"SAFE" self-reflection in five phases

I. Framing

III. Description

II. Perception

Choosing a title: 

This is the first step in the co-creation of the "poetic selfie" called a metaphor mirror. Participants select a field of inquiry or specific difficulty to explore, whose relationship to themselves they wish to see and sense more clearly. 

It is not necessary for a poet to reveal the subject of his self-inquiry, except in one-on-one or group work when the poetic texts are sources of insight toward collaborative problem-solving.

II. Perception

III. Description

II. Perception

During this phase of intuitive introspection, participants are guided by the Sense-Metaphor Questionnaire, SMQ, in the exploration of interior emotional landscapes specifically in relation to the concern chosen during Framing.  This process of emotional Metaphoric Resonance Imaging (eMRI, as opposed to fMRI) allows the emergence of intuitive, pre-verbal, metaphoric identification of present-moment emotion-states with regard to the subject framed in the first phase.

III. Description

III. Description

III. Description

Almost as soon as particpant/poets sense the resonant match-in-metaphor to their previously framed feeling-state, verbalization emerges, and can be transcribed - by the operator/scribe - exactly and as soon as it is spoken.  The document produced is a poetic self-report. 

IV. Commentary

SAFE self-Reflection

III. Description

Poetic Recitation & Definitional Commentary

When a participant’s poetic self-reflections, metaphor mirrors, are read aloud, they are honored by the reader as art, in vocal tones and rhythms and in physical presence, such that the poetic externalization of the feeling-state is honored, given its due importance, and recognized as a valuable, literary expression.

The Commentary that follows (which can be self-commentary if a poet is working alone) is rigorously non-interpretative, non-analytical, non-associative and non-judgmental, in a word, “definitional.” This allows for an expansion of perspective and an influx of new information, free of the limits that can result when we begin to explain. “Why’s” are not allowed.

Upon hearing or reading metaphoric self-expressions, participant/poets often ask, “What does it mean?”  My answer is always, emphatically, “I don’t know!"

The goal here is to look closely, defining terms, words and phrases, as fully and precisely as if we were dictionaries or Wikipedia. Rigorously objective, this ”definitional” experiencing and commentary is fundamental to the process. It keeps us from dropping back into repetitive act of expressing what we already know, which old information we are aiming to refresh and expand rather than entrench.

V. Revision

SAFE self-Reflection

SAFE self-Reflection

Guided by the SMQ, “Revision” follows the sensory-metaphoric mirroring previously described, using elements of the original mirror as points of departure for the creation and experiencing of a new text. The effects of Metaphoric Resonance — both physiological and emotional— allow for the poet’s present-moment experience of an improved state of mind.



SAFE self-Reflection

SAFE self-Reflection

SAFE self-Reflection

SAFER:

The metaphor-based dialogue approach  to affect processing outlined in these pages facilitates Secure Affect Framing, Expression and Reflection. The process guides a metacognitive introspection that reduces risks of triggering negatively associative cognitive patterns, ruminative tendencies and habitual, counter-productive relational modes. Evaluation of Metaphoric Affect Processing for individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and survivors of trauma is a potential area of new research. 


Express interest in research collaboration, 2019: