In view of the continuous theoretical and clinical expansion of cognitive therapy, the traditional, information processing-based description of cognitions into products, processes and schemata displays certain, mainly clinical, limitations. The authors try to refine and expand this “tripartite” conceptualization by employing a new, clinically relevant metaphor to describe cognitions and offer new ideas of potential theoretical and practical utility. Indeed, the dispositional (structural) and functional (state-dependent) aspects of cognitions may be seen as reflecting an underlying theme that could be labeled “the mind as a parliament”. Conceptualized as such, the various types of cognitions may then be metaphorically described as members of a parliament, who when confronted by environmental constrains, confer, discourse and decide to give meaning to one’s experience and direction to one’s behavior. This paper provides a general overview of this metaphor-driven model and a detailed description of its various components. The potential applications of this model as a clinical and educational tool and its limitations are also discussed.

Key words: Mind-parliament, cognitions, structural aspects, functional aspects. 

Y.G. Papakostas, T.J. Petersen (page 299) - Full article