Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 270–290 | Cite as

The use of metaphors in psychotherapy

  • Eliezer Witztum
  • Onno van der Hart
  • Barbara Friedman


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.


Public Health Social Psychology Everyday Language Linguistic Structure Therapeutic Relevance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliezer Witztum
  • Onno van der Hart
  • Barbara Friedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Beverly Hills

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