Metaphor and movement: exploring the unspoken with a group of frontline workers

Eleni Zachou*, Heidrun Panhofer, Theodora Bareka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study investigates metaphoric expression within the scope of dance movement therapy (DMT), cognitive linguistics and embodiment theory. It explores to what extent movement stimulates and enhances the metaphorical use of language. A workshop with frontline workers of a social integration programme for unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece was organised, following methodological procedures that intertwine writing and moving. A process of writing-moving-writing helped to elicit the recollection, reframing and clarification of prevalent thoughts and feelings about a significant event in the work with the refugees. The written data was scrutinised along the lines of ethnography inductive thematic analysis and summed up with the outcomes of a follow up focus group. The findings suggest that metaphors provide a valuable connection between mind and body, offering thus a valuable implication for clinical work in DMT and, perhaps, other embodied psychotherapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-342
Number of pages17
JournalBody, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2022


  • cognitive linguistics
  • dance movement therapy
  • embodiment
  • frontline workers with refugees
  • Metaphor


Dive into the research topics of 'Metaphor and movement: exploring the unspoken with a group of frontline workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this