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Therapeutic discourse, co-construction, interpellation, role-induction: psychotherapy as iatrogenic treatment modality?

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The objective of this paper is to build a convincing inductive argument as to how psychotherapy might be said to discursively produce psychopathology. Focusing closely on the technical workings of what is ultimately termed a 'psychotherapeutic technology' - that is, a set of applied clinical skills, techniques, strategies, and specialized forms of knowledge and language utilized by the psychotherapist - the author conducts an empirical grounded theory analysis of a sequential series of psychodynamic psychotherapy sessions, conducted and published by a well-respected practitioner. On this basis, the author makes a series of claims which centre around the interpellative, role-inductive and authorial prerogatives afforded therapists by the therapeutic process, prerogatives which provided them with constructive latitude enough to discursively generate psychopathology within patients' accounts of themselves. The 'pathogenic' nature of this process, along with the tactical and technical abilities afforded therapists in order to 'discover' psychopathology, furthermore lacked a balancing set of controls. This mix of such a powerful technology of intervention, without a reasonable (or patient-centred) set of counters and balances, means that psychotherapy comes dangerously close to being a constitutively iatrogenic form of treatment.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21669/

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