Dialogue and Desire: Mikhail Bakhtin and the Linguistic Turn in Psychotherapy

Author(s) : Rachel Pollard

Part of The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy Series - more in this series

Dialogue and Desire: Mikhail Bakhtin and the Linguistic Turn in Psychotherapy

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Also by Rachel Pollard

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Mikhail Bakhtin, the Russian philosopher and cultural critic, was one of the pioneers of the 'linguistic turn' in philosophy and is now widely associated with the concept of the dialogical self and dialogical psychotherapy. However, whilst dialogism is the concept for which Bakhtin is most well known in psychotherapy, it is, in isolation, open to a wide range of interpretations that can be claimed by diverse and conflicting ideological positions. The radical contribution that a more inclusive reading of Bakhtin could bring to psychotherapy only becomes apparent when dialogism is understood in the context of Bakhtin's philosophy as a whole, and when Bakhtin himself is brought into a dialogical relationship with other thinkers. By bringing Bakhtin into dialogue with the controversial French anthropologist, René Girard, the centrality of desire in language and human social life is woven into the concept of the dialogical self and the practice of dialogical psychotherapy. This book will be of keen interest to students interested in the contemporary relevance of Bakhtin's thinking as well as psychotherapists concerned with the complex relationship between language, consciousness and the art of psychotherapy.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Rachel Pollard's lucid exploration of the landscape of Bakhtinian-inspired psychotherapy opens up a dialogue with theoretical perspectives that enrich our understanding of Bakhtin and also of the role of desire in the practice and politics of psychotherapy.'
- Ian Parker, Professor of Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University and Lacanian Psychoanalyst.

'Pollard's impressive reading of Bakhtin offers some novel and useful insights into psychotherapy.'
- Peter Good, Author of 'Language for Those Who Have Nothing: Mikhail Bakhtin and the Landscape of Psychiatry'

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