METAPHORIC LANGUAGE, METAPHORIC COGNITION, AND COGNITIVE THERAPY

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Abstract

Current approaches to cognitive therapy typically represent cognitions and schemas using propositional forms of cognition. A model of cognition is presented that includes propositional cognition together with imaginal and metaphoric cognitive modalities. It is posited that metaphor is a distinct form of cognition that appears to combine propositional and imaginal cognition. Client-generated linguistic metaphors appear to represent deep, tacit, metaphoric knowledge that can be directly accessed, explored, and ultimately transformed by the client using a step-by-step interview protocol. Two case examples illustrate how this brief intervention can access and change imaginal and metaphoric cognition not readily accessed by traditional cognitive methods. This approach is compared and contrasted with constructivist theory of cognitive therapy and with Ericksonian interventions using embedded metaphors.

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