In this intriguing work, Ellen Siegelman presents metaphor as a form of symbolization uniquely suited to bridging the known and unknown, the conscious and unconscious, the personal and universal. She demonstrates how metaphor, while drawing upon one's most concrete bodily experience, points to an immensely rich area of imaginative life. The work offers an abundance of clinical data to illustrate how metaphor is a principle medium for creating the unconscious interpersonal resonances that lie at the heart of the psychotherapeutic process, including the metaphors inherent in transference and countertransference.
Siegelman shows how a metaphor, when fostered, can lead directly to unconscious sources and how a single metaphor can become a telegraphic symbol of the self. She also discusses the mistakes a therapist can make in pursuing or ignoring metaphors. Case vignettes, drawn from her own extensive clinical work and from the literature, are presented throughout. Adding a moment-to moment immediacy, the cases illustrate how figures of speech can be used to illuminate defenses and increase the depth of a therapy or analysis. In the concluding section, the topic is opened outward to include metaphors of the psychotherapeutic process itself--how such theorists as Freud, Jung, Langs, Milner, and Winnicott have viewed the therapeutic space. A final chapter anchors the book in its larger context--that of symbolic attitude, which the author believes is the bedrock on which all schools of depth psychotherapy are constructed.
"I think it is a valuable book and only wish I had had it in my hands when I was a student in training to be a psychoanalyst nearly 50 years ago." --Marion Milner, Ph.D., Member, British Psycho-analytic Society; author of On Not Being Able to Paint "This lucid presentation of the healing uses of metaphor comes from a Jungian psychotherapist who has not been afraid to learn from psychoanalysts. Psychoanalysis too has much to learn from her wise exposition of the musical method of creative symbolization as a process of moving personality forward." --John Beebe, M.D., Member, San Francisco Society of Jungian Analysts; editor, The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal
"Siegelman's book on metaphor is a welcome addition to any therapist's library because it cannot fail to sensitize the reader to the countless ways in which novel uses of language can function in a clinical setting. " --Donald P. Spence in Contemporary Psychology
"Superb....Gives us both a theoretical and clinical understanding of the uses of the poetic imagination in depth psychotherapy....Full of rich clinical examples....Metaphor and Meaning in Psychotherapy is a rare book in our field, one in which the medium and the message are in harmony. Siegelman's prose is elegant, studded with stunning imagery and clearly articulated ideas." --Naomi Ruth Lowinsky in Psychological Perspectives "Siegelman's book should especially interest clinicians, who, regardless of theoretical orientation, work in depth with patients and who hold to the symbolic attitude. It may well teach others to hear and think creatively about each metaphor as a potential story. This book is well researched and thought provoking." --Smith College Studies in Social Work
"One does not have to be psychoanalytic or dynamic to appreciate her thoughtful and compassionate look at the process of therapy. In fact, the connections she draws among language, affect, and perceived experience have something to offer therapists from a variety of orientations...."Metaphor & Meaning "depicts the art in therapy and, therefore, speaks to the artist. Her beautiful examples of therapy are interspersed with theory and discussion to provide sustanence for the intellect as well." --"International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology"
" A readable, sensitive, and insightful guide for the new therapist, as well as a reasoned critique of the works of other leaders in the field that will be useful for more experienced clinicians. Most welcome are her anecdotal reports, which illustrate virtually every aspect of the uses of metaphor in therapy that she discusses." --"Readings"
"This work is an excellent contribution to the psychotherapy literature....An excellent work that can make the effective use of metaphor more conscious in our daily practice of psychotherapy." --"Psychotherapy"
"If you look at the psychodynamic therapies from the perspective of metaphors and figurative language, Siegelman shows how there can be significant new ways of identifying material to explore, of generating patient feeling, ofcommunicating what the therapist has to say, of exploring material opened up by metaphors, and in the sheer listening to the patient." --"Psychotherapy in Private Practice"
"An author whose own generosity of spirit is so very evident....This is a warm book, one that is infused with a love of language and of the work to which it sent me back with enthusiasm." --"The Journal of Analytic Psychology"
"Ellen Siegelman has created a work of great depth and range that elaborates the use of metaphor in psychotherapy, while relating it to its roots in bodily experience, in the developmental process, and in the general field of the unconscious..."Metaphor and Meaning in Psychotherapy" is a book that will primarily be of interest to clinicians who work with patients within a framework of one of the depth psychologies...This book provided a rare range of exciting and interesting ideas that caused me to stretch my thinking and understanding. In addition, "Metaphor and Meaning in Psychotherapy "will hold special interest for practitioners of hypnosis in psychotherapy....The broader range of clinicians and the public in general could well find this book interesting and valuable, as it is written in an extremely literate and readable style and provides insights about the use of the language of metaphor to access an understanding of ourselves and others...In conclusion, this is a powerful and well-written book that stirs the reader's mind toward new connections. It is well worth reading." --"American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis "