The interactivity of silence in psychotherapy: Pauses as collaborative actions

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Abstract

In this paper, the stage will be set for a discussion of how we can explore the phenomenon of pauses and silences in highly institutionalised settings such as psychotherapy from an ecological one-system perspective. A clinical practice, when seen as a cultural setting, acts as a social regulator of both talk and silence (Lehmann, 2014). Based on a case from psychotherapy, it will be shown how silence can become a semiotically saturated material anchor that can affect future events and, at times, lead to appropriation. It is argued that periods of silence can be used in creating a 'space' for the collaboration of the unified system through suppressing the 'selves' and co-constructing the 'us'. This will lead to explore how pauses and periods of silence in psychotherapy become affordances for the integration of emotional and cognitive action.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication & Medicine - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Healthcare, Ethics and Society
Number of pages25
ISSN1612-1783
Publication statusIn preparation - 2019

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