University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Therapists' discursive constructions of shame : a story-completion task.

Drini, Eugenia (2019) Therapists' discursive constructions of shame : a story-completion task. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

Thesis ED.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This study aimed to explore the ways that shame is constructed by therapeutic practitioners. It utilised a novel method, called ‘story completion’ to analyse the stories completed by 45 therapists of various theoretical and professional backgrounds, using Foucauldian discourse analysis (FDA). The analysis highlighted some of the dominant ways that certain discourses about emotions and shame tend to be taken-for-granted within the therapeutic framework. In most stories shame was constructed around one’s private, ‘authentic’ self, which was 'hidden' behind shame related behaviours. It was argued that the discourse of shame as a problematic emotion is inextricably linked to the western values of autonomy and self-sufficiency, which are echoed in most forms of therapy. These concepts could be seen as detaching emotions from their context, and not paying sufficient attention to the wider socio-cultural framework. It was contended that clinicians need to be sceptical about taken-for-granted values of psychotherapy, including therapists’ ‘expertise’. They also need to be mindful of the ways that dominant psychological theories may conceal the power struggles in the therapy room and reflect on the ways they frame their clients’ emotions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Drini, Eugenia
Date : 31 October 2019
Funders : self-funded
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00852928
Contributors :
Depositing User : Eugenia Drini-Papagianopoulou
Date Deposited : 04 Nov 2019 12:10
Last Modified : 04 Nov 2019 12:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800