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Using the Image of a Bridge in Therapy

Decks of projective cards offer clients and their therapists a metaphorical medium of communication and of therapeutic work.

This metaphorical space is enriched and deepened as the therapeutic process progresses and as additional images (and connections between images) are shared in the sessions. 

The image of a bridge enhances the therapeutic and creative work; naturally fitting in with the images of rivers, railways and roads as illustrated on the cards of associative decks of cards projectoas "The River", "Roads" and "The World of Trains".

Illustrations of bridges can be used to represent situations, relationships or periods from the lives of clients. Working with this metaphor in therapy enables clients to expand their description and understanding of their thoughts, behaviour, beliefs and emotions. Additionally, it can help clients raise issues that they were less aware of and examine them with the therapist or with fellow participants of their group.


Examples of possible metaphorical meanings of bridges:

- Place - a bridge can lead to a new place or back to a long-forgotten one.

- Time - a bridge can prepare one for the future which lies ahead or help one embrace a period from the past. 

- Perspective - stepping out of the river or off the road and climbing the bridge allows for a new, remote and often more secure point of observation above the flow of the water or the winding path.

- Relationships - a bridge can connect people coming from two different riverbanks/ sides of the road/ railway. Each may introduce the place s/he comes from and hear about the other's.

- Separation - a bridge can mark a journey away from someone or from somewhere meaningful.

- Identity - a bridge can make the two banks of the same river seem closer to each other or, alternatively, emphasize the gap and the difference between them. 

- Change (Strengths/Inhibiting factors) - a bridge invites us to halt for a moment and consider what we would like to take with us to the other bank and which things it would be better to leave behind.

Therapists are welcome to use the tool of the illustrated cards, each according to his/her area of expertise and the needs and abilities of the clients in his/her treatment.

Therapists can invite their clients to relate to the bridges that are illustrated on these cards - or alternatively to look for images of bridges in magazines, to imagine the construction of a bridge above certain segments of rivers, railways or roads, to draw bridges, to tell stories related to bridges and so on. 

The metaphorical significance of bridges can be worked within settings of Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Couple/Family Therapy and Supervision. 

Numerous examples of the application of cards when working

with the image of a bridge are detailed in "The River" guidebook.

To learn how to use these cards and others, please join one of our online workshops 

Written by Gali Salpeter - Story & Therapy

Expressive Therapist. Spec. Drama and NarrativeTherapy (M.A.)(NFKUT)(I.C.E.T)

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