therapeutic metaphors

Noam Shpancer (
Mon, 31 Oct 94 08:55:10 EST

to the clinicians on the elist, hi: my name is noam shpancer, i'm a grad
student in the clinical psych program at purdue university. i'm developing
a research project investigating the use of metaphors in therapy. i have a
hunch that many clinicians develop in the course of their career an arsenal
of "pet" metaphors to be used regularly with various clients in various
stages during therapy--to illustrate a point, clarify a concept or
guide a process. for example, a therapist may commonly use a "new shoes"
metaphor to illustrate the process of change ('it feels awkward in the
beginning, but if you give it time..etc.').

if you have any such pet metaphors that you have generated and that have been
working for you, i would like to hear from you. please relate your metaphor
in a way that approximates how you would actually use it, i.e., tell the story.
you can reply directly to me at:

thanks in advance, noam.

noam shpancer
purdue university