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Williams, M.H. (1989). Mutative Metaphors in Psychotherapy: the Aeolian Mode by Murray Cox and Alice Theilgaard. Published by Tavistock, 1987; £14.95 hardback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(4):599-601.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(4):599-601

Mutative Metaphors in Psychotherapy: the Aeolian Mode by Murray Cox and Alice Theilgaard. Published by Tavistock, 1987; £14.95 hardback.

Review by:
Meg Harris Williams

This is a book which, in contrast to the dominant trend of linguistic behaviourism in much interdisciplinary writing at the moment, is directed towards expanding aesthetic sensibilities for use in a specific working context. Mutative Metaphors is a sensitive exploration of the problem of classifying and using ‘metaphor’ as a means of psychic recognition in the field of psychotherapy. The metaphorical character of the therapeutic process is considered as well as the use of literary metaphor, as an aid to precision and complexity when formulating an interpretation. The authors' startingoff point is an analogy drawn between the processes of therapy and of ‘telling a story’. They suggest that the relationship between patient and therapist can be illuminated by viewing its tensions in terms of seeking to tell the story which is truly appropriate to the emotional situation. The term ‘mutative metaphor’ refers to key moments of change and comprehension.

The term ‘Aeolian mode’ is derived from the ancient image of inspiration - the Aeolian harp catching nature's music in the wind.

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