Deadly Therapy: Lessons in Liveliness from Theater and Performance Theory

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Jason Aronson, 2008 - Medical - 231 pages
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Therapists have a lot to learn from theater professionals about helping people narrate important conflicts, understand uplifting ideas, and engage in illuminating interactions. Analysis of theater has also produced Goffman's dramaturgical vision of reality, in which people are beset with performance problems including defining situations, forming teams, casting roles, and managing discrediting information. A dramaturgical understanding of psychotherapy is articulated in this book, with a focus on living up to situational norms intrinsic to therapy and managing performance failures associated with the roles of therapist and patient. Norms derive from rules and categories in society and in therapy that help people know how to behave, but which also produce self-serving hegemonies of privilege and power, even in therapy. Performance theory encompassing audience engagement, dramaturgy, gender studies, power and privilege dynamics, critical thinking, and multiculturalism is used to investigate the "party lines" that get established in therapy and supervision, and to suggest ways to temper the deadening effects of rules and categories."
 

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Contents

Lessons from Deadly Theater
1
Lessons from Performance Theory
29
What Am I Doing to Irma?
59
Status Games
69
Gender Is Something We Do Not Something We Are
87
Deadly Multiculturalism
105
Therapeutic Privilege
117
Is Science Just Another Party Line?
137
Critical Thinking About Critical Thinking
159
Applying Theory to the Therapy and Not Just to the Patients Life
177
Deadly Supervision
193
Fourteen Things We Can Do to Make Our Therapies Livelier
203
References
217
Index
225
About the Author
231
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Michael Karson, Ph.D., J.D., is clinical associate professor at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Prior to that he practiced psychotherapy and consulted in the child welfare system for 25 years in Massachusetts. He is the author of Using Early Memories in Psychotherapy: Roadmaps to Presenting Problems and Treatment Impasses, Patterns of Child Abuse: How Dysfunctional Transactions are Replicated in Individuals, Families and the Child Welfare System and the senior author of 16PF Interpretation in Clinical Practice: A Guide to the Fifth Edition.

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