The first deck of metaphorical associative maps was created in 1975 by Eli Raman, a Canadian professor of art history. According to the legend, he was fond of playing poker and very much wanted to take art from the galleries and bring it closer to people. At that time, the Tarot cards began to gain popularity. Apparently, the external and internal contexts coincided and led to insight - the first deck of metaphorical associative cards. This deck of cards is called "OH" (interjection expressing surprise in English). Together with the psychotherapist Joe Schlichter, the rules and principles of using cards as a psychological tool were developed.
Note! Eli Raman primarily sought to popularize art. Psychotherapists have integrated into their practice an instrument from "another space". Maps are also effective in teaching, creativity, philosophy, etc.
Ely Raman, the creator of O-cards, lived with his wife Joan Lawrence in Victoria on the Pacific coast of Canada. "O-cards" were the central figure and invention in the life of this couple. By 1975, this topic in his work, along with his long-term fascination with playing cards, formed the basis for the creation of "O-cards." Pictures of the card format, created by Ely Raman, suddenly became for him the strongest impetus for development and creativity, which resulted in the creation of a unique "variable structure" that can change constantly. The unique invention consisting of a deck of paintings and a frame of words was called "OH-cards" from the English interjection Oh!, which means an expression of surprise.
"All these cards that can fit in your pocket can fit in your hand, have an infinite number of variations and uses, and invite you to become involved in art. One of Ely's wishes and aspirations was to reduce the distance between the viewer and art, which you can only see in galleries and museums. This aspiration also influenced the creation of these unique decks of metaphorical maps. "
In 1983, Ely Rahman met with Moritz Egetmeyer. He saw in the cards "OH" a tool with which possible to push the client to frank talk about themselves and their problems.
"Although I did not anticipate and did not plan, but it turned out that the cards "OH" became the meaning of my life. However, in my life there was a lot of things that it is impossible to foresee. Even during my studies at the University of Humanities, my idealism has dried up. Still it was possible - not without effort - to get up in spirit, but the scope was not the same, and the freedom of maneuver is limited. And then I discovered the "OH" cards!
Ely Raman and I were friends. Ely was an artist and was interested in psychotherapy. As for me, I received a rather eclectic therapeutic education and had an interest in art. My soul has long been open to painting. Me and Ely arrived from completely different places at one definite point. When we met, immediately felt some kind of harmony and resonance.
Geographically, we, independently of each other, hit the island off the Canadian coast of the Pacific Ocean. The island is called Cortes - in honor of the Spanish explorer who opened it. Our meeting can clearly be brought under the Jungian law of synchronization, for Eli grew up in Mexico, spoke Spanish, I came from Europe.
His cards "OH" seemed to me a wonderful tool for true self-expression and authentic psychotherapeutic disclosure. In my therapeutic education, the goal has always been authenticity. Thus, these three components: Ely, "OH" cards and I easily formed a promising triangle. In the next 24 years, until the death of Ely, this stable geometric figure remained the skeleton of a fruitful union. I became the publisher of "ON" cards.
The Oh-cards became the starting point of the new trend - associative metaphorical cards, they gave birth to many other card decks. Over the years, "OH" cards were translated into 21 languages around the world. My task was to provide "OH" cards for translation into other languages, and accordingly to get acquainted with the people who are dealing with this matter.
The nature of the cards "OH" is not compatible with any kind of dogmatism. They are a pleasant in use tool, an open system that many people can make their own. Not only psychotherapists, but also teachers of painting, writers, team coaches and many other people who belong to the numerous teaching and helping professions. Cards "OH" is a star with many rays. They can illuminate everything around and lead to enlightenment, help to increase the level of self-awareness."
Today OH-cards have been translated into many languages (21), including Russian, and besides them there are 16 more unique card decks that can be used, either by themselves or in any combination with any other deck of associative cards . Metaphorical associative cards began to be used by specialists as a convenient and high-quality visual material for the projection of psychological phenomena of man. They were received with enthusiasm by specialists in helping professions (psychologists, social educators, psychotherapists and social workers), and a wide range of people interested in self-knowledge and self-development.
After a short time, therapists themselves or in cooperation with artists and photographers began to create and produce author's metaphorical associative maps in different countries around the world.
Metaphorical associative cards are used in individual counseling and therapeutic sessions, trainings, interactive discussions on practical training. It is a professional assistant psychologist, as they allow to establish communication between people, to create an atmosphere of trust, interest in self-exploration and self-development and serve as a guide to create the desired context , in which everyone gets access to their creative origin.
In the end, it is worth noting some advantages of working with cards. They awaken and stimulate the following internal processes:
- Bypassing rational thinking
- Help in creating a dialogue between the external and internal.
- Maps / images help us express, formulate and concretize events.
- Maps / images provide an opportunity for associations and projections.
- The complexity of the process reduces our protection.
To summarize, it is worth to recall the important principle of projection: the priority of the projected content over the object that was the subject of the projection.