Bakhtin's Concept of Dialogue in its Application to Psychological Practice



The paper reviews different aspects of psychotherapeutic theory and practice in the context of M. Bakhtin's concept of dialogue. As it is shown, in the light of this concept, of this worldview the very sense of psychotherapy appears not in the achievement of any particular local psychotherapeutic goals, but in the event of reconstruction — through the dialogue — of the morbid self-restraint of human personality as the initial pre- condition of all those problems (with health, adaptation, development, learning etc.) that actually determine one's need for psychological help. The paper states that the roots of what makes it possible to employ the notion of dialogue in the psychotherapeutic context lie in Bakhtin's general anthropological notions in which 'I' and 'You' are strongly interconnected and at the same time polarized, thus constituting a universal situation, common for all mankind. Through the prism of this concept the paper then explores both the position of the client, i.e. the person seeking psychological help, and the position of the psychologist or psychotherapist, i.e. the more or less adequate participant of the psychotherapeutic dialogue.

General Information

Keywords: psychotherapy, psychological help, dialogue, 'outsidedness', 'I' and 'the other', 'non-selfsufficiency of "I"', ontological need for the other, monologism, 'eventness'.

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kopyev A.F. Bakhtin's Concept of Dialogue in its Application to Psychological Practice. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 2–11. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Andrey F. Kopyev, PhD in Psychology, Professor at the Individual and Group Psychotherapy Department at the Faculty of Counseling Psychology at, Senior Researcher at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Member of the editorial board of the journal “Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy”, Moscow, Russia



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