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 a overview of discursive perspectives in therapy, along with an account of its philosophical underpinnings. The book starts by historically situating discursive ideas, looking at the work of philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Merleau Ponty and Heidigger. 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.
About the Editors:
Andy Lock is Professor of Psychology at the School of Psychology at Massey University in New Zealand. Tom Strong is Associate Professor with the Educational Studies in Counselling Psychology Program in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary in Canada.