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Recovery from depression: a discourse analysis of interpersonal psychotherapy

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CROWE M and LUTY S. Nursing Inquiry 2005; 12: 43 –50

Recovery from depression: a discourse analysis of interpersonal psychotherapy

This paper describes a discourse analysis of the process of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) in the recovery from depression. It demonstrates how IPT is an effective treatment strategy for mental health nurses to utilise in the treatment of depression. The discourse analysis highlights how the development of more meaningful subject positions enables one woman to recover from her depression. The process of recovery is underpinned by an understanding of women's depression as promoted by contemporary social and cultural expectations for detachment and reflexivity. This paper shows how IPT provides an opportunity for recovery from depression for one woman by facilitating a reconstruction of her subject positions in relation to others. The discourse analysis revealed that the therapist facilitated this through the use of a range of techniques: seeking information, exploring beliefs/values/assumptions, exploring communication patterns, exploring affective responses and exploring alternative subject positions.
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Keywords: depression; interpersonal psychotherapy; mental health nursing; nurse–patient relationship; subject positions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Christchurch, New Zealand

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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