(Re- )searching (therapeutic) discourse: the heterological play of dialogue

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Title: (Re- )searching (therapeutic) discourse: the heterological play of dialogue
Author: Daelmans, Sven
Abstract: This dissertation is an attempt to unravel and unearth—an archaeological enterprise—the tacit /traditional assumptions underwriting contemporary thinking on family therapy . Throughout the present "text" these rhetorical veils are exchanged for suggestion for a more humanistic "form" of "therapy" based upon dialogue and an ethic of heterology . It is argued that a heightened awareness of the rhetoripolitical maneuvers of occultation undergirding our theoretical practices and our practical theories might prove to be "an antidote against the inherent cruelty of therapy" (Maranhao ) and will , inevitably , account for a "change" in how we do what we (do not ) do . Therefore , five rhetorically effaced roots are examined in their tacit interanimations : (a ) the hegemony of the meta -narrative of (scientific ) method ; (b ) the hegemony of the meta -narrative of dehistorised time ; (c ) the hegemony of the meta -narrative of visualism ; (d ) the hegemony of mimesis ; and (e ) the hegemony of autonomy . In this vein , the dissertation splits into two halves , i .e . , a first section on epistemology and hermeneutics and a second section on the "discourse of the Gather ." A first section constitutes of an examination of how the dialogical interactions of psychotherapeutic "talk" have been replaced by a unilateral (and often decontextualized ) application of meta -communicational theories on therapeutic form , whether these theories are systemic or psychoanalytical . It is examined how this practice can be replaced by the archetypal "format" of a Socratic dialogue as has been explicated by Gadamer and Maranhao : instead of the application of Method to communicational practice , it is suggested that the chronotopic features of the therapeutic context actively resist their encapsulation by any scientific harness , but that they , in contrast , present the therapist with a challenge for a recursive dialogue of "becoming" (Whitaker ) . Furthermore , it is shown how the recent epistemological preoccupations with "radical constructivism" are also vulnerable to similar rhetorical roots , and can , hence , be deconstructed as the expression of a logocentric tradition (Derrida ) . A second section examines how therapeutic discourse , as a linguistic practice , can be characterized as polyphony of heteroglot voices which interilluminate the internal dialogue of language (Bakhtin ) . It is argued that therapeutic discourse presents a context of a highly stylized architectonic of diverse languages and voices , which can never be fully excavated and heard , as the unsaid (of common sense ) provides the essential background for the "activity" of the therapeutic dialogue . As a result , the therapeutic task becomes—with Lacan—one of "respons -ability ," i .e . , the ethical duty to reflect the discursive resonances of the utterance of the Other in order to reach a new level of Self -knowledge . Based upon these considerations , therapeutic discourse is examined from a dialogical perspective , in which the rhetoric of the monologism of therapeutic theories is replaced by a recursive rhetoric of self -persuasion and readiness . In this vein , a "discursive therapy" (a "mis"nomer to be sure ) is suggested as a practice beyond the referentiality of language . Indeed , the postmodern emphasis on a sea of intertextuality as an ecosystemic logosphere , opens up the way for a therapeutic weaving of a hyperrealistic liologram of discursive in (ter )ventions waiting for their particular concatenation by the dialogical interlocutors . As such , therapeutic discourse is the most direct expression of the ethic of heterology , as only the dialogue with the Other can serve as the immediate catalyst for the therapeutic , i .e . , discursive , transformations . This implies that the fluidity of the therapeutic dialogue and its discursive features actively resist the cryogenic operations of nomothetic understanding , and always remains an "existential" pro -ject .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /19983
Date: 1988-05


(Re- )searching (therapeutic) discourse: the heterological play of dialogue. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /19983 .

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