Metaphor and Change in Cognitive and Constructive Psychotherapies

  • William J. Lyddon
  • Darlys J. Alford


The emergence of the constructivist perspective in cognitive science and psychotherapy (Neimeyer & Mahoney, 1995; Rosen & Kuehlwein, 1996; Sexton & Griffin, 1997) has served to highlight a central role for human language, narrative, and stories in the creation of psychological realities (Anderson & Goolishian, 1988; Efran, Lukens & Lukens, 1990; Hare-Mustin, 1994; Russell, 1995; Shotter, 1993). In contrast to objectivist accounts of language as a representation or map of the contours of some a priori reality existing “behind” language, constructivists emphasize the way in which humans use language to invent personal and social realities (cf. Gergen, 1994; Johnson, 1987; Lakoff, 1987). One important consequence of this focus on language has been a greater appreciation for the metaphorical features of human knowing and meaning creation (Carlsen, 1996). Indeed, recognized as a form of thought with its own epistemological functions, metaphors have played a central role in structuring human understanding across many domains of inquiry, from the philosophical and scientific to the more personal and psychological (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; Leary, 1990a; Lyddon, 1989).


Cognitive Therapy Core Belief Conjunction Fallacy Implicational Meaning Tacit Belief 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Lyddon
    • 1
  • Darlys J. Alford
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern MississippiUSA

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