Communicative Violence In Psychotherapy

Michael B. Buchholz, Marie-Luise Alder
2015 Language and Psychoanalysis  
After some theoretical reflections on communicative violence based on the concept of the "double body" (Sybille Krämer) which explains why words can heal or hurt, we show excerpts from therapeutic session using conversation analysis as methodological tool to make subtle forms of violence visible. The problem of violence is not one-sided from therapist to patient but the inverse direction should be included, too. We detect that it is sometimes the "good will" of therapists to help a patient
more » ... help a patient "overcome" a (supposed) "inhibition" to continue talk that contributes to symmetrical escalations in conversation causing trouble in turn-taking. Sometimes it is an up-to-now undescribed practice of patients, which we call "empathy blinder". A mild and a more complex form of this pattern are described. Further examples are analyzed hoping to direct some attention to the problem of communicative violence. In general, we do not yet present solutions, more expositions of a problem widely under taboo. Language and Psychoanalysis, 2015, 4 (2), 4-33 6 with a delay of two days should be considered as in full responsibility and, thus, punished more severely. These authors introduce their paper (2001) quoting George Bernard Shaw: "If you strike a child, take care that you strike it in anger, even at the risk for maiming it for life. A blow in cold blood neither can nor should be forgiven". This quotation illustrates one the one hand the hot-cold distinction convincingly; however, it shows how this distinction is based in mundane thinking and is related to the psychology of reconciliation and forgiveness. It follows, that this distinction is unusable for the motivation or explanation of such acts. The distinction itself survived long in psychology, e.g. in the debate about aggressive drive(s). These authors convincingly conclude that every aggressive act is composed by an expressive-impulsive together with an instrumental component. However, these components cannot be distinguished precisely enough. The distinction itself is not detectable in the events, but in our thinking about events.
doi:10.7565/landp.2015.007 fatcat:brjp4igq65g4vd4hmnr4luq3se