The major purpose of a metaphor is to pace and lead a client’s behaviour through a story. The major points of construction consist of:
- Displacing the referential index from the client to a character in the story.
- Pacing the client’s problem by establishing behaviours and events between the characters in the story that are similar to those in the client’s situation.
- Accessing resources for the client within the context of the story.
- Finishing the story such that a sequence of events occurs in which the characters in the story resolve the conflict and achieve the desired outcome.
The basic steps to generate a metaphor are as follows:
Identify the sequence of behaviour and/or events in question: This could range from a conflict between internal parts, to a physical illness, to problematic interrelationships between the client and parents, a boss or a spouse.
Strategy analysis; is there any consistent sequence of representations contributing to the current behavioural outcome?
Identify the desired new outcomes and choices; this may be done at any level of detail, and is important that you have an outcome to work for.
Establish anchors for strategic elements involved in this current behaviour and the desired outcome. For instance, in one knee you might anchor all the strategies and representations that stop the client from having the necessary choices: and on the other knee you might…………?!?