Publication details [#12583]

Hallam, R. S. and K. P. O'Connor. 2002. A dialogical approach to obsessions. Psychology and Psychotherapy 75 (3) : 333–348. 16 pp.
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Article in journal
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This paper aims to comprehend obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) by contrasting cognitive conceptualizations of obsessions based on the information-processing metaphor and a dialogical approach. The latter considers obsessions as one-sided conversations. The narrative or ‘voice’ is under analysis, which gets the person involved in the neutralizing behaviour. The dialogical approach considers the uncertain paradox that both the self and others can create obsessions, and that people take up different positions depending on the senselessness of their obsessions at different moments. In addition, dialogical terms come into play when characterizing one’s own obsessions, e.g. voice, conversation, or argument. The therapy is not focused on discrete cognitive biases or representations, but on the language and power of the narrative; also, role-play and narrative techniques are highlighted. We have already seen that cognitive therapy is trying to take a turn for the narrative process, and cognitive and dialogical conceptualizations of OCD are not conflicting views but alternative ones.