ERIC Number: ED081013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973
Reference Count: N/A
A Behavioral Analysis of Figurative Language in Psychotherapy: One Session in a Single Case Study.
Pollio, Howard R.; Barlow, Jack M.
Assuming that all problem solving has both its rational and poetic aspects and that the solution to a problem is often found in the poetic well before it surfaces in the rational, this study examined in detail the ebb and flow of figurative language as it occurred in the course of a single, highly successful hour of gestalt therapy involving both a therapist and a highly verbal patient. Three raters were trained to recognize 15 different types of figurative usage; they were then given a tapescript of the present case and asked to rate it independently. Analysis showed the session moved from a relatively slow starting segment to a rapid burst of metaphoric and interpretative activity and concluded with a temporarily successful resolution of the presenting problems. By guiding the patient to help him see the familiar problem in an unfamiliar light through the use of figurative language, dramatic insights into the problem were gained. This was largely made possible by the highly verbal skills of the patientand by the fact that this variety of gestalt therapy makes use of personifications. Nevertheless, figurative language provides not only a playful heuristic capable of springing a momentarily blocked patient, but it may also tell us a good deal more about the patient and his problems than could probably be articulated in any other way. (HOD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Tennessee Univ., Knoxville. Dept. of Psychology.