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The hidden meanings of metaphors in family therapy
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Developmental Psychology.
2000 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, Vol. 41, no 3, 217-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates how two therapists' beliefs and practices influence the therapeutic process when they organize social interaction according to a metaphor of a royal family. The therapeutic process is described through the case of a boy called Pelle. He comes to therapy together with his family. It is shown how the therapists collaborate in the process of implementing the worldview of the predefined normative standard for family life. In the short term the therapists' use of the metaphor can be seen as an intervention to accomplish immediate change in a non-threatening way. In the long term the cost of using the metaphor was that the mother got a confirmation about herself as a less powerful parent and the child got an image of being a failure. This study points out that metaphors as therapeutic tools have to be analyzed critically before they are used or more specifically the therapists have to examine what kind of values and meanings are hidden in the metaphor and who will gain and loose if it is used as an intervention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 41, no 3, 217-224 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29113Local ID: 14372OAI: diva2:249927
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2011-01-14

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Cederborg, Ann-Christin
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