Raising the Exquisite Corpse: Collaborative Story-Writing in Inpatient Group Psychotherapy

  • Alexander Kriss The New School for Social Research
  • Melanie Mulligan Beth Israel Medical Center


In the present paper, we introduce and provide a rationale for a collaborative storywriting exercise for inpatient group psychotherapy called “exquisite corpse.” We argue that the exercise facilitates deep, empathic group process work with efficiency due to its ability to create a transitional space (Winnicott, 1971/2005) in which patients safely explore their intrapsychic and interpersonal dynamics. We conclude with a case illustration of the exquisite corpse’s unique contribution to clinical technique.


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