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Unread March 21st, 2005, 01:04 PM
Charles Iker Charles Iker is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Rochester
Posts: 1
Default Improvising the construction of Metaphors.

Hello one and all. I recently attended the ASCH annual workshop where I attended workshops by both Steve Lankton and Jeff Zeig. I learned a great deal in both of these workshops. Indeed, Dr. Zeig's workshop focused on developing the utilization skills as well as developing the ability to respond to your patient. Steve Lankton exposed the group to the specific skill set nescessary to induce a trance as well as binds, truism, confusion techniques apposition of opposites etc etc.

O.K., so I would like to be able to develop appropriate metaphors while I am actually working with the patient. There have been so many times particularly after the workshop that I am speaking with a patient and there is a moment when I say to myself wow, a pointed metaphor would be just the thing right now and then I struggle to think O.K., the patient is this kind of a person, thinks or percieves the world in a visual fashion is developmentally such and such an age and the particular metaphor is to accomplish such and such. Then I think O.K., have to develop the idea and then add one level of ambiguity. By the time I get to the end the moment is gone.

So, I am going to answer my own question. In music when you are jamming or improvising you develop a flow and you can move from playing the straight major scale to the arpeggio tones to a major pentatonic scale to the mixolydian mode in the major scale. All of these different scales cam combine together to produce an endless variety of sounds and nuance. It also when done well can seem effortless like it just has a flow. However, what has gone on hours and hours behind the scene is me practicing the scales, figuring out the arpeggios for particular chords, laying down rythem tracks and jamming to it over and over. So, the development of the improve jam is based on a great deal of practice and dedication.

O.K., so the actual process of developing an isomorphic metaphor. Steve has a grid in one of his books where a man plus one level of ambiguity becomes a lovebird that man with another level of ambiguity becomes a squeaky drill. Perhaps developing that kind of a grid and practicing slowly at first and then gradually increasing speed and proficiency as one goes on. Are there any other things people can suggest for me to develop metahpors. In additon, can we develop metaphors right here.

For example, I have a patient who is a female 20 year old college student studying engineering. She has had a long history of anxiety including panic attacks. She tends to view the world from a primarily auditory position with the secondary position being visual. She does very well in school but works endlessly probably to get her fathers attention. Developmentally she is at age level although she seeks approval and acceptance. She is very jealous of her younger brother who has historically had more difficulties and has gotton a lot of his parents attention. During the time that her brother was talking up so much attention becasue of some medical problems, she spent a lot of time with her grandmother who later died. Her speech is very rapid and does not stop by herself. Her previous therapy as a teenager was nice but not particularly effective. It was a primarily cognitive behavioral approach which she said did not work well.

Any ideas would be welcome

thank-you one and all for your time


Last edited by Stephen Lankton; March 23rd, 2005 at 03:51 AM.
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Unread April 11th, 2005, 01:08 PM
Stuart Moore Stuart Moore is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Default Re: Improvising the construction of Metaphors.

Hi, I just read your post, Charles. You want some practice with metaphors and you gave an example of a 20 year old with panic disorder etc. What you didn't give (that would be a requirement for me in any metaphor) is what do you want to accomplish by using this metaphor?
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Unread April 11th, 2005, 07:04 PM
Stephen Lankton Stephen Lankton is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 117
Default Re: Improvising the construction of Metaphors.

Thanks you, Stuart. That is an excellent point. I'm glad people know that a therapist doesn't write metaphors for diagnostic categories, but rather for goals unique to the individual.
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