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Title: Discursive power games in therapeutic accounts of Antisocial Personality Disorder : a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
Author: Pournara, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 0819
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is understood as a difficult category to work with in various contemporary mental health settings. Additionally, to date, there is a dearth of research on this topic in Counselling Psychology. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore how Counselling Psychologists (CoPs) and other Psychological Practitioners (PPs) discursively construct ASPD and to investigate any discursive power games that may be implicated in therapeutic practice accounts. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted and a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) was applied to the data. The findings of the analysis produced five distinct therapeutic subject-positions: “Dangerous to Know”, “Damaged Goods”, “The White Collar Psychopath”, “Resisting to Psychiatric Norms” and “Critical Questioning”. Overall this analysis argues that ASPD is a problematic construct as it is produced by these participants as multiple, power laden and opaque. Additionally, these therapeutic subject-positions highlight how ASPD is variously produced in specific therapeutic contexts, such as medium secure units and private practice/ corporate environments. Such findings may contribute to raising awareness among CoPs and other PPs by making visible the power relations and contextual influences implicated in particular ASPD therapeutic accounts. Finally, it is also proposed that this Foucauldian gaze may be applied in other practice areas, to enable critical thinking in relation to potential uses of psychological knowledge, practice and research.
Supervisor: Gaitanidis, Anastasios ; O'Callaghan, Jean Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Psych.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Antisocial Personality Disorder ; Foucauldian Discourse Analysis ; Counselling Psychology