Trudy Mallinson, Gary Kielhofner, Cheryl Mattingly; Metaphor and Meaning in a Clinical Interview. Am J Occup Ther 1996;50(5):338–346. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.50.5.338
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
This study examined the narrative features of 20 life histories gathered from psychiatric patients with the Occupational Performance History Interview. The aim was to identify how narrative features were present in the patient interview responses and to illustrate how such narrative features can be located. We found that the patients organized their interview responses with deep metaphors that served to “emplot, ” or give meaning to, the life story. This article illustrates how patients used the deep metaphors to both circumscribe and frame possible solutions to the problems in their lives. Deep metaphors are consistent, recurring images of a life story that give coherence to, and aid in, the interpretation of the events of that life. Moreover, we explored how metaphors can be located in patient life histories and their implications for occupational therapy.
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