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What are metaphorical associative cards?

Metaphoric associative (or projective) cards are a set of pictures about playing or a postcard size representing people, their interactions, life situations, landscapes, animals, household items, abstract pictures. Some sets of cards combine a picture with an inscription, others include separately the cards with pictures and cards with words. The combination of words and pictures creates a play of meanings further enriched with new facets when placing it into this or that context; studying of one or other subject relevant for person at the moment.

It is a projective psychological technique: what matters is not the sense put initially by researchers, but a sincere response of each person to the picture at hand. In the same picture, different people will see entirely different phenomena, and will take out own internal content of relevant experiences in response to such an incentive.

How do Metaphoric cards serve mutual understanding between people? First of all, cards help to build bridge from person to person in cases when it is difficult for people to talk with each other on some sensitive issue. Metaphoric associative cards help to express thoughts, to formulate them and to concretize the necessary message. Besides the simplification of verbal expression of emotions, a card itself carries certain emotional charge as an intermediary between emotional worlds of two people, and can be apprehended as a message even without verbal support.

Metaphoric associative cards are a tool of professional psychologist, psychotherapist and coach used in diagnostics, correction and development of abilities. They are a tool of business coach and leader of psychological groups used for “warming up” of a group, establishment of trusting relationship between the group members for diagnostics of relevant needs of a group, and as a technique for group work.

And at same time, Metaphoric associative cards are a game you can play safely and with full pleasure with own and other people’s children, parents, spouses, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and new people: a game without rules, but with the thousand ways to play it, and an opportunity to think up one thousand first!

When used in the work of professional psychologists, psychotherapists, coaches, and trainers, Metaphoric associative cards have following advantages:

  • Associative cards are international and can be used in any cultures, for any age;
  • Via working with associative cards, we bypass the rational part of thinking;
  • Metaphoric cards help us to establish dialogue between internal and external, to bring deep material to a surface;
  • Metaphoric cards are a springboard for our imagination starting fancy associations leading us to unexpected discoveries;
  • Associative cards help to remove protective barriers of mentality;
  • Metaphoric cards create for the people conditions for self-knowledge;
  • Associative cards create a safe and comfortable situation for self-disclosure in a pair or group, help “to come out from own shell” and “to break ice” in a disturbing situation;
  • Metaphoric associative cards can be used as representatives for Hellinger constellations during the therapist-client work in private.
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