The Importance Of Metaphors In The Counseling Process

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The therapeutic process requires a focus on the emotional experience of clients and involves developing clients’ recognition of their emotional patterns and needs. The exploration of clients’ emotional experiences and establishing “links between self and environment”, plays a pivotal role in the emotional change process. (Greenberg, Rice, & Elliott, 1993, p. 54). Carlson (1996) claims that one of the most challenging aspects of the counselling process is helping clients understand and explore their intangible thoughts and feelings, and express them with tangible words. In these cases metaphors prove to be useful tools for helping clients access emotions that may have been previously unexpressed or unexplored. Fox (1989), noted that metaphors…show more content…
These three methods are: Explicating what is implicit - this is the process of reflective listening and focusing on the words of the metaphor to help the client in exploration of the personal meaning and context. Therapeutically Extending or Modifying the Metaphor – this involves staying with the metaphor and working together to assist the client in modifying their ideas of what the metaphor represents. Creating and delivering Therapeutic Metaphors – this is when a counsellor responds to a client’s metaphor with another relatable metaphor allowing the client to see the problem in a new way. In a study on counsellors’ responses to clients metaphors, Bayne and Thompson (2000) explored the ways counsellors recognized and used to clients metaphors. Using Strong’s model, counsellors responses were noted (see figure) and although findings were seen as positive, with the first two of Strong’s strategies being used frequently, some of the counsellors who participated questioned the value of introducing a new metaphor when the client had just offered one. The authors concluded it would be worthwhile to refine Strong’s

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