The role of metaphor in counseling

According to Freud, metaphors were important and represented unconscious processes, and in the construction of meaning, metaphor plays a critical role Modell, Moreover, he posits that feelings always relate to something that has meaning to an individual, and that feelings and memory are part of the same system. We tend to find meaning in patterns of similarity — drawing connections between our past and our current reality. Using Metaphors in Therapy Pay attention to metaphors the client introduces and help to deepen the imagery if doing so would be therapeutically beneficial.

The role of metaphor in counseling

It is interesting that oneimportant consequence of this focus on language has been agreater appreciation for the metaphorical features of humanknowing and meaning creation Carlsen, In addi-tion, transformations in the metaphors clients use to definetheir lives and problems may also correspond with signifi-cant change in counseling Carlsen, ; Goncalves, ;Meichenbaum, In this article, we explore the use of metaphor in coun-seling with a particular focus on the role metaphorical lan-guage may play in facilitating key developmental changeprocesses.

Toward this end, we first offer a brief historicaland theoretical overview of metaphor.

The role of metaphor in counseling

Metaphor, from the Greek metaphera,which means to transfer or carry across, allows the user totransfer meaning from one domain to another by giving toone thing a name or description that belongs.

Kopp elaborated stating,a metaphor is a way of speaking in which one thing is ex-pressed in terms of another, whereby this bringing togetherthrows new light on the character of what is being described p.

For example, one person may describe marriage asa journey, whereas another may view marriage in terms ofa competitive game or even a battle. It is interesting to note that significant scientific develop-ments or paradigm shifts have not only been referred tometaphorically as scientific revolutions Kuhn, butalso have often been accompanied by the use of novel meta-phors Leary, a.

For example, Gentner and Grudin assembled a collection of metaphors used to describethe human mind from more than 80 years of articles in thePsychological Review. They found that during the early years ofthis journal, spatial and animate-being metaphors dominated,whereas computer and systems metaphors dominated the lateryears.

Mahoney noted that several metaphorical shiftshave occurred in the history of psychobiology, from hydraulichumours to mechanical, electrical, and contemporaryhormonal notions.

Sternberg has drawn similarconclusions about the history of the study of intelligence. Hehas suggested that different theories of intelligence evolvedfrom different metaphors of intelligencegeographic,computational, biological, epistemological, anthropological,sociological, or systems metaphors.

The role of metaphor in counseling

On an individual level, metaphors are believed to aid inthe organization of personal experience Fox, Lyddon is a professor and director of training, and Alison L. Clay and Cheri L. Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to William J. Metaphor and Change in CounselingWilliam J.

Clay, and Cheri L. SparksIncreased general interest among counselors in the way language, narratives, and stories influence clients personal and socialrealities has drawn particular attention to metaphorical language and its facilitative role in counseling.

In this article, the authorssuggest that metaphors and metaphorical knowing may play a significant role in facilitating at least 5 developmental changeprocesses in counseling: Lankton and Lankton broadly defined metaphorto include any form of communication or human activitythat speaks to the individual.

Thus, biblical parables, fairytales, myths, stories, rituals, and motion pictures may all beseen as metaphorical vehicles able to facilitate change, growth,and understanding. Through use of metaphor, individuals areable to explore and expand present experience into previ-ously unrecognized possibilities Fox, Fairy talesstimulate the imagination, while engaging both intellect andemotion to see unexpected solutions for existentialproblems Bettelheim, It is interesting that the emotional tension or disequi-librium that may accompany significant metaphorical shifts and hence, shifts in personal meaning is viewed from a de-velopmental constructivist perspective as a natural part ofthe change process Lyddon, ; Mahoney, ; Rosen, Thus, as a transformative change agent, metaphor maybe particularly useful in the context of counseling.

Manyauthors have suggested a facilitative role for metaphoricalcommunication in counseling through stories, anecdotes,metaphorical objects, and music e.

Metaphorical strategies havebeen implemented with a variety of client populations, fromchildren to adults, as well as across a wide range of pre-senting concerns cf. There is much support, therefore, for the notion that useof metaphor in counseling provides an effective mode ofcommunication and meaning creation.The role of metaphors in emotional processing is explained, and the process of counseling is tied to the therapeutic usage of metaphors.

Building from that information, approaches to using. That was a beautiful metaphor for those going through different types of counseling. My father has gone through trauma counseling for a couple of years now, but your like you said a wound should be seen as an example of successful healing through counseling.

What follows is a discussion of the role of metaphor in each of these counseling processes. Relationship Building The development of a safe and secure counseling relation- ship, or working alliance (Bordin, ), is believed to be a significant component of successful counseling process and outcome (Lambert & .

A description of the structure of metaphors and metaphor theory. is provided. The role of metaphors in emotional processing is explained, and the process of counseling.

is tied to the therapeutic usage of metaphors. The power of metaphor in counselling in my experience is that once a client can use and own a metaphor for themselves it becomes limitless as to what meaning or feeling they can own through their use of metaphor.

I believe very much in the power of a metaphor to heal, what may start of as a metaphor that the client conceptualises to make sense. The Role of Metaphor in Counseling. Topics: Metaphor, What is the role of metaphor in the development of an autonomous client?

I've been recently reading about the importance of language in Epistemology. Particularly Wittgenstein and his ideas of language and it's role in our shaping of the world. SLIDE 1: Wittgenstein Thus we turn .

The Power of Metaphor in Counselling - Counselling Directory