Psychotherapy as cultural discourse
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Psychiatr Pol 2011;45(5):737-748
It is impossible to think about psychotherapy without reference to the cultural context. In order to understand the development of this domain it is helpful to apply the concept of cultural discourse. When we think about the over one hundred years' history of psychotherapy it becomes clear that understanding of a person, his/her difficulties, psychopathology, the role of a psychotherapist, psychotherapy and its limitations have been changing. It depended on the acknowledged epistemological horizon. Therefore it is important to observe the process of creating discourses related to psychotherapeutic reality. These discourses are not simply descriptive but they participate in creation of reality. They are not neutral, on the contrary, their application has broad practical, theoretical, ethical and legal consequences. An attempt to describe the culture, or better cultures, we are immersed in, is an attempt to describe the identity of contemporary psychotherapists. This article, referring to the constructionists' perspective and works of Michael Foucault, presents how cultural changes influence psychotherapists' ways of thinking, their practice and presence in social space.
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