Volume 6   Number 1     Spring 2012

Exploring the Contribution of Subject Positioning to Studying Therapy
     as a Dialogical Enterprise

Evrinomy Avdi
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
pp. 61-79

ABSTRACT. Recent social constructionist and dialogical approaches to psychotherapy have pointed to the usefulness of attending to language, meaning and dialogue in conceptualising client difficulties, the process of therapy and therapeutic change. This paper explores the contribution of the analytic concept of subject positioning in examining therapy as a dialogical enterprise. More specifically, it is suggested that the notion of subject positioning offers the potential of studying therapy as an interaction, attending to the active role of therapists, and taking into account the powerful role of context in people’s sense of self and in the course of therapy. This wider focus is in line with the constructionist trends in the dialogical self tradition and can enrich current analyses of therapy process from a dialogical perspective. The arguments put forward are discussed through reference to existing literature and to a brief analysis of a therapy session extract.