Strengths, solutions and stories.


Welcome to Metaphors Ink.

We are a unique strengths based, solution focused consultancy for human service practitioners that is built around the identification, mobilization and celebration of the power of visual metaphors to change people’s lives.

We constantly use metaphors in our conversations – as many as one metaphor in every 10 words we utter or up to 6 metaphors each minute.

Simple metaphors have profoundly shaped the nature of our therapeutic interventions. Consider how the ‘Miracle Question’ became such an icon of solution focused approaches and how Michael White’s ‘Sneaky Poo’ inspired the adoption of externalization in narrative work.

For over 25 years Russell Deal has been fascinated by how our understanding of the transformative power of metaphor can embrace visual metaphor in particular. As the Founder and Creative Director of Innovative Resources, the publishing arm of St Luke’s Anglicare Russell designed, wrote or published over 60 conversation-building hands-on ‘tools’ including the much loved ‘Strength Cards’ and The Bears’. As well he has facilitated over 600 Tools Workshops demonstrating creative ways to employ visual metaphors in counselling, supervision, team building and management.

Russell has now established Metaphors Ink as a freelance consultancy to maintain his curiosity about ways in which visual metaphors can help generate change and growth and lead to a more fair and just society.

‘Russell has played a pioneering role in opening the eyes of countless human service practitioners to practical and readily accessible ways to bring alive the best ideas from the worlds of strengths based and solution focused practice.’ – Michael Durrant