The strategic use of metaphor in healthcare can put feelings among the vital signs we read, monitor and improve.
Expanding implementation and research can empower clients and medical professionals together.
Developed and codified in cancer and psychiatric hospital settings for patients, medical staff, individuals and groups, this metaphor-based approach to humanities in medicine helps us engage our present moment intuitively as we respond to the challenging question, "How are you?"
Simply and poetically, MAP facilitates insight, empathy and intuitive problem-solving as we perceive, describe and even rewrite our experiencing of complex, present-moment emotion.
This relational approach invites participants to create metaphor-mirrors - intuitive self-portraits of present-moment emotion elicited by a brief, metaphor-based questionnaire that naturally produces a poetic text.
Sharing their work, participants join in non-interpretative, "definitional" commentary, the structure of which supports SAFER exploration of negative feelings (Secure Affect Framing, Expression and Reflection), mitigating counter-productive thought modes common to states of anxiety, stress, depression and professional burnout.
Insightful and often surprising, each poetic self-report is suitable for inclusion in charts, group sharing, personal and professional reflection, and as a guide to collaborative problem-solving.
Metaphor-mirroring guides creative introspection, productive dialogue, empathic listening and a view toward change.
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