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1  Relational frame theorists have employed the concept of relating relations, as the basic process underlying the understanding and construction of analogies.

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Presentation on theme: "1  Relational frame theorists have employed the concept of relating relations, as the basic process underlying the understanding and construction of analogies."— Presentation transcript:

1 1  Relational frame theorists have employed the concept of relating relations, as the basic process underlying the understanding and construction of analogies and metaphors  At its most basic, Barnes, Hegarty and Smeets (1997) proposed a model of analogical reasoning that involved responding in accordance with equivalence- equivalence relations (i.e. the relating together of derived equivalence relations) Understanding Analogy & Metaphor

2 Equivalent APPLE SHEEPPEACH DOG Equivalence-Equivalence Equivalent 2

3 3  The previous example involved the derivation of arbitrary stimulus relations  But analogies and metaphors also appear to abstract out non-arbitrary relations among events  Consider the analogy “Apple is to Peach as Dog is to Sheep”  This abstracts out specific non-arbitrary properties that pertain to each of the two sets of relations Arbitrary & Non-arbitrary Relations

4 4 Crels Round, juicy, edible Equivalent APPLE SHEEPPEACH DOG Equivalence-Equivalence Equivalent The analogy then also allows two sets of non-arbitrary properties to function as Crels for the two equivalence relations Crels Rou nd, juicy, edible Crels Hairy, four legs Crels Hairy, four legs

5 5  So, two of the central features of the RFT theoretical and empirical model of analogy and metaphor are:  Relations between derived arbitrary relations  Relating based on the abstraction of non-arbitrary properties Understanding Analogy & Metaphor

6 6  Because the relating of the derived relations most often involves a relation of co-ordination, it is common that individuals experience this as a novel insight or “Aha!”  And this of course, may be based on the fact that the two related events give rise to similar somatic outcomes, such as the same feeling Understanding Analogy & Metaphor

7 7  However, it is errroneous to think of analogies/metaphors as simply the compounding of two relations of co-ordination, especially when the metaphors in question are used for clinical purposes  There may be multiple stimulus relations within the networks  That is, these are substantive relational networks, that require sophisticated verbal histories of shared knowledge and experience  Take a look at this... Understanding Analogy & Metaphor

8 8 Struggling with Anxiety is Like Struggling in Quicksand EQUIVALENT & CAUSAL Struggle with anxiety Panic Attack Struggle in quicksand Drowning CAUSAL RELATION CAUSAL RELATION Arbitrary Crel for Co-ordination Can’t breathe More tension Choking Can’t breathe Rumination Somatic tension Thrashing Exhaustion

9 9  Of course, metaphors are practically useless for clinical purposes if they fail to facilitate a new perspective and/or behaviour change  And thus some specific transformations of function must be targeted with the relational networks and in such a way that they make the behaviour change seem feasible Understanding Analogy & Metaphor

10 10  Try to think in precise and simplistic terms about the client’s:  existing relational network (think of this as the target)  the types of relations contained therein  the non-arbitrary properties that are abstracted and the transformations of function that currently occur Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors

11 11  Non-arbitrary properties often allow us to identify the functions that are present and the ways in which these get transformed  In the previous quicksand analogy, the tension functions attached to struggling with anxiety are transformed to more tension with a panic attack through the causal relation between the struggle and its outcome  In this case, the client will recognise that the struggle only makes her worse but she can’t help it  So, this sense of helplessness is another function attached to the struggle that you didn’t see initially Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors

12 12  What you also cannot see, and this shows just how big these networks are, are the co-ordination relations among many of these events  For example, when the client feels helpless about struggling with anxiety, this struggle is co-ordinated with who she is and so when she is helpless with anxiety, who she is as a whole human being is helpless, and when she sees this it is causally related to feeling more helpless, and so on and so on  But we will get to fusion and perspective-taking later, the point here is that these events are not separable, these problematic relational networks tell us and our clients about who they feel they ‘really’ are Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors

13 13  Once you have identified your client’s existing relational network (the target), you then construct the relational network that will form the analogy or metaphor (the vehicle)  Remember, the closer your vehicle matches the target relationally and in terms of the current and perspective/solution-based transformations of function, the better will be your metaphor and the greater likelihood of behaviour change  At its simplest, you first need to ask yourself what is the client’s specific problem and what am I trying to do with this? Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors

14 14 It’s as if there’s a chessboard going out in all directions. It’s covered with black and white pieces that work as two teams, where the white pieces fight against the black. Think of your thoughts as these pieces, they hang out in teams too. For example, “bad” feelings (e.g. anxiety) hang out with “bad” thoughts. Same with the “good” ones. The way the game is played is that we select which side we want to win and put the “good” pieces (e.g. feeling self-confident) on one side and the bad pieces on the other. Then we get up on the white queen and ride to battle, fighting to win the war against “bad” content. It’s a war game and huge portions of yourself are your own enemy. And if you’re on the same level as these pieces, they can even be bigger than you, even though they are in you. And sometimes the more you fight the bigger they can seem to get, more central to your life, more dominating. So you try to knock them off the board, to dominate them instead. Except your experience tells you that the opposite happens. You have a sense that you can’t win. Yet living in a war zone is a miserable way to live. The Chessboard

15 15 Struggling with Thoughts is Like Playing Chess EQUIVALENT & CAUSAL Use black pieces to fight white Keep playing Keep losing Struggle with bad thoughts ????????????? CAUSAL RELATION CAUSAL RELATION Pointless Looks hopeful to begin Seems logical Exhausting & repetitive Struggle with bad feelings

16 16 It’s as if there’s a chessboard going out in all directions. It’s covered with black and white pieces that work as two teams, where the white pieces fight against the black. Think of your thoughts as these pieces, they hang out in teams too. For example, “bad” feelings (e.g. anxiety) hang out with “bad” thoughts. Same with the “good” ones. The way the game is played is that we select which side we want to win and put the “good” pieces (e.g. feeling self- confident) on one side and the bad pieces on the other. Then we get up on the white queen and ride to battle, fighting to win the war against “bad” content. It’s a war game and huge portions of yourself are your own enemy. And if you’re on the same level as these pieces, they can even be bigger than you, even though they are in you. And sometimes the more you fight the bigger they can seem to get, more central to your life, more dominating. So you try to knock them off the board, to dominate them instead. Except your experience tells you that the opposite happens. You have a sense that you can’t win. Yet living in a war zone is a miserable way to live. The Chessboard

17 17  Target networks  Specific/multiple stimulus relations  Non-arbitrary properties and transformations of function  Behaviour change Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors

18  Once we have language, we will become someone  And that stability of self has many advantages, including discriminating our own goals and values, and tracking if our behaviour is going in that direction  But there is no way of avoiding painful self-recriminations and evaluations, especially relative to others, and thus building problematic and painful relational networks  This does not mean, however, that we cannot be more than these evaluations, and thus they need not drive our behaviour  Just like the house is so much more than the furniture, we are so much more than our thoughts and feelings, and they do not need to be us Concluding Comments

19 Mairéad Foody & Yvonne Barnes- Holmes

20  Try to think in precise and simplistic terms about the client’s: 1. existing relational network (think of this as the target) 2. the types of relations contained therein 3. the non-arbitrary properties that are abstracted and the transformations of function that currently occurur

21  X year-old female  I am a horrible person  I am so selfish

22  Co-ordination relations with horrible and selfish person (i.e., fusion with negative content)  Sometimes she mentioned things like “but sometimes I think a little part of me thinks I am good”  So some perspective-taking and/or distinction relations

23  A sense of being stuck  Frustration  Tired  Fed-up  Overwhelmed

24  Many negative evaluations that she thinks are all true of her  They are tied and stuck together so tightly  Like a bundle of knots that are hard to unravel….

25 Imagine its Christmas time and you have to decorate the Christmas tree. The tree you have doesn’t look very nice. It’s old and boring and seems like it will die soon. You go up to the attic and take down a box of decorations. This is the same box that you stuffed away last year, hoping not to have to deal with them again. But you decide this time it will be different. This time you will have a really nice Christmas tree like to show off to everyone. So your strategy is to sit down low on the floor so you can get a good look at the things in the box. You think if I can get as close into this box as possible I will be able to go through it carefully. You know there are nice ones in there. There are bright ones, dark ones, expensive ones, antique ones. Even ones that play music. You take out some lights and go about unraveling them. Vs.

26 Soon you get frustrated because the lights are old and there are too many knots, so you leave them and look for new ones. As time goes on you find more and more bundles of lights that are too old, too boring and have too many knots. Every time you decide to leave one set and start on a new set there is a little hope that the next ones will be the ones that will make the tree look fantastic. But this never happens. Eventually you end up on the floor with bundles of lights and decorations all around you. The mess is too much now. It seems impossible to sort these decorations out. You decide to bundle them all up and stuff them back in the box like you did last year.

27 Stuck Frustrated Overwhelmed Tired Fed up

28 28 Struggling with Thoughts is Like Playing Chess EQUIVALENT & CAUSAL Use black pieces to fight white Keep playing Keep losing Struggle with bad thoughts ????????????? CAUSAL RELATION CAUSAL RELATION Pointless Looks hopeful to begin Seems logical Exhausting & repetitive Struggle with bad feelings

29 29 Figuring out bad Thoughts is Like Unraveling sets of knotted Christmas tree lights EQUIVALENT & CAUSAL Trying to unknot bundles of lights End up with more knots Keep losing Trying to figure out bad thoughts End up with more negative thoughts CAUSAL RELATION CAUSAL RELATION Pointless Looks hopeful to begin Seems logical Exhausting & repetitive Struggle with bad feelings


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