Therapy as Discourse

Practice and Research

  • Olga Smoliak
  • Tom Strong

Part of the The Language of Mental Health book series (TLMH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Joaquín Gaete, Olga Smoliak, Shari Couture
    Pages 117-140
  3. Carmen Knudson-Martin, Jessica ChenFeng, Aimee Galick, Elsie Lobo, Sarah K. Samman, Kirstee Williams
    Pages 141-162
  4. Olga Smoliak, Tom Strong, Robert Elliott
    Pages 187-217
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 231-237

About this book


This book addresses the premise that therapy can be understood, practiced, and researched as a discursive activity. Using varied forms of discourse analysis, it examines the cultural, institutional, and face-to-face communications that shape, and occur within, therapies that are discursively understood and practiced. By first providing an overview of commonalities across discursive therapies and research approaches, the authors discursively examine general aspects of therapy. Topics explored include subjectivity, psychological terms, institutional influences, therapeutic relationships, therapists’ ways of talking and questioning, discursive ethics, and assessment of therapeutic processes and outcomes. This book offers a macro-analysis of the conversational practices of a discursively informed approach to therapy; as well as a micro-analysis of the ways in which language shapes and is used in a discursively informed approach to therapy. This book will interest practitioners seeking to better understand therapy as a discursive process, and discourse analysts wanting to understand therapy as discursive therapists might practice it.


discourse analysis cultural studies psychology research approaches discursive therapies discursive ethics psychotherapy social interaction counselling and clinical psychology communication studies linguistics subjectivity in psychotherapy gender discourse emotion

Editors and affiliations

  • Olga Smoliak
    • 1
  • Tom Strong
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GuelphGuelph, ONCanada
  2. 2.University of CalgaryCalgary, ABCanada

Bibliographic information