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Thread: Therapeutic metaphors for you & others

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Cairns, Australia

    Post Therapeutic metaphors for you & others


    On the subject of metaphors you use for yourself & others, while in a therapeutic context, the usual metaphors are:


    As I considered the functions of a guide, it occured to me that the guide is pressuposed to have knowledge of the terrain. In a therapeutic context, I'd call that the internal world of subjective experience. At that point I questioned whether the client is actually the guide as they are intimately knowledgable by experiencing, through the senses, the terrain.

    Who I believe Guide's & Coaches are:

    Mr Pearce (my basket ball coach)
    The bush tucker man (Australian outback survival)
    Tracker (aboriginal whose function it is to find others via terrain)

    and for others:


    The explorer metaphor pressuposes taking a journey beyond places uncharted previously. That may be the case when becoming conscious of unconscious patterns, memories, associations, metaphors, identities.

    Who I believe explorer's are:

    Captain Cook
    Sir Edmund Hilary
    Christopher Colombus

    What that tells me is the client is able to guide themselves through their internal terrain. That would mean the practitioner becomes a passenger or tourist. At which I'd question what function other than sight seeing does the tourist serve?

    The tourist chooses where, when & the duration they are passengers. This is intimately interwoven with the guide's knowledge of where, when & the duration for the terrain they are familiar with.

    The two are travelling parrallel with each other, both inputting into where, when & the duration of the visit into the internal terrain.

    Recently I've been practising being both the explorer & guide, using the clean language patterns with my internal dialogue & external voice. I've found metaphors previously unknown and willingly guided myself down the path of self discovery.

    Perhaps this is where self application of language patterns can yield measurable self knowledge, providing the explorer continues to go where they haven't explored before and the guide directs the attention of the explorer to the internal terrain.

    It's as if the explorer / client decides on a place to start, then the guide asks the explorer to describe their surroundings. Then, the guide can chose to take the explorer back in time, forward in time, in and around the terrain, & into metaphorical parrallel universes in which the function of both remain the same...Map Making!!!

    I truly believe examining the metaphors we use to describe ourselves is a school of self knowledge with an unlimited borrowing library.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default Sailing with Columbus

    Thank you Robert, this has beauty: I like your metaphors of self-guiding and self-exploring; I'm just not very pleased with the tourist/passenger metaphor for the facilitator.

    When I worked at the Dutch Touring Club as an author of tourist guides, I described all the places in France that would possibly be of interest for any tourist. I structered them into regions or routes. This is product-oriented.

    Later on I worked for the tourist office in the south of The Netherlands and I used a more client-oriented approach: anyone being on a holiday searches for an optimal stress-level: not too little, not too much. So I structered any activity into more or less stressful.

    When I'm travelling by myself, I usually don't have a goal. As long as I'm in France, I'm confident there will be a sign at every crossing in case I would like to go somewhere. I always carry the Michelin-map, which is highly accurate. Other than that, just being in France is satisfying enough.

    Suppose I was sailing with Columbus: he knows what he wants and has a strategy of how to get there: straight from A to B along a certain latitude. If he shoud ask me to come along to help him, what kind of role would be most useful to him? Or should I ask him?


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