What are our psychotherapeutic theories and practices producing?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper, in a Foucauldian argument, I draw attention to how psychotherapy is both produced and productive. I argue how psychotherapeutic theories and practices can contribute to generate hegemonic versions of subjectivity that limit the scope of alternative ways of living and feed into individualism. As Rose contends, the psy sciences, including psychotherapy, are highly influential in informing how we make sense of ourselves, and thus in how we produce ourselves. Psychotherapy – through assuming that its theories only reveal psychic mechanisms and that psychotherapeutic practice only helps people to know themselves better and develop – becomes extremely powerful in producing subjectivities whilst believing that it is only a matter of self-discovering. On this basis, I stress the need for questioning psychotherapy. In particular, I explore how engagement with authors associated with the so-called ‘post’ theories can transform psychotherapeutic theories and practices, including questioning the very existence of psychotherapy. As a psychotherapist myself, I attempt to stay uncomfortable and to allow myself to be moved while I grapple with what psychotherapy might become.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-401
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Issue number4
Early online date27 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • critical psychotherapy
  • subjectivity
  • experience
  • assemblage
  • productive


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