Implications of mental illness meanings in a therapeutic group

Carla Guanaes Marisa Japur About the authors

This study adopts a social constructionist perspective, which focuses on how people make meaning of themselves and of the world in their discursive practices. By emphasizing the performative character of language, the aim of this study was to describe meanings of mental illness produced in a therapeutic group, offered in a mental health ambulatory, and the implications of the use of these meanings to the group conversations. The meaning making analysis was based on the transcriptions of 16 group sessions. This analysis allowed us to describe some meanings of mental illness, to construct links among these meanings and the changing view favored by them, as well as the interaction among the group participants. Based on this, we suggest that thinking about some mental illness meanings and its use can be useful to promote dialogical exchanges in group therapy and the conversational construction of change.

social constructionism; group therapy; mental health

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