This book discusses current theories in linguistics and
sociolinguistics as they relate to therapeutic situations,
including uses of metaphor, slogans, and proverbs. It shows how
people's empathies or feeling of alienation are displayed by the
language they choose to describe or discuss events. Dysfunctions as
different as depression, drug and alcohol additions, agoraphobia,
schizophrenia and bulimia are examined in terms of the language
used by clients or patients. It is shown that the way people encode
life events influences their self-evaluations, evaluations of
others, and their general behaviour, so that therapy becomes a
process of learning to retell one's life story.
Every chapter contains either actual narratives from clients or
therapist/client interviews with thorough linguistic and
sociolinguistic analyses of these speech activities. The therapist
is shown how to listen and what to listen for in the client's
speech, as well as what kinds of questions to ask.