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Metaphor—The Bridge Between Feelings And Knowledge

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Metaphor can be thought of as the currency of the emotional mind. It is now generally accepted that metaphor is fundamentally embodied and is not simply a figure of speech. We now know that metaphor is the expression of a yet to be determined neurophysiological process that has been secondarily coopted by language. I suggested that metaphor unconsciously categorizes emotional experience, establishing similarities and differences between the past and the present. In cases of trauma, the play of similarity and difference becomes constricted, and metaphor loses its capacity to create new emergent meanings. Finally, metaphor enables access to the unconscious and fosters empathic contact with the other.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Harvard Medical School,Boston Psychoanalytic Institute,

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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