Volume 3   Number 1      Fall 2008

The Responses of the Other in the Therapeutic Relationship (Commentary on Morioka)
Saeromi Kim
Brown University, USA
pp. 109-114   (pdf)

ABSTRACT: This commentary further explores how therapeutic relationships can create the potential for transformation.  Morioka (2008) draws on the dialogical self theory to discuss the role of tension, dialogue, and through the concepts of utushi and ma, the possibility for new configurations of time and space in the dialogical self.  A deep concern for the quality of the response of the other is apparent in Morioka’s writing, especially in relation to the promise of new meanings that may be achieved in the therapeutic relationship.  Since the therapist plays a central role in providing the appropriate context for such achievements, I advocate for the exploration of multivoicedness in both client and therapist.  I also discuss how power differences pervade the social roles of therapist and client, and the significance of this institutionalized inequality in the therapeutic relationship.


Keywords: meaning-making, the other, multiplicity, dialogue, psychotherapy, power