Metaphor in Psychotherapy: Clinical Applications of Stories and Allegories

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Knowing how to introduce oneself can be challenging and awkward especially if you tend to be an introvert and feel hesitant to make the first move. We all know starting well is essential and necessary, but how to do it well is not well understood. In this episode, Dr. Chawla reveals one of his embarrassing moments where he put his foot in his mouth and never really recovered. He also talks about some key things that many doctors fail to do and in his opinion should do. Chawla also talks about how having a proper framework to do things correctly is a critical strategy for success.

Having a useful framework applies to whether you are making a cake, building a house, using ACLS and even a clinical encounter. This is part one of a three part series on how to communicate more effectively with a patient. The principles he shares, especially in this first part, helps anyone who is working with people and wants to connect better with them. Clinicians use metaphors to describe physical signs, disease processes, treatment goals and objectives of healthy living.

Patients use metaphors when describing their physical symptoms, their emotional issues and their life situations. This ability allows you to reframe that language and refocus their ability to choose the way they think, feel and act. This episode is a starting point to build your tool kit of empowering metaphors and learn how to use empowering metaphors and avoid unhealthy ones. Voted 1 body language professional in the world by Global Gurus. He's written four best-selling books on Body Language and Communication.


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He is a sought after speaker because he is entertaining, inspirational and educational. His TEDx talk is one such example of his work; a must see. We talk about theatre, how Mark became the leading expert in body language and how his struggle with dyslexia helped him! It's a real candid interview about the complexities of non-verbal communication.

Having desire is important, but if you don't know HOW to increase your attention, curb your temptations you'll fall off that pathway. It's easy to lose your desire and fall off. It happens to everyone. So how do you prevent that? In this podcast, I will look at how our emotional and physical triggers can help us or hinder us in creating that change.

Erickson m h 1958 naturalistic techniques of hypnosis

I've used this strategy to help patients decrease their coffee intake, increase their water consumption, become better listeners, remember to take their medications, connect with their partners better, get rid of nervous tics and much more. It's also a very fun tool to use and takes little time to learn. A tool every change agent should have in their tool box. Well worth the listen. In this podcast, you learn how to make long-lasting change effectively and quicker, without feeling discouraged and burned out. After all, people are different and come with different life stories, supports and skill sets.

It also has a positive ripple effect too. But how do you find the right key that opens the door to lasting change? If you are not aware of the details in these four core areas, you will struggle more than you need to. Chawla knows this struggle all too well from his personal experience and when helping others.

He shares these experiences with you and shows how you can use this model to help facilitate long term change in yourself and others. There's a lot here in this short episode. Research has shown that there are clear ways to improve your energy and presence. This podcast goes into practical tools that you can use to be better and live better. Without good physical and mental energy you can't have the presence of mind to be your best self with people, whether that be with your patients, colleagues, or family and friends. The best individuals know the key strategies to have optimum energy so that they can communicate effectively and efficiently.

As an introvert, our energy can be drained and we need to know how to recharge it and safeguard it. There are two sides of the energy equation that determine if we can keep our energy up and our reserves high. Firstly, how do we input or replenish our energy; and secondly, what factors takes our energy away from us.

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There are also harmful things that many people do, that actually creates cognitive decline and impacts our memory. When I realized it, it created great shifts in my energy and presence. Others also find implementing these changes have made an incredible impact in their life and their performance and connections with people. If you struggle with being more of an extrovert or relating with your patients, you're not alone, I've been there.

This is a rich source, and will be utilized later in this book. The Lanktons did the first careful analysis of multiple embedded metaphors, a complex construction in which several metaphors are built into one consciously designed story for a client. They call this the multiple-embedded-metaphor framework and, We define framework as an association of one or more related metaphors and bundles of experience that results in specific attitudes and influences perception p.

Their chapter on this subject pp. There are nineteen elaborate stories, and each is for a particular type of client, such as a paranoid personality, a client with separation-anxiety disorder, and an obese client. There is a foreword by Sidney Rosen. There are metaphors for developmental problems, conduct disorders, emotional and family problems. There is a useful chapter on the delivery of metaphors. Joyce C. Mills and Richard J. To this end there is good background information relevant to child therapy. In Part II they give the basics of this kind of work in a three-level model of communication: 1 storyline; 2 interspersed suggestions; and 3 interweaving.

The Use of Symbols in Psychology - Harley Therapy™ Blog

There are case illustrations with metaphors. They include in their Chapter 8 the use of the artistic metaphor, and in Chapter 9 cartoon therapy. A delightful and useful book. William H. This book contains a relatively brief but good description of the use of metaphors from an Ericksonian perspective. This is a detailed book about the design and construction of metaphors for particular purposes for each client. They emphasize the importance of gathering sufficient information to build a metaphor as part of a total treatment plan.

There are many examples for specific classes of cases, such as metaphors for affect, attitude, behavior, family-structure change, self-image thinking, and children. This book is a valuable resource. Ronald A. Havens and Catherine Walters, Hypnotherapy Scripts. This book is a collection of hypnotherapy scripts. These scripts are a good model for learning about this type of work. There are complete scripts in various categories, such as affirming the self, alleviating unwarranted fears, developing spontaneity, and improving performance.

In addition, there are five general-purpose metaphors. This edited tome put out by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis contains almost endless contributions for many conditions on the uses of metaphor and suggestion in the context of a hypnotic session. The contributors are experts in their respective areas and the metaphors are both useful and adaptable.

The authors start with the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. Therapy then becomes a process of storying or re-storying the lives and experiences of these people.

In this way narrative comes to play a central role in therapy. This important book on metaphor starts with the contributions of Milton H. Erickson to the use of metaphor in clinical practice, and those of Gregory Bateson to the theory of how metaphor works. The Batesonian perspective is particularly clarifying. There is then a systematic approach to the construction of metaphors, as well as the use of symbols and ceremonies in doing therapy.

There are many case examples and illustrations. Lee Wallas, Stories that Heal. This is a continuation of the style of stories in her preceding book, but now keyed to developmental stages, such as normal autistic phase, separation and individuation, Oedipal phase, puberty etc. The emphasis of the stories is on reparenting. Kopp, Metaphor Therapy. Using Client-Generated Metaphors in Psychotherapy In my readings about the use of metaphor in psychotherapy and healing I found this book to be the most significant since it turned my thinking around degrees with respect to how to use metaphor therapeutically.

All of the other books cited in this section are about how the therapist can construct metaphors to deliver to a client. Of course, this is based on client-supplied information, and is tailored to that particular person. Kopp listens for the metaphors that a client relates about her own life, and then simply suggests that she can change that metaphor to get what she wants.


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  5. Kopp also gives details about how to similarly use metaphoric memories. There are many examples. There is a connection to narrative therapy. Henry T. Close, Metaphor in Psychotherapy. Clinical Applications of Stories and Allegories They are quite cleverly constructed. Since he is an ordained minister, there is a distinct religious slant to some of the metaphors. Burns has integrated nature as a psychotherapeutic and healing metaphor into his practice. He also calls his approach ecopsy-chotherapy. Via a Sensory Awareness Inventory and specific assignments involving interactions with nature he has added an extra dimension to this work.

    Rubin Battino and Thomas L. These authors present two chapters on basic and advanced metaphors with illustrations from an Ericksonian perspective. Some of the metaphors are on an accompanying audiotape. This is an excellent source of metaphors that have been developed from a shamanic perspective and background. If that is your interest, this is a useful book. The stories told in a guided-imagery session are metaphors for healing. This book is a systematic development of guided imagery and contains many illustrations.

    The audiotapes accompanying this book are useful not only for the content, but as a guide to delivery. There is no listing of relevant websites—if you wish to explore the Internet for information on metaphor, a search engine will produce many, many hits. The previous section was a brief guide to books on the subject of metaphor.

    There are also many articles on the subject, which means that there is a great variety of metaphors, how to construct them, and how to use them for different purposes. Within this book metaphors will be explored for psychotherapy, for helping people with mental or psychological concerns, and for healing. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

    Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Metaphoria: Metaphor and guided metaphor for psychotherapy and healing by Rubin Battino. Summary This is the comprehensive guide for all those wishing to explore the fascinating potential of metaphor. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

    Book Preview Metaphoria - Rubin Battino. Preface When I was asked to consider writing a book on the subject of metaphor, my first reaction was that there were several books already available. Your comments are always welcome email address: rubin. Joan Chappell Mathias, M. Chapter 1 Introduction 1. Words and stories … Stories are transformative. Kopp also states , p. Viktor E. Sheldon B. Kopp, Guru. Metaphors from a Psychotherapist After a general introduction in Part I, Kopp discusses in separate chapters, under the heading An Enchantment of Metaphors , metaphors from primitive religion, Judaism, Christianity, the Orient, ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, tales for children, science fiction, and the Now Scene.

    Stephen R. Lankton and Carol H. Lankton, The Answer Within The Lanktons did the first careful analysis of multiple embedded metaphors, a complex construction in which several metaphors are built into one consciously designed story for a client. Lee Wallas, Stories for the Third Ear. Carol H. Lankton and Stephen R. Corydon Hammond, Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors This edited tome put out by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis contains almost endless contributions for many conditions on the uses of metaphor and suggestion in the context of a hypnotic session.

    Michael White and David Epston, Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends The jacket blurb for this book states: The authors start with the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience.

    Representing Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families Using Hypnotic Stories in Psychotherapy This is a continuation of the style of stories in her preceding book, but now keyed to developmental stages, such as normal autistic phase, separation and individuation, Oedipal phase, puberty etc. Using Client-Generated Metaphors in Psychotherapy In my readings about the use of metaphor in psychotherapy and healing I found this book to be the most significant since it turned my thinking around degrees with respect to how to use metaphor therapeutically.

    George W. Burns, Nature-Guided Therapy Burns has integrated nature as a psychotherapeutic and healing metaphor into his practice. South, Ericksonian Approaches: A Comprehensive Manual These authors present two chapters on basic and advanced metaphors with illustrations from an Ericksonian perspective. Story Telling and Guided Journeys for Teachers, Trainers and Therapists This is an excellent source of metaphors that have been developed from a shamanic perspective and background.

    Rubin Battino, Guided Imagery and Other Approaches to Healing The stories told in a guided-imagery session are metaphors for healing.

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    Start your free 30 days. Page 1 of 1. Close Dialog Are you sure? These treatments have several benefits, including stabilizing the patient's life, reducing high-risk behaviors related to needle sharing, decreasing mortality and morbidity rates related to substance abuse, and providing normal social situations for patients However, since these people have become addicted due to weakness in specific skills and capabilities, and as pharmacologic treatments and detoxification fulfill only a part of their need 16 , it is necessary for them to change their lifestyle at the same time as undergoing treatment.

    Thus, psychological interventions are regarded as a significant factor in the treatment of drug addiction complications Within the field of psychological treatments, there are different viewpoints on drug addiction, one of which concerns cognitive-behavioral interventions Behavioral theories concentrate on the environment, while cognitive theories point out the incompatible and irrational beliefs of drug addicts. Based on this viewpoint, in terms of their social interaction and the events that have taken place for them, most people face intellectual errors such as exaggeration, disaster supposition, distortion, hurried conclusion, exaggerated generalization, and others founded on the perception and interpretation of events.

    Thus, people typically consider such events to be the main cause of their agitation and problems. However, the events do not generate psychological complications by themselves. Considering ABC theory, when an event occurs A:activating event , the thoughts and beliefs of a person B are activated and then consequences are developed C. Although extensive cognitive interventions are used worldwide to change the attitudes of patients, individual metaphor therapy IMT is one of the methods less commonly studied Stories, myths, and allegories are all regarded as factors involved in the correction, restructuring, and treatment of attitudes, and they play a prominent role in solving the internal conflicts of humans Common and dominant proverbs and metaphors used in conversational literature are included in the beliefs of any nation, and they are used as reasoning principles in daily life.

    Moreover, they are also used as the original and constant source in sociability and exchange of thoughts Metaphors are defined as perception and experience in the form of other words through objective visualization 24 , and they subtly teach readers that everything requires a structure and that change is always possible inside any structure According to prior studies, metaphors may be effective in the diagnosis of both severe and stable mental diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, dysthymia 26 , personal development, self-acceptance, sense of appreciating life, reduction of anxiety 27 , cognitive development 28 , self-concept development 29 , and sense of responsibility Additionally, the use of metaphors rather than direct treatment weakens the defenses of clients against changes of function and so increases the effectiveness of treatment interventions 31 , Further, adults establish a suitable relationship with metaphors so that they can easily accept through metaphors what they do not accept directly and are resistant against Compared to other therapies, metaphor therapy can provide new understandings for the patient.

    Metaphors not only emphasize the similarity between two things, but may also enable something new to be discovered from the comparison. In fact, metaphor creates an emergent feature from two previously unrelated things, rather than simply emphasizing their similarities Thus, this therapy method is benefit to special treatment strategies.

    Due to the cultural relationship between metaphors and the Iranian community, as well as the usability of individual metaphor therapy IMT 21 , this research was conducted with the aim of determining the effectiveness of IMT in reducing the irrational beliefs and cognitive restructuring of drug addicts undergoing buprenorphine treatment. This study used a randomized controlled trial RCT; registration number design. The treatment of drug-dependent patients with buprenorphine has considered as an effect of treatment in developed countries, leading to greater acceptance on the part of phy-sicians to administer these life-saving medicines to their patients The participants were randomly enrolled into the experimental and control groups.

    The inclusion criteria were: 1 aged years, 2 ability to read and write, 3 no psychotic disorders, 4 negative opium addiction test, and 5 taking buprenorphine. Moreover, the exclusion criteria were: 1 receiving any synchronous psychological intervention at any point in the treatment plan, 2 receiving psychological drugs, and 3 disinclination to continue treatment. The study sample consisted of 44 persons who were selected through single-stage cluster sampling and then randomly enrolled into the experimental or control groups.

    In single-stage cluster sampling, a simple random sample of clusters is selected, and data are collected from every unit in the sampled clusters. IMT was used as the main intervention procedure in this study, and it was presented to the experimental group in the form of individualized consultation sessions. This interview was conducted in order to screen the patients with psychotic disorders. Through said interview process, eight persons were excluded due to psychotic diagnostic evidence.

    Additionally, 29 others were excluded from this study due to failing to meet the inclusion criteria. Monitoring for negative drug addiction tests during the intervention period was done using a Rapid Drug Abuse Test Kit at the beginning of the period, at the end of the fifth session, and before carrying out the post-test. Finally, 44 persons 36 males and 8 females were randomly enrolled into the experimental and control groups. At this stage of the study, pre-intervention testing was conducted by a clinical psychologist who was blind to the subject and process of this research.

    Since the intervention was conducted individually, the patients completed the questionnaire at the same clinic where they were undergoing pharmacologic therapy. After a rapport had been established and once the completion process for the questionnaire had been explained by a clinical psychologist, the patients completed the questionnaire in 30 minutes.

    After the questionnaires were collected from the patients, telephone contact was made with all of the patients and they were informed of the exact time of their individual meetings. They were also requested to report to the same clinic where they underwent pharmacologic therapy at the appropriate time.

    IMT was performed by an experienced clinical psychologist who was blind to the subject and process of this research over ten individual sessions one per week of one hour in length for the patients in the experimental group. Thus, for each of the ten irrational beliefs, two metaphoric stories were presented to the patient.

    During the treatment session, the patient was requested to identify and explain the relationship between the metaphor presented and his daily life. At the end of the session, homework forms were given to the patient. Simultaneous to the IMT sessions, the members of the control group attended ten sessions with the same therapist and received routine cognitive restructuring. During this intervention, the patients were told about the emergence of problem drug abuse and current pharmacologic therapy, as well as the disadvantages of addictive drugs.

    Additionally, during these sessions, the therapist responded to the questions and concerns of patients. At the end of each session, routine homework forms were given to each patient in order to record any cognitive conflicts. During the sessions, three members of the experimental group two males and one female and four members of the control group three males and one female were excluded from treatment. A week after the final session of the intervention period, a post-test was conducted by the same psychologist who administered the pre-test and corresponding data was collected Figure 1.

    It should be noted that due to ethical considerations, after data collection and the termination of the research project, the experimental treatment was presented to the control group so that they could also benefit from the probable advantages of this kind of treatment. This instrument evaluates axis I psychological disorders.

    #6: Metaphors-How to Use them Skillfully

    It is comprised of six parts for the assessment of the diagnostic criteria of the 38 disorders in axis I, including mood disorders, anxiety, and psychosis This questionnaire consists of questions and it was used as the pre- and post-intervention measurement instrument. Each subscale includes ten items. The grading of the questions was done based on a Likert five-point scale, and the respondent designated his agreement or disagreement based on the said grades. In each subscale, a high grade identifies the severity of the irrational belief.

    Jones reported the reliability of the test to be 0. Moreover, the correlation coefficient of this test was reported to be 0. In line with the recommendation of Bahremand et al. At the end of each session, the patient was provided with behavioral assignment forms and he was requested to review the metaphors in his mind every day. At the beginning of each session, the assignment from the previous session was studied. IMT was performed by an experienced clinical psychologist individually for the patients in the experimental group.

    The sessions were conducted at the clinic where the patients received their regular medication. All of the pre-intervention dependent variables and the age factor were covariates, and the impact of the variables was controlled using a MANCOVA. First, all pre-assumptions for the MANCOVA including normality, outliers, linearity, multicollinearity and singularity, and homogeneity of variance-covariance were examined.

    Multivariate normality was assessed to calculate the Mahalanobis distances. The Mahalanobis distance is the distance of a particular case from the centroid of the remaining cases, where the centroid is the point created by the means of all the variables. The maximum value obtained for the Mahalanobis distance So, we could safely assume that there were no substantial multivariate outliers and hence there is an assumption of data normality In addition, a linear relationship between the combined dependent variables before and after the intervention was found.

    After checking other assumptions, a MANCOVA was used to compare the groups in terms of dependent variables after adjustment for the gender variable. In fact, the effect of this nominal variable was controlled as a fixed factor. Age and the pre-intervention scores of the irrational beliefs continuous variables were controlled as covariates. Additionally, demographic variables were compared using the chi-square test for non-continuous variables, and the treatment characteristics and age of the groups were compared using the t-test for continuous variables. The mean and standard deviation of the continuous variables are also reported.

    A P value of less than 0. Data concerning 37 persons 31 males with a mean age of The mean age of the experimental and control groups was There were 28 married and nine single subjects. The educational level of the sample ranged from junior school up to the level of Master of Science. Table 3 presents the results of t-test related to the age and some other variables related to the using substance and treatment of the participants.

    As can be seen in Tables 2 and 3 , no significant difference existed between the two groups regarding the demographic variables, age, drug addiction duration, and treatment period.



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