#472 – The Transformative Power of Metaphor with Kim Hermanson PhD

Kim Hermanson

Kim Hermanson, PhD is a coach, author, gifted intuitive and adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. In 2007, a life-changing visionary experience revealed a non-ordinary dimension of immense beauty, and in her Doorway sessions and classes Kim serves as a guide to this dimension. She has taught at the University of California Berkeley, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Sophia Center at Holy Names University, Meridian University, and Esalen Institute. She is the author of Getting Messy: A Guide to Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination and Sky’s the Limit: The Art of Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey, which received an Independent Publisher Book Award. In addition to her own publications, she has co-authored articles with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of Flow and other books. Through her coaching sessions and groups, Kim offers deeply experiential and transformative work, quickly shifting people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties and into a space of profound beauty and creative flow.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2015: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Posted September 10, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dr. Dave,

    Great interview with Kim on metaphor! I work suicidal clients and metaphor. For 25 years I worked as the primary day therapist with over 16,000 suicidal “patients” on the mental health unit of a large public hospital near Seattle. From that direct experience, I created an educational therapy for people with deep despair, hopelessness, and/or recurrent suicidal thinking. It is called Contextual-Conceptual Therapy (CCT). Last September — exactly one year ago — I was the keynote speaker at the 2014 World Suicide Prevention Day Conference. (Title of my talk: “Breaking Suicide’s Code: Understanding the Metaphorical Language of the Suicidal Person”). From the response I received, I have been invited back to Ireland in November to present a two-day training in both Cork and Dublin. I am writing you for three reasons: 1) to thank you for today’s wonderful broadcast with Kim ; 2) to wonder if you have any “contacts” in Ireland with whom to share our training information; also 3) if you ca, to please pass on our contact info to Laura Just (sp?) who might be interested to come from London to attend our training in Dublin.
    Again, thanks a lot. I am now planning to be a regular listener!
    Fredric Matteson

  2. Posted September 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I have been reading psychology books for almost 55 years, since the age of 15. I finally got the
    greatest benefit when I discovered W.H. Sheldon’s somatotype theory of temperament. While
    many are quick to call this quackery I am happy to see that psychology has been elevating the
    importance of our bodies in shaping who we are. Your guest mentioned Lakof who is at the
    forefront of what has become practically a revolution called Embodied Cognition. Embodied
    Cognition is unraveling some knotty problems in explaining human behavior.

    Sheldon’s classification of body types into endomorph (comfort seeking, gut) mesomorph (action
    oriented muscle) ectomorph (nervous system restraint) are a significant source of how the
    particular body that carries the brain influences the organism’s behavior.

    In the sample experiment you did with Kim I noticed you metaphorically started with
    your head and worked your way “down” or really “deeper” into your physique. That might
    explain what “depth” psychology really is. Instead of exploring the endless chatter in our brains
    we need to reconnect with our bodies and simply feel. It’s back to Esalen.

    The only thing that I thought was unusual about the discussion was Kim declaring the
    “war” metaphor as bad. That is clearly a response that is “passive”. To do battle really means
    “effective action” which for many depressives is the therapeutic remedy for hoplessness.

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