There is no shortage of therapeutic modalities and interventions at the therapist’s disposal. Psychotherapy, because it claims to treat the individual, is necessarily multifaceted and complex. The dimension of language which structures much of our experience should be considered as a starting point for a psychotherapeutic technique. French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan developed a theory and technique of the talking cure beginning from this assumption: that language structures our experience. In the early 1950s he sought to recover a linguistic Freud: to re-center psychoanalytic psychotherapy on language itself. In this paper, I sketch the theoretical reasons for this turn in Lacan and look at current clinical literature to explicate the technique of this linguistic approach to psychotherapy. I begin first with challenging our everyday understanding of language; then, I explore the theoretical aspects of language and speech; finally, I tie these investigations into a clinical approach with a brief case study and analysis.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.