Psychology for Lawyers

understanding ourselves
know thy metaphors | metaphor therapy



"[I]nformation about people's private, subjective, and personally meaningful experiences may be efficiently represented as metaphors within the creative imagination. . . . [M]etaphors are information containers.

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[Having elicited metaphors that serve as "hubs in the meaning making systems of the client"], the goal is rather straight-forward: The therapist aims to facilitate their movement in imagination through time or space. When images that previously have been static are facilitated toward movement, they naturally resume a process of evolving. The basic idea is that particularly painful or traumatic experiences, those that cause distressing symptoms and functional impairments, are incomplete, misplace, or stuck in mnemoni time and space."

—David Pincus & Anees A. Sheikh, David Grove's Metaphors for Healing [online text]


Eliezer Witztum,, The Use of Metaphors in Psychotherapy, J. Contemporary Psychotherapy, 1988 [online text]

Use Your Clients' Own Metaphors to Bring About Change [] [blog]

Class Videos

Class Viewing 1: The Art of the Metaphor [5:38 mins.] [Jane Hirshfield narrates this visualization. Jane Hirshfield is a poet.]

Class Viewing 2: Metaphor Therapy [46:53 mins.] [Richard H. Siegal] [possible end of presentation at 18:46 mins.] [for a longer presentation end at 25:46 mins.]

Class Viewing 3: The Art of Changing Metaphors [19:29 mins.] [Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer] [TED Talk] [end class presentation at 16:05 mins.]


A Course in Cognitive Linguistics: Metaphor
[25:33 mins.] [Martin Hilpert]

Metaphormosis: Change Your Metaphor, Change Your Life
[15:39 mins.] [Ellen Waterston] [TED Talk]

James Geary, Metaphorically Speaking
[10:44 mins.] [TED Talk]

Metaphor and Metacognition
[23:26 mins.] [Alise Shafer Ivey] [TED Talk]

Metaphorical Thinking and Identity
[2:15 mins.] [Susan Greenfield] [Greenfield is a neuroscientist]

Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain
[50:00 mins.]

Steven Pinker: What Our Language Habits Reveal
[17:41 mins.]

Articles|Book Excerpts

Sana Loue, The Transformative Power of Metaphor in Therapy
[Springer Publ. Co., 2009]

Reference (George Lakoff)

Lakoff on How He Started His Work on Conceptual Metaphor
[8:35 mins.]

Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain
[5:11 mins.] [comments on metaphor begins at 2:42 mins.]

Reason is 98% Subconscious Metaphor in Frames & CULTural Narratives
[10:53 mins.]

Why Don't Facts Move People?
[1:48 mins.]

How Does Metaphysics Reveal Reality?
[3:45 mins.]

Frameworks, Empathy and Sustainability
[9:50 mins.] Pt2 [9:57 mins.] Pt3 [9:56 mins.] Pt4 [9:54 mins.] Pt5 [9:34 mins.] Pt6 [7:10 mins.]

What Studying the Brain Tells Us about Arts Education
[39:53 mins.]

What Makes Personal Identity Continue
[6:57 mins.]

How Brains Think: The Embodiment Hypothesis
[1:32:05 mins.] [International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, 2015]

Embodied Cognition and Language
[1:28:38 mins.] [Central European University, 2013] [comment on metaphor at 38:54 mins.; end at 45:11 mins.]

Lakoff Talks at Google
[57:53 mins.]


The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor

Metaphors We Live By
[George Lakoff & Mark Johnson]

Reference (Clean Questions) (Caitlin Walker)

Clean Questions and Metaphor Models
[20:52 mins.] [Caitlin Walker] [TED Talk] [an introduction to David Grove's concept of "clean questions" and the use of metaphors] [quality of the video is not up to par for a TED Talk]

Clean Language Is like What?
[8:03 mins.]

Clean Language and Coaching Skills
[57:27 mins.] [Caitlin Walker works with a group using "clean questions"] ["clean language is primarily about attention, attention that we pay to each other and ourselves"; it's about meeting each other where we are in"] ["clean questions" don't have anything of the questioner in them; they are about the person before you]

What is Clean Language
[6:52 mins.] [Caitlin Walker refers to his approach to David Grove's "clean language" as systematic modelling]

Metaphors at Work
[4:35 mins.] ["Metaphors at Work" is a process used in the business setting.]

Difference in Rules for Working Cleanly
[3:11 mins.]

Metaphors for Work
[4:35 mins.]

Clean Language

Engaging the Imagination: Imagery and Metaphor
[3:25 mins.] Pt2 [10:19 mins.] Pt3 [7:49 mins.] Pt4 [6:36 mins.] Pt5 [10:42 mins.] Pt 6 [4:17 mins.]

Clean Language (Web Resources)

Clean Language, Symbolic, Modeling and the Metaphor Therapy

What is the Metaphor Therapy of David Grove?

David Pincus & Anees A. Sheikh, David Grove's Metaphors for Healing


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