Chapter published in:The Language of Crisis: Metaphors, frames and discourses
Edited by Mimi Huang and Lise-Lotte Holmgreen
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 87] 2020
► pp. 231–254
Co-constructing ‘crisis’ with metaphor
A quantitative approach to metaphor use in psychotherapy talk
Mental health professionals and their patients often use figurative language like metaphors to depict complex cognitions and emotions that lie at the heart of personal crises during psychotherapy. While qualitative analysis of these metaphors is crucial, understanding usage patterns that develop over time requires complementary quantitative techniques. This chapter illustrates an exploratory log-linear analytic approach to the relationships between speakers, functions, targets, and phase of occurrence of metaphor vehicle terms over 29.5 hours of Chinese psychotherapy talk. The use of factor maps as a data visualization tool is also discussed. Variable associations are interpreted as usage patterns highlighting the nature of metaphor co-construction in psychotherapy. Key discussion points include interactions between time, institutional roles of speakers, and prevailing discussion topics.
Keywords: metaphor, psychotherapy, counseling, Chinese context
Published online: 16 July 2020
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