The time-course of analytic psychotherapy: A semiotic phenomenonology

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Abstract

The distinctness and linear order of 'beginning' and 'termination' in analytic psychotherapy is questioned by examining therapy as a process of multiple transitions between experience and hermeneutic representation. It is argued that critical points such as beginning and termination may be established at the level of experience, but must be rendered relative at the level of representation, to allow the therapeutic discourse semiotic freedoms essential for its development. This approach subjects critical points to a 'middleness principle', whereby all phases of therapy must be analyzed according to the way they connect to preceding and subsequent experience. Such analysis is afforded by re-defining critical points according to the way they shape the therapeutic discourse, which is illustrated in fragments of therapeutic conversation. The article loosely adopts a 'deconstructive' or 'destratified' style of writing, to illustrate the manner in which the collapse of temporal order may re-shape the therapeutic discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalPsychotherapy
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

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