This is a trauma metaphor that is valuable in working with incest, rape or trauma victims, as well as with patients struggling to work through divorce. It consists of truisms about a virtually universal experience, tending to facilitate acceptance by the patient. It is my belief, however, that metaphors are primarily part of the reframing and working-through process and, as such, are best reserved until after an abreaction has been facilitated. The abreaction will release outdated emotions, lower patient defenses, and create an openness to accepting subsequent therapeutic suggestions. Stated another way, experiencing precedes conceptualization.
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