The Metaphor Images Project

Instructions on how to use the Metaphor Images tool.

Watch the Metaphor Images Video
Watch the Metaphor Images Group Video

Getting clients to share deeply personal feelings with a WIC educator they just met in only a few minutes sounds impossible, right? Metaphor images make it easy to uncover emotions and thoughts quickly, succinctly and powerfully. Here's short guide to using metaphor images in the WIC clinic.

  1. Place the metaphor images where the client can see all of them.
  2. Ask clients to select an image that says something about how they feel about a nutrition topic. (How their child is eating, weight gain during pregnancy, etc.)
  3. Ask: "What does that image say about how you feel about (topic)?"
  4. Use feelings as a springboard to an amazing conversation, wrapping suggested behavior change ideas in with emotions.

Why metaphor images are effective at revealing emotions:

  • Ask a straightforward question and you might not get a straightforward answer. People have trouble saying their truth, especially if they are concerned about feeling judged.
  • Asking clients to make connections between metaphor images and their experiences taps into the creative side of their brain where feelings and images live.
  • Metaphor images help respondents access emotions and verbalize the rich information that they would be unlikely to share if asked a straightforward question.