Presentation on theme: "Powerful Therapeutic Metaphors"— Presentation transcript:
1 Powerful Therapeutic Metaphors Using RFT to CreatePowerful Therapeutic MetaphorsYvonne Barnes-Holmes,Dermot Barnes-Holmes,& Ian Stewart
2 Workshop Overview The current workshop consists of three parts: Overview of the RFT account of analogy and metaphorDe-construction of examples of ACT metaphorsConstruction of novel metaphors for clinical practice
3 Understanding Analogy & MetaphorRelational frame theorists have employed the concept of relating relations, as the basic process underlying the verbal abilities for understanding and constructing analogies and metaphorsAt 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)
5 Is that it?The previous example involved the derivation of arbitrary stimulus relationsBut analogies and metaphors also appear to abstract out non-arbitrary relations among eventsConsider the analogy Apple is to Peach as Dog is to SheepThis abstracts out specific non-arbitrary properties that pertain to each of the two sets of relations
6 Equivalence-Equivalence CrelsRound, juicy, edibleCrelsHairy, four legs, lives in groupsEquivalentAPPLESHEEPPEACHDOGEquivalence-EquivalenceThe analogy then also allows two sets of non-arbitrary properties to function as Crels for the two equivalence relations
7 Understanding Analogy & Metaphor So, two of the central features of the RFT theoretical and empirical model of analogy and metaphor are :Relations between derived arbitrary relationsRelating based on the abstraction of non-arbitrary properties
8 Understanding Analogy & Metaphor Because the relating of the derived relations most often involves a relation of coordination, 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
9 Understanding Analogy & Metaphor However, it is errroneous to think of analogies/metaphors as simply the compounding of one or two relations of coordination, especially when the metaphors in question are used for clinical purposesInstead, these are substantive relational networks, that require sophisticated verbal histories of shared knowledge and experienceTake a look at this . . .
10 Struggling with Anxiety is Like Struggling in Quicksand Strugglein quicksandDrowningCAUSALRELATIONwith anxietyPanic attackSAMEACTUAL struggle with anxietyACTUAL panic attackACTUAL struggle in quicksandACTUAL drowningArbitrary Crel for Co-ordination“Same Sort of Feeling” = Non-Arbitrary Crel for Co-ordination(The “Aha” Experience)ChokingCan’t breathe
11 Understanding Analogy & Metaphor Of course, metaphors are practically useless for clinical purposes if they fail to facilitate behaviour changeAnd 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
12 Struggling with Anxiety is Like Struggling in Quicksand Strugglein quicksandDrowningCAUSALRELATIONwith anxietyPanic attackSAMEACTUAL struggle with anxietyACTUAL panic attackACTUAL struggle in quicksandACTUAL drowningChokingCan’t breatheNext Trip to the Mall = Cfunc for Transfer Of Functions(A Subsequent Change in Behaviour)
13 Secrets for Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors Try to unhinge yourself from the verbal traps and frustration if you are finding a metaphor for a problem that you have been struggling with for some timeYou could maybe even think of a metaphor that would describe yourself in this situation!
14 Secrets for Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors 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 thereinthe transformations of functions that currently occurIf it helps, even draw them out in order to try to illucidate target non-arbitrary propertiesThe closer your vehicle (i.e. the other network you construct with the metaphor) matches the target relationally, the better will be your metaphor
15 Secrets for Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors Once you have the target network in mind, try to think through the non-arbitrary features of thisAnd then identify what happens to the client when she experiences these propertiesOften, the properties are coordinated with evaluations like stupid, disgusting, hopeless and these participate in self-relations (and that’s why she feels so bad about herself) and she desperately wants you to share in these (i.e. co-ordination relations in the perspective-taking frames)
16 Trying to Find Solutions is Like Digging in a Hole Feelings generated by target network:RepetitiveFeels painfulOverwhelmingFeelings generated by the vehicle:Getting deeperDarkHelpless . . .???Finding solutionsDig in holeSAMEGettingconfusedSinkingIn this case, the vehicle enhances aspects of theproperties associated with the target
17 Secrets for Constructing Good Clinical Metaphors NetworksSpecific relationsNon-arbitrary propertiesBehaviour change
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