For an endeavour that is largely based on conversation it may seem obvious to suggest that psychotherapy is discursive. After all, therapists and clients primarily use talk, or forms of discourse, to accomplish therapeutic aims. However, talk or discourse has usually been seen as secondary to the actual business of therapy - a necessary conduit for exhanging information between therapist and client, but seldom more. Psychotherapy primarily developed by mapping particular experiential domains in ways responsive to human intervention. Only recently though has the role that discourse plays been recognized as a focus in itself for analysis and intervention. Discursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice presents an overview of discursive perspectives in therapy, along with an account of their conceptual underpinnings. The book starts by setting out the case for a discursive and relational approach to therapy by justaposing it to the tradition that that leads to the diagnostic approach of the DSM-V and medical psychiatry. It then presents a thorough review of a range of innovative discursive methods, each presented by an authority in their respective area.
The book shows how discursive therapies can help people construct a better sense of their world, and move beyond the constraints caused by the cultural preconceptions, opinions, and values the client has about the world. The book makes a unique contribution to the philosophy and psychiatry literature in examining both the philosophical bases of discursive therapy, whilst also showing how discursive perspectives can be applied in real therapeutic situations. The book will be of great value and interest to psychotherapists and psychiatrists wishing to understand, explore, and apply these innovative techniques.
1. Discursive therapy: Why language, and how we use it in therapeutic dialogues, matters ; 2. Talking to listen: its pre-history, invention and future in the field of psychotherapy ; 3. Positioning Theory, narratology and pronoun analysis as discursive therapies ; 4. Therapeutic Communication from a Constructionist Standpoint ; 5. Ontological social constructionism in the context of a social ecology: The importance of our living bodies ; 6. Narrative Therapy: Challenges and communities of practice ; 7. Collaborative therapy: Performing reflective and dialogic relationships ; 8. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: Listening in the present with an ear toward the future ; 9. From Wittgenstein, complexity, and narrative emergence: Discourse and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy ; 10. Activity and performance (and their discourses) in Social Therapeutic Method ; 11. Developing a 'Just Therapy': Context and the Ascription of Meaning ; 12. Maori expressions of healing in Just Therapy ; 13. Systematic narrative review of discursive therapies research: Considering the value of circumstantial evidence ; 14. Problematising social context in evidence-based therapy evaluation practice/governance ; 15. The body, trauma, and narrative approaches to healing ; 16. Narrative, discourse, psychotherapy - neuroscience? ; 17. Conversation and its therapeutic possibilities