A `Primer’ in Conceptual Metaphor for Counselors

Journal of Counseling and Development 77 (4):389-394 (1999)
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Conceptual metaphor provides a potentially powerful counseling framework, generalizable across theoretical orientations. According to the conceptual perspective, metaphor is not merely a matter of language, but is an indispensable dimension of human understanding and experience whereby more abstract ideas (like relationships) are understood in terms of more concrete experiences (like journeys). Consequently, when a couple in counseling says, “we're just spinning our wheels,” they are not only using a common colloquial expression, but also giving information about how they conceptualize their relationship. This article provides a theoretical foundation for use of conceptual metaphor and offers examples of its potential for counseling.

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Steven Fesmire
Radford University


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