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Anger in psychotherapy practises: a discourse analysis

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2019
Evran, Ahmet
The purpose of the current thesis is to explore the constructions of anger in the context of psychotherapy from a social constructionist perspective. In contrast to the mainstream understanding of emotions, anger is treated as an emotion which is constructed and reconstructed by the speakers in the context of social bonds throughout human history. Being compatible with this perspective, discourse analysis is conducted to the transcriptions of psychotherapy sessions in order to explore discursive organization of anger in psychotherapy. Seven sessions were obtained, transcribed and coded for identifying relevant discourses, subject positions and discursive strategies used in psychotherapy. Identified strategies include distancing, blaming, generating alternatives, narrating, and comparison. Subject positions created by the speakers are tolerated/tolerating, evaluated/evaluating, capable/incapable, yielding, frustrated, and misunderstood subjects. Several discourse that are constructed during anger talk consists of general emotion discourses, anger as social threat, anger and control, the need to express anger, injustice, and nonsensicality. Implications of and conclusion from analysis is discussed in association with relevant literature.