The use of metaphors in psychotherapy

Eliezer Witztum, Onno van der Hart, Barbara Friedman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    46 Scopus citations


    Metaphors are used in everyday language and play a role in the therapeutic domain. This paper: 1) Examines the linguistic structure of metaphors for its therapeutic relevance. 2) Introduces the concept and use of metaphoric kernel statements. 3) Describes strategic and tactical applications of metaphor in guided metaphoric imagery work, storytelling and metaphoric tasks. 4) Demonstrates the efficacy of metaphor in treatment of cases of traumatic and highly anxiety-provoking issues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-290
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 1988

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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