Trend, these are good questions. Of course no research, as such, answers them. Here are my opinions based on observation, personal experience, and client reports over the year, plus my minor in linquistics and so on.... (might be wrong in the 'real world' of sceince). > is it necessary for them to make sense to the clinician?
Actually, no. But if you want to insure to a greater degree that the client makes useful application of the ambiguity use speak, it is good to attempt to be relevant. The meaning taken will be, then, isomorphic in structure to the metaphor told...and the chance of it applying to the problem will also be more certain. Keep in mind, all things said are metaphoric or symbolic anyway. Words of any kind, 'common' or 'scientific' or purposefully 'metaphoric' are just approximations for experiences the speaker has, and will be interpreted as meaningful as the listener then attaches his or her own personal 'interpretation' or meaning to them. Some words, those for common everyday consensus reality are ~usually~ 'close enough' for adequate meaning most of the time. "look out for that car", "close the window over there", etc. Although these still are often the basis for misunderstanding and disagreements.
> In other words, can the metaphor/story seemingly be >unrelated to the client's situation?
If the client is to make sense of it, the further departure from his or her experience results in less and less meaning and storage. Like if I go on and on about the gates in a 486 microprocessor using words like 'teraflops' and so on...the client would just lose it. Unless I doctor it up with sufficient inderect suggestion and personalizable referrences here and there.
>where does the power of the metaphor come from
This is a tricky question. As you ask it the answer is from the meaning the client attributes to it! Period. But your example options included only aspects of delivery: tone, words, etc. So, if you are asking, what is the most attention-holding (or what I call enchantment) aspects of the delivery...it will vary client to client. all of what you mentioned will be involved to differing degrees to most individuals. You left some other aspects: dramatic hold (this mean, element presented out of chronological order as I define drama); cadence; context in which it is being spoken; movements of the people and things inside the metaphor (or the story protocol as I call it); breathing; and so on.
> is it necessary for them to make sense to the clinician?
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