Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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Given the centrality of metaphor in the (re)structuring of experience (Burns, 2005Loue, 2008Roffman, 2008) and of bodily experience to the notion of conceptual metaphor in cognitive theory (Lakoff & Johnson, 2003 [1980]Lakoff, 1993Gibbs, 2006), this paper investigates the ‘transformative power’ of metaphor in ‘talking cure’ practices – Counselling and Psychotherapy – to implement its application potential. An experimental integrated “metaphor-based and -driven” model is presented by adapting textual identification procedures (Steen, 1999Ferrari, 2007Pragglejaz, 2007) to an integrated psychological approach (Rogers, 2003 [1951]; Perls, 1951) in order to further develop metaphor transformation guidelines. The ‘M’ psycho-test had been created to evaluate the power of metaphor in counselling sessions in a diachronic perspective, providing both qualitative and quantitative data. Some preliminary cases (e.g. ‘the frog’, ‘eating’, ‘the hare’, ‘the desolated land’) are presented, with relative Transformational score, as examples of test application and metaphor potential. Test evidence has allowed for quantitative and qualitative observations. The evidence gathered shows: (1) Applying a metaphor-based experimental integrated approach can offer alternative for action in the practice; (2) Measuring the transformational power of metaphor through ‘M’ psycho-test can offer further degree of awareness for both counsellor and client.


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