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Metaphor Links Brain, Body and Mind

Metaphor Links Brain, Body and Mind

The neuroscientist Bruce McEwen has called the human brain ‘the central organ of stress and adaptation’ and the neuroscientist Christof Koch has described the brain as ‘the most complicated object we know of in the universe’. All functional somatic symptoms depend upon implicit processes that involve the brain; the brain stress systems play a key role in initiating, amplifying, and maintaining functional somatic symptoms. But somehow, in talking with children and adolescents about their functional somatic symptoms, we need to bring that complexity down to earth. How is the clinician to do that? Because many aspects of the neuroscience research can be depicted in visual metaphors–that simplify complex information–we can use a range of metaphors as a foundation for our explanations to children and their families