Psychological Mechanisms of the Use of Metaphoric Associative Cards

Galina Popova & Natalia Miloradova Professor of Psychology

Kharkiv, Ukraine


The article “Psychological mechanisms of the use of metaphoric associative cards in individual counseling” was published in Ukraine (in Russian) in this collection of articles and abstracts:

“Проблеми сучасної педагогічної освіти.” Сер.: Психологія і педагогіка. Республиканское высшее учебное заведение, “Крымский гуманитарный университет”: Ялта, РВВ КГУ, 2014. Вип. 42, Ч.5., С. 207-217.

Translation: “The problems of modern pedagogical education.” Series: Psychology and Pedagogics. Republican Higher Educational Institution, Crimean University of Humanities: Yalta, 2014. Edition 42, Part 5, pp. 207-217.)

The full original Russian version and an English translation are available to download as PDF files (see below).

Полная оригинальная версия на русском доступна для загрузки в качестве PDF файла (см. ниже).

About the Authors

Galina Popova has a PhD in psychology and is a professor on the Psychology and Pedagogy faculty of Kharkiv National Technical University (Ukraine)

Natalia Miloradova has a PhD in psychology and is professor on the Psychology and Pedagogy faculty of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs (Ukraine).

Article Excerpts (Translation)

Our unconscious always knows the right thing to do, how to find a way out of the situation, and what choice to make; it is only necessary to learn to listen to it. Metaphoric associative cards, in this case, are an indispensable guide and assistant.

Abstract. The authors analyzed the main psychological mechanisms of metaphoric associative cards’ influence: projection, identification, metaphor, associations, insight, figure and ground; in particular, the study of the unconscious through the use of metaphoric associative cards as compared to other methods. Levels of immersion into the inner world of the person using the cards are described.

The aim of this article. The aim of this article is to analyze the psychological mechanisms and patterns on which to base the possibility of using MAC [metaphoric associative cards] in individual counseling. It is necessary to clarify the “procedure” part of the cards’ use.

The main material. Metaphoric associative cards work as a consulting tool precisely because patterns of the personality’s functioning associated with the experience of its surrounding reality and, above all, its relations with the social environment, become obvious in the process of counseling. Due to the selectivity of perception, apperception, and projection effects, the client sees in the picture of the card exactly what fits his experiences, related to current life situations and outlooks on life, past experience, and personal injury.

Cards can be viewed as multimodal stimulation that causes a diversity of client associations: on one hand, there are visuals; on the other hand, there is narrative practice, which is the source of subsequent interventions in the process of counseling.

Narrative therapy is based on the idea that a person’s identity (the idea of who I am) is constructed in the form of stories (narratives). During narrative practice, meanings, values and the intentions of dreams and opportunities are clarified, along with the history of their origin and development. As a result, a “safe area identity” is formed in a person; he becomes able to take a look at his life from a resource position, distancing from direct (often traumatic) experiences, and make an informed choice, changing his life in the desired direction.


To view or download a PDF of the English version, click here.

To view or download a PDF of the Russian version, click here.

Чтобы посмотреть или скачать PDF русской версии, нажмите здесь.