Metaphors Built On Everyday Experiences

Life itself is often the best source of healing stories. Our lives are made up of stories, and the stories we tell reflect, and shape, our experience. Even ifwe shift the characters and context beyond the human, as in stories of imagination, fantasy, and science fiction, the authors of those stories are still human and bound by human experience. Consequently, our stories—no matter how fanciful—speak oflife and the many experiences that make up life. In everyday experience there can be a tale to tell— perhaps even a therapeutic tale.

There may be stories from our own childhoods, as in "Let Joe Do It" (Story 14), that are relevant to the children we see professionally. Observing the children in our lives may provide many important metaphoric outcomes about learning new skills ("Learning New Tricks," Story 26), overcoming fear ("I'm Not Afraid Anymore," Story 30), negotiating resolutions ("Negotiating a Solution," Story 35), discovering it is okay to be good without having to be perfect ("Good, Not Per fect," Story18), and learning how to be successful ("The Secrets ofSuccess," Story 70). There may be stories in events as simple as a bird flying into your window ("Come Up Laughing," Story 6), a story told by a friend (on which "What You Give Is What You Get," Story 17, is based), or something that happens as you commute to work ("A Gesture That Changed a Whole Suburb," Story 27). One of my peer reviewers commented in a discussion on the manuscript for this book, "It reminded me that a story does not have to hold some profoundly wise message. It can be profound in its simplicity."

The previous categories from which metaphors can be built are not intended to be mutually exclusive, nor are they the only ways to build metaphors. They just happen to be a framework that is convenient for me to think in when structuring therapeutic tales. I offer them for you to use if they seem helpful or as a suggested means for you to build your own sources of metaphor ideas.

0 0

Post a comment