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Constructing (in)competence by Judith F. Duchan, Madeline Maxwell, Dana Kovarsky

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Chapter 11

Revelations of Family Perceptions of Diagnosis and Disorder Through Metaphor

Ann M. Mastergeorge

University of California, Los Angeles

Metaphor has served as a way for a family to construct a salient explanation for some experience that is difficult to understand and interpret (e.g., Barker, 1996; Rosenblatt, 1994; Strong, 1989). Metaphoric language thus becomes a way for individuals to cope with traumatic experiences and a means used by psychotherapists to engage clients in coping with difficult life circumstances (Ferrara, 1994, p. 129). Further, metaphors can provide a bridge from an author’s perspective to the thoughts and experiences of those they address.

The comprehensibility of metaphors entails viewing a topic from a particular ...

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