Levels of Expression and Systems Approach to Therapy

  • Vija Bergs Lusebrink
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


Imagery, symbols, and visual expression all are multidimensional and multileveled. The outstanding components of imagery, symbols, and visual expression, as discussed in detail in previous chapters, are the kinesthetic/sensory, perceptual or structural, affective, and cognitive. In addition, images, symbols, and visual expression can have a metaphorical or symbolic meaning. The relationship between these different components on a developmental basis was conceptualized by Bruner (1964), who proposed three modes of representation: the enactive, the iconic, and the symbolic. The enactive mode reflects events through an appropriate motor response; the iconic mode selectively organizes individual perceptions and images; and the symbolic mode designates and transforms experience into abstract and complex methods of representation.


Sensory Level Cognitive Level Fairy Tale Perceptual Level Symbolic Level 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vija Bergs Lusebrink
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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