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Using power to question the dialogical self and its therapeutic application

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Abstract:

Power is a problem for all approaches to psychotherapy. However any therapy based on principles of dialogue face a specific but inevitable task: it must construct the other as a dialogical being, but it must do so in a dialogical and non-imposing way. In other words, an account of the power-dialogue dynamic is needed. In this paper certain features of power that may be intrinsic to therapeutic applications of the dialogical self are identified. It is argued that therapist and client are institutionalized “primary positions” that significantly, though often invisibly, regulate the circulation of power in the interpersonal dialogue, and thereby influence the production and shape of “secondary positions” in the client's dialogical self.

Keywords: Power-dialogue dynamic; psychotherapy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515070600655189

Affiliations: Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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