Saturday, March 24, 2012

Client Metaphors

I attended a very good session at VSCA last week on using "clean language" to turn difficult parent conferences around. One of the presenters was a former student (I am a part-time counselor educator) of mine and I really enjoyed learning to focus on identifying the problem, remedy, and outcome from Brett. She presented with Gina who is a trainer for Mining Your Metaphors Gina made the point that there is no such thing as a synonym. Although we can assume we know what a client means by a word like "sad" it may actually mean something very different to that individual. I truly think words and particularly metaphors are very important in counseling. I always teach the microskill, "verbal underlining" which has the counselor repeat a few key words of the client. I also encourage may students (and I do this in my own work) to use metaphors to facilitate client understanding of feelings and meaning. Gina cautioned how important it is to uses the clients personal metaphors, not one that the counselor imposes. Check out the webpage or blog to learn more about "Mining Your Metaphors."

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