The Use of Metaphor in Intersubjective Supervision

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Jennifer Erickson Cornish

Second Advisor

Judith E. Fox

Third Advisor

Emily Markley


Intersubjective, Supervision, Metaphor, Clinical supervision, Intersubjective systems theory


In contemporary psychotherapy education, psychotherapy supervision holds immense power and importance regarding preparation and training of psychotherapists (Watkins, 2012). While there is current literature addressing the use of metaphor in psychotherapy (Amundson & Thrift, 2008; Lyddon, Clay, & Sparks, 2001), there is limited literature addressing its use in supervision (Edwards, 2010; Guiffrida, et al., 2012; Sommer & Cox, 2003; Valadex & Garcia, 1998). Moreover, while Breyer (2013) has discussed the use of metaphor in intersubjective therapy, there is no available literature specifically addressing the use of metaphor in intersubjective supervision. This paper aims to introduce and articulate how the exploration and use of metaphor models and supports intersubjective theory and practice. Specific examples are offered related to the use of metaphor and intersubjective methods and interventions such as unknowingness, cotransferences, illumination, co-construction, developmental narratives, charged words/phrases, and creativity and play (co-regulation).

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


24 pgs

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