The pluralist revolution: From the one true meaning to an infinity of constructed ones

H. Omer*, C. Strenger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The belief that psychotherapy works by unearthing or undoing the real origins of pathology is gradually vanishing from the field. Viewed from a different perspective, psychotherapy works by transforming a person's self- narrative and the self-concept embodied in the narrative. Humankind is a self-narrating species that continuously organizes life's events in a consistent pattern, which, in turn, influences the way events are remembered and experienced: Our self-narratives become our lives. The various approaches to psychotherapy provide the therapist with metanarratives (or templates) through which the patients' dysfunctional life narratives can be fixed. The major activity in the therapeutic transformation of self-narratives is the replacement of inadequate meanings by new ones, which open new options for adaptive functioning. A list of meaning categories used in psychotherapy (the meanings of 'meaning') is provided to help therapists orient themselves in this task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalPsychotherapy
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

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