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'These psychiatrists rate themselves as gods': Disengagement and engagement discourses of people living with severe mental illness

  • Positioning analysis, a variant of discourse analysis, was used to explore the narratives of 40 psychiatric patients (11 females and 29 males; mean age = 40 years) who had manifest difficulties with engagement with statutory mental health services. Positioning analysis is a qualitative method that captures how people linguistically position the roles and identities of themselves and others in their day-to-day lives and narratives. The language of disengagement incorporated the passive positioning of self in relation to their lives and treatment through the use of metaphor, the passive voice and them and us attribution, while the discourse of engagement incorporated more active positioning of self, achieved through the use of the personal pronoun we and metaphoric references to balanced relationships. The findings corroborate previous thematic analysis that highlighted the importance of identity and agency in the ‘making or breaking’ of therapeutic relationships (Priebe et al. 2005). Implications are discussed in relation to how positioning analysis may help signal and emphasize important life and therapeutic experiences in spoken narratives as well as clinical consultations.

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Author:Mika Chase, Jörg ZinkenORCiDGND, Alan Costall, Jay Watts, Stefan Priebe
Parent Title (English):Communication & Medicine
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2010
Date of Publication (online):2017/01/19
Tag:discourse analysis; disengagement; identity; mental health services; mental illness; positioning analysis
GND Keyword:Diskursanalyse; Identität; Psychische Störung; Psychose
First Page:43
Last Page:53
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Linguistics-Classification:Psycholinguistik / Kognitive Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt