Creating Promising Futures Through Social Construction
by Tahereh Barati BagherabadMarch 8, 2018University of Twente This study explores the utility of relational being and relational map as guiding concepts in the practice of psychotherapy and mediation. This thesis is an exploration and showcase of the transformation of conflict narratives through collaboration and dialogue. Informed by narrative, relational, constructionism, and Deleuze’s ideas on rhizomatic language, my approach is characterized by a not-knowing and curious positioning, multiple theoretical and narrative voices, and the co-construction of meaning.The traditional discourse of psychotherapy is nurtured by dominant discourses of individualism. Psychotherapy and mediation, both developed within the general philosophical framework of individualistic discourses, focus on problems and the centrality of an individual. The result has been a sense of a fixed subjectivity (i.e. a stable and unchanging person) as well as divisiveness, which has led to what many refer to as the practice of othering.In this thesis, the fundamental concepts of individualism are questioned. Alternative discourses emerging within relational and constructionist philosophies are explored and used to illustrate the inadequacy of individualistic accounting. The concept of self as relational being is introduced as opposed to self as bounded being (Gergen, 2015). The concept of self is used in this study as a theoretical tool, a practical tool and a research tool. This thesis employs discourse analysis and narrative analysis through illustrations that include attention to the negotiation of discursive regimes and their influence on human relations.