Affiliated member of the WPA – World Psychiatric Association

Abstract Krienke, Ute, J.

Awareness of speech acts in psychotherapy. Which kind of narratives do we support?

Despite different forms of psychotherapeutic conversation within the different psychotherapeutic theories it is fundamental to refer to the experiences of the patients. These experiences become visible through the stories people tell within the therapeutic settings. In this delicate moment therapists get seemingly access to the interior world of patients, who have just linguistic expressions underlined by facial expressions and gestures to tell what they suffer while being very vulnerable during this process. It is our therapeutic task to give space and hear the stories and find some help, hopefully. But what people say and what they hear depends on the context, which means the situational context as well as the subjective cognitive context with basic believe systems. These contexts are made of constructions based on the individual and the collective memories, which can differ remarkable from person to person. How can communication in psychotherapy still succeed despite such possibilities of misunderstanding, especially if people get more sensitive about repressive, exclusionary and pejorative terms?

Social power structures appear in hospitals, medical and psychotherapeutic practices and medical centers like everywhere in social contexts. These power structures show up amongst others through the use of speech, often without recognizing.

Krienke, Ute, J.
Psychologist (Dipl.-Psych.), Psychological Psychotherapist, Greifswald, Germany


Back to summary >