Playing Language Games

Psychoanalysis has been called the “talking cure” (Fink, 2007, p. 139). It operates largely through language exchanges between two people, with a slight asymmetry (Rose, 2004, p.9), where the client does more of the talking and is the primary focus of the talking (Delogu, 2020). To make a curious abstraction, psychotherapy is two people making sounds together. But what exactly is language, the currency with which we talk, and how does it operate? While there is no single answer to this question, several views will be suggested to open up thinking around language – the primary means of reciprocity in psychotherapy. This article will explore how language can become stuck and examine ways of ‘unsticking’ it.

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