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Title: Metaphor response categories and distribution between therapists and clients : a case study in the Chinese context
Authors: Tay, D 
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Journal of constructivist psychology, 2021, v. 34, no. 4, p. 378-394
Abstract: There are strong theoretical foundations supporting the use of metaphors in counseling. However, our understanding might become overly idealized without close contextual analysis of different aspects of their use. This paper focuses on one such aspect in the underexplored Chinese-speaking context–how therapists and clients respond to each other’s metaphors, based on 30 hours of transcribed talk from a Chinese university counseling center. A hierarchical set of response categories (repeat, reject, explore, extend) split into ‘non-developmental’ and ‘developmental’ pathways is proposed, reflecting the progressive nature of metaphor response. Differences with categories in previous studies are highlighted, and examples discussed from metaphor theoretical perspectives. A χ2 test of independence revealed a significant association between response categories and initiators (therapist or client) (χ2 (3, N = 178) = 31.05, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.418, Log (BF10) =11.18), offering further insight into how responses to metaphor relate to counseling objectives. Therapists are more likely to explore and reject metaphors than clients, clients are more likely to repeat metaphors than therapists, and clients and therapists are equally likely to extend metaphors. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are put forward.
Keywords: Chinese context
Discourse analysis
Response to metaphor
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: Journal of constructivist psychology 
ISSN: 1072-0537
EISSN: 1521-0650
DOI: 10.1080/10720537.2019.1697913
Rights: © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of constructivist psychology on 26 Dec 2019 (Published online), available online:
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