Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dennis Miehls

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Metaphor is defined as a central function of language by which different realms of experience are conjoined and which operates at the nexus of internal and social processes. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used in an exploratory study of metaphor use by families in therapy. Significant differences were found in quantity of metaphor use along gender and generational axes. Content analysis also identified some suggestive differences with respect to issues of agency and imagery along lines of gender and parenting status. Categories nominated from the identified metaphors are also suggestive of the differential dilemmas faced by the clients. The study indicates that attending to clients‘ metaphors would be therapeutically useful and that further research in this area would be worthwhile.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season