Language Usage and Social Action in the Psychoanalytic Encounter: Discourse Analysis of a Therapy Session Fragment
A fragment of a therapy session is discussed using some of the tools of discourse analysis in an effort to demonstrate how speech acts serve as vehicles for the negotiation of roles and the transmittal of emotional/relational messages in the therapeutic dyad. In particular, issues of power asymmetry, proper function of the therapist, patient autonomy, and emotional attachment are subtextually communicated about through types of speech acts such as propositional triggers and utterances that are ambiguous as to their illocutionary and perlocutionary forces. The analysis of the speech acts in the session provides a microscopic identification of the expression of macro-level theoretical phenomena such as transference and counter-transference.
Fingarette, H. (1967). Self-deception. London, UK: Routledge, Kegan Paul.
Gergen, K. J. & Kaye, J. (1992). Beyond narrative in negotiation of meaning. In S. McNamee and K. Gergen (Eds.), Therapy as social construction (pp. 166-185). London, UK: Sage.
Green, G. M. (1989). Pragmatics and natural language understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum.
Hoffman, I. Z. (1991). Discussion: Toward a social constructivist view of the psychoanalytic situation. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 1, 74-105.
Hoffman, I. Z. (1992). Some practical implications of a social-constructivist view of the psychoanalytic situation. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2, 287-304.
Kuhn, T. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Labov, W. & Fanshel, D. (1977). Therapeutic discourse: Psychotherapy as conversation. New York, NY: Academic Press.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). The phenomenology of perception (C. Smith, Trans). London: Routlege.
Pea, R. D. & Russell, R. L. (1987). Ethnography and the vicissitudes of talk in psychotherapy. In R. L. Russell (Ed.), Language in psychotherapy (pp. 303-338). New York, NY: Plenum.
Peräkylä, A., Antaki, C. Vehviläinen, & Leudar, I. (Eds.) (2008). Conversation analysis and psychotherapy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Sartre, J. P. (1963). Search for a method (H. Barnes, Trans.). New York, NY: A. Knopf. Schneider, P. (1991). The analyst's questions to the patient. Contemporary
Psychoanalysis, 27, 552-573.
Siegfried, J. (Ed.) (1995). Therapeutic and everyday discourse as behavior change. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.
Spence, D. (1982). Narrative truth and historical truth. New York, NY: Norton.
Tilly, C. (2006). Why, what happens when people give reasons...and why. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Todorov, T. (1984). Mikhail Bakhtin: The dialogic imagination. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence, unless otherwise stated.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.