Insight Through Metaphor

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 853–854. Reviews the book, Psychology and the Poetics of Growth: Figurative Language in Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Education by Howard R. Pollio, Jack M. Barlow, Harold J. Fine, and Marilyn R. Pollio (1977). In their book, the authors try to combine the art and science of psychotherapy by experimentally analyzing whether metaphor fosters patient insight. The authors did a content analysis, specifically developed for examining figurative language, of several psychotherapy interviews. Their results indicate some, but not overwhelming, evidence that the generation of novel metaphors by the patient increases insight. Overall, this book did not meet its purpose. The authors purported to do an empirical investigation of figurative language in a number of contexts. They seem to have done a careful and laborious content analysis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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