Co-constructing crisis with metaphor: A quantitative approach to metaphor use in psychotherapy talk

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Mental health professionals and their patients often use figurative language like metaphors to describe complex cognitions and emotions that lie at the heart of personal crises. Over multiple sessions, insightful usage patterns that evade qualitative analysis may gradually build up. This chapter illustrates a complementary quantitative approach to the relationships between speakers, functions, targets, and phase of occurrence of metaphor vehicle terms over 29.5 hours of Chinese psychotherapy talk. Log-linear analysis is introduced as the main analytic technique, supported by factor maps as a data visualization tool. Variable associations are interpreted as usage patterns with insights into the nature of metaphor co-construction in psychotherapy. The findings highlight time, institutional roles of speakers, and prevailing discussion topics as key interacting aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Language of Crisis. Metaphors, frames, and discourses
EditorsMimi Huang, Lise-Lotte Holmgreen
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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