How is a fruit tree like you? Using artistic metaphors to explore and develop emotional competence in children

Geldard, Kathryn M., Yin Foo (Coller), Rebecca, & Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E. (2009) How is a fruit tree like you? Using artistic metaphors to explore and develop emotional competence in children. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 19(1), pp. 1-13.

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Counselling children often requires the use of supplementary strategies in order to interest and engage the child in the therapeutic process. One such strategy is the Metaphorical Fruit Tree (MFT); an art metaphor suited to exploring and developing self-concept. Quantitative and qualitative data was used to explore the relationships between children’s ability to use metaphor, age, gender, and level of emotional competence (N = 58). Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed a significant negative relationship between self-reported emotional competence and ability to use the MFT. It is proposed that children rely on different processes to understand self and as children’s ability to cognitively report on their emotional capabilities via the Emotional Competence Questionnaire (ECQ) increases, their ability to report creatively on those capabilities via the MFT is undermined. It is suggested that the MFT may be used, via creative processes and as an alternative to cognitive processes, to increase understanding and awareness of intrapersonal and interpersonal concepts of self in the child during counselling.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 26723
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Artistic metaphor, Counselling children, Emotional competence
DOI: 10.1375/ajgc.19.1.1
ISSN: 1037-2911
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Primary Education (excl. Maori) (130105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Australian Academic Press
Deposited On: 02 Oct 2009 02:07
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:54

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