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Therapy as Social Construction

Therapy as Social Construction

Edited by:

December 1992 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Clearing away the smoke of social construction from the sometimes-confusing mirrors of postmodernism is this rich volume that clarifies theory and offers therapeutic applications. Therapy as Social Construction examines a richer voice of empowerment within and beyond a therapeutic context. . . . Despite its title, this volume will pique the interest of communication educators too because what is said of therapy of social construction is true of a student-teacher contract. . . . It points the way for teachers willing to take a sometimes unpredictable, challenging, but never disempowering risk to apply to the same kind of thinking to their classroom." --Richard P. Long, Columbus College, Georgia This volume explores the new possibilities for the therapeutic process of adopting a social constructionist perspective. The starting point for all the contributors is a concern with socially constructed "texts." On one hand, our senses of self, identity, and life purpose are fundamentally, socially and culturally embedded. On the other, no single cultural script is all powerful. In social constructionist therapy, a key process is the co-creation by therapists and clients of new, more satisfactory "stories," in ways which nevertheless recognize their social, relational character. The first part of the book looks at the theoretical basis for social constructionist therapy, including the implications for client-therapist relationships. Authors then explore various approaches in practice, including "irreverent therapy," "the not-knowing therapist," the creative significance of difference, and the role of reflexivity. A number of case studies are presented. The final section presents an exhilarating mix of overview, self-critique, and an agenda for the future. Therapy as Social Construction will be essential reading for therapists, counselors, clinnical psychologists and all those in the helping professions providing therapeutic services to their clients. "These readings about the application of social constructionism to psychotherapy are unique because the authors reside in a number of different countries and come from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Despite its small size, the book covers a breadth of topics. . .. The chapters focus on an evaluation, overview, and critique of a constructionist approach toward psychotherapy. For scholars and practitioners interested in psychotherapy, the social sciences, and the philosophy of science. Graduate through professional." --C. L.Kleinke, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Sheila McNamee and Kenneth J Gergen
Lynn Hoffman
A Reflexive Stance for Family Therapy
Harlene Anderson and Harold Goolishian
The Client is the Expert
A Not-Knowing Approach to Therapy

Laura Fruggeri
Therapeutic Process as the Social Construction of Change
Tom Andersen
Reflections on Reflecting with Families
William D Lax
Postmodern Thinking in a Clinical Practice
Gianfranco Cecchin
Constructing Therapeutic Possibilities
David Epston, Michael White and Kevin Murray
A Proposal for Re-Authoring Therapy
Rose's Revisioning of her Life and a Commentary

Karl, Cynthia, Andrew and Vanessa
Therapeutic Distinctions in an On-Going Therapy
William Hudson O'Hanlon
History becomes Her Story
Collaborative Solution-Oriented Therapy of the After-Effects of Sexual Abuse

Annibal Coelho de Amorim and Fatima Goncalves Cavalcante
Narrations of the Self
Video Production in a Marginalized Subculture

Kenneth J Gergen and John Kaye
Beyond Narrative in the Negotiation of Therapeutic Meaning
Sheila McNamee
Reconstructing Identity
The Communal Construction of Crisis

Jay S Efran and Leslie E Clarfield
Constructionist Therapy
Sense and Nonsense


`An interesting collection of the state of the art of social constructionism and therapy, and a major contribution to reflection on therapeutic theory and practice' - Changes

`An important work which propels us into a new era for therapeutic practice. The diverse contributing authors illustrate newer developments in the arena which previously has been promoted as systemic therapy. The current focus moves us away from a constructivist, solipsist epistemology, with its impairing dilemma of neutrality, towards a therapeutic understanding which gains inspiration from the social realm... [The book] offers an elaborate understanding of the significance of the social constructionist epistemology when applied in the therapeutic domain. The volume's essays are well-written and suited for individuals within all areas of the helping professions... reading similar explanations in different "voices" provides a richness of perspective which leads to a complex understanding of the primary aspects of constructionist therapeutic practice... an outstanding work which can be highly recommended' - Nyhedsbrev, Centre for Qualitative Research Newsletter, Denmark

`This book can be read both as a study of reframing, with some extended examples, and as a daring exploration into the foundations of therapy' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`The chapters are interesting as windows into wider debates beyond therapy to those within the human sciences over the organization of meaning and change in culture... the value of this book is that it makes it possible for the reader to step back and think that therapy may mean different things to different communities, that therapy is not the touchstone but only one of many social constructions' - British Psychological Society Counselling Psychology Review

`I found reading this book a stimulating experience... it makes some very useful points and I recommend it to anyone who would like to discover a new and interesting model for the therapeutic process' - Clinical Psychology Forum

` of the central themes of this book is the rejection of the therapist as an expert... (with) the emphasis on process and on the mutually enriching and developmental elements inherent in a trusting therapeutic interaction' - Self & Society

`These readings about the application of social constructionism to psychotherapy are unique because the authors reside in a number of different countries and come from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Despite its small size, the books covers a breadth of topics' - Choice

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