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Last updated 23 February 2012

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How Does Metaphor Resolve Conflict?

How Clients Think
How Mediators Think About Mediation
A Way to Affect Clients' Thinking

This web site explores what some believe is at the core of the mediation process -- changing how problems or conflicts are thought about.

In order to resolve a dispute, problem  or dilemma, one must think about it differently, see it at a different angle, on a different level, pay attention to alternative aspects of it, and reorganize one's conception of it.

The mediator is someone who assists - not only by organizing the task, providing a suitable environment, and balancing the emotional tone - but especially by helping clients think about issues in a changed way.

Although there are many ways to bring about a changed way of thinking, metaphor may be the most powerful and flexible.  I believe this is true because metaphor is not just a linguistic or literary device.  In fact, it defines subjective reality and is at the heart of our learning and thinking process.  Metaphor is inevitable as we conceptualize our experience, explore the unknown and make sense out of ourselves and others.  Changed metaphors have the power to create a changed reality.

General Explanation of Metaphor.