A metaphor is a figure of speech used to represent another concept or idea. In family and couples counseling, they are either verbal or visual representations of some part of the family or couple system that better describes what the members feel or think about their situations. Metaphors are able to help ease family anxiety by discussing painful, serious issues in an indirect way, and they allow the family and therapist to provide an illustration of the family process. For example, a therapist and family may discuss the complexities of relationships in the Star Wars movies and relate these complexities to issues represented in the family. Metaphors have a long history of use in the field of marital, couple, and family therapy. There are many ...

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