Stories and metaphors: Talking about the past in a psychotherapy group for people with dementia

Cheston, R. (1996) Stories and metaphors: Talking about the past in a psychotherapy group for people with dementia. Ageing and Society, 16 (5). pp. 579-602. ISSN 0144-686X Available from:

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Social constructionist approaches to the talk of older adults diagnosed as suffering from a dementing illness have emphasised the importance of analysing such talk in terms of its social function. Drawing on this work together with the increasing clinical impetus towards the development of psychotherapy in this area, this paper examines two sequences of stories produced during a psychotherapy group. These stories are seen as having two related functions: first, they enable individuals to explore the significance of their experiences and thus, it is argued, act as metaphors for the personal experience of having a dementing illness; and secondly they act as a means of creating a series of social identities. As such they serve as explanations of 'what it is to lose one's mind' (Sutton 1994).

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article was originally published in Ageing and Society, Vol 16:5, pp. 579-602 in 1996 and is replicated here with the permission of Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords:metaphor, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, psychotherapy, narrative, story-telling
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Health and Social Sciences
ID Code:26301
Deposited By: Professor R. Cheston
Deposited On:19 Aug 2015 07:32
Last Modified:22 Jul 2016 14:02

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