

Consider the self critical voice that we all have within us. Discovering where that nagging, critical voice seems to be coming from for your client can be extremely useful, and simply getting them to consciously change the position of it can help them to put it in perspective and take much less notice of it.

Having said all that, I’d like to come back to my first point. Considering how significant the position, color and size of an object within visualization can be, I would urge you to allow your client’s subconscious free reign with these details.

But if you have a really good reason for dictating what they are, then think carefully before opening your mouth! I hope you enjoyed this hypnosis training article.