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Using Projective Cards in Online Sessions with Adults

Projective cards can be useful therapeutic tools in this period of uncertainty. The cards were designed to help clients share the issues that they are struggling with and process them. 

During the therapeutic process, the client and the therapist can both work metaphorically with the images and relate to issues in the client’s life that these images evoke.

The following suggestions for using cards in online sessions will be demonstrated with “The River” and “Roads” Decks © Story and Therapy :

1. The therapist holds the deck of cards and shows them to the client one by one until the client chooses a card that can express the way s/he feels at the moment. The therapist invites the client to describe the card. When working with “The River” cards the therapist can encourage the client to think about questions such as: 

  • How does your river flow in the current period?

  • What is the relationship between the river and its surroundings in this card?

  • Who or what is affecting the river’s flow?

  • Who or what helps the river during this time?

  • What could you say to this river to support it? 

2. The therapist and the client choose a random card to work with. The therapist holds the deck of cards and the client says a random number. If the client says the number 20, for example, the therapist draws out the 20th card in the deck. Working with the “Roads” deck of cards, the therapist can now invite the client to think about questions such as:

  • Is there something in this random card that you can relate to? Is there something in the card that you don’t like?

  • How would you like this road to continue? What do you fear may happen during its journey?

  • If you were to take the path illustrated on the card, what would make it difficult for you to keep on going? What would help you?

  • Please draw this card on a blank page. There is no need to make an exact copy of it. Now, draw the path leading to this road and then draw how you imagine this road will continue in the future.

3. The therapist shuffles the pile and chooses three random river cards. S/he places the three cards side by side to create an image of a river made of three segments. The client is invited to observe the river and encouraged to think about questions such as:

  • How would you describe the river’s journey along the three periods that these cards can represent? 

  • Is there a period that you find especially interesting?

  • If you could choose a place to be in these cards, where would that be? What made you choose this place? 

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


The River Guide-book includes numerous suggestions for using the cards in settings of Individual Therapy, Couple/Family Therapy and Group Therapy. Most suggestions suit “Roads” cards as well. Many of the suggestions can be adapted to online sessions. 















Written by Gali Salpeter - Story & Therapy

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

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