Conversation, Language, and Possibilities: A Postmodern Approach to Therapy


Drawing on her experiences as a practitioner and teacher and on her clients' experiences of therapy, Harlene Anderson joins social thinkers who challenge the familiar culture of psychotherapy, including the foundations on which its theory, practice, research, and therapist education have been based. Anderson directly challenges the expert-nonexpert dichotomy and hierarchical structures that flow from it. She asserts that conventional premises and practices have lost their relevance in a world of rapid social transformation, and calls instead for a philosophy of therapy and a way of being in client relationships that invite collaboration. Conversation, Language, and Possibilities forges surprising links between postmodern theory and collaborative clinical practice. In this framework, human systems are viewed as systems of language and communication. Clients' voices are privileged. And language is generative in shaping - and reshaping - human life and relationships, creating potentials for positivechange as infinite in variety and expression as the individuals who realize them.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • T. S. Eliot
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1997