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Thursday, October 21 • 10:45am - 12:15pm
Finding Your Superhero: The Transformative Use of Metaphor in Therapy

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While there is a lack of consensus regarding how metaphors affect change (Boyle, 1954, as cited in May, 1991), there is growing acknowledgment across multiple theoretical orientations that metaphors have transformative power (Ferrari, 2000). Metaphors activate a natural process of meaning making. They use a client’s own inner resources (Clarke, 2014) and cultural idioms (Kovecses, 2010) to create a unique portrait of the client’s understanding of the deeper meanings of their experiences. They also provide a means of dialectically processing the connections between the conscious and unconscious, digital and analogical, literal and existential. In doing so, metaphors help us reach beyond our boundaries to discover more of who we are (Kaur & Eqbal, 2015). The night sea journey archetype, more popularly known as the hero's journey archetype, is probably one of the most common metaphors that emerge in the process of therapy. On the hero's journey, each individual is challenged by ambivalence, self-doubt, and despair, yet finds hope, redemption, and empowerment. It captures the individual’s journey of self-discovery and provides a means of helping the individual overcome adversity through the discovery of a personal narrative of a hero within. This workshop will provide you with ways to incorporate metaphors into your daily practice. The workshop will provide you with emerging data on how metaphors are used through examples and practice. Be prepared to find your own inner superhero.

Learning Objectives for the Program:
Participants will be able to:
1) explain how metaphors are an active, dialectical process.
2) identify at least three mechanisms of change associated with metaphoric process.
3) identify a procedure for exploring and utilizing one’s own sense of the hero within.
4) list the stages of the Hero’s Journey.
5) incorporate ways to introduce superheroes into their practice.
6) introduce superheroes through progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercise.

Joy Tanji, PhD: A brief overview of metaphors and how we think they work
There is growing interest in the use of metaphors across theoretical orientations, but there remains limited theory and research on how it effects transformation and healing. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to a dialectical model of metaphors and their mechanisms of change that may be used to guide future research on the use of metaphoric process in therapy.

Robert Yoshimura, PsyD: The significance of the hero’s journey archetype
The hero’s journey archetype is a pancultural theme reflected in people’s search for self knowledge. It's been associated with a pattern of iterative phases that depict a predictable sequence of mini transformations a person goes through on their journey towards self discovery. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to the Hero’s Journey archetype as a guide for assessing where a client is in the process of change.

Jodie E. Gerson, MA, MS: Finding your superhero
Superheroes are more than entertainment. They can help tell your story, help you with coping strategies, and help your client connect with you. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to ways to incorporate superheroes into their practice, from mindful activities to allowing the person to help share their experiences. Participants will engage in different superhero progressive muscle relaxation they can do with people of all ages and abilities.

The evaluation/CE request form for this program can be found HERE.

avatar for Jodie Gerson, MA, MS

Jodie Gerson, MA, MS

Doctoral Student, Hawaii School of Professional Psychology at Chaminade University of Honolulu
Jodie E. Gerson, MA, MS, CPM, CETP is Predoctoral Intern with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and has two Master's degrees; one in Community Clinical Psychology, the other in Marriage and Family Therapy. She successfully defended her dissertation on Understanding Metaphors... Read More →
avatar for Joy M. Tanji, PhD

Joy M. Tanji, PhD

Associate Professor, Hawai'i School of Professional Psychology at Chaminade University of Honolulu
Joy Tanji, PhD is an associate professor with the Hawai‘i School of Professional Psychology at Chaminade University of Honolulu. She grew up in upcountry Maui, the grandchild of tenant farmers and plantation workers. She began her journey as a stone lithographer before pursuing... Read More →
avatar for Robert L.K. Yoshimura, PsyD

Robert L.K. Yoshimura, PsyD

Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) psychologist, San Francisco VA
Robert Yoshimura, PsyD is a Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) psychologist with the VISN 21 Clinical Resource Hub at the San Francisco VA. He joined the VISIN 21 CRH Hub through the realignment with VA Pacific Island Health Care System (VAPIHCS) Telehub services in August... Read More →

Thursday October 21, 2021 10:45am - 12:15pm HST
Room 3