Gian Piero Turchi, Angelo Mussoni, Angelo Tesi & Alessandro Salvini
Università di Padova, Italy

E-mail:gianpiero.turchi@unipd.it

 

THE USE OF WRITTEN TASK PRESCRIPTION IN PSYCHOTHERAPY:
HOW TO OPEN NEW SPACE IN A PERSON'S SELF-REPORT?

 

Our work will deal with personal meaning reconstruction in the psychotherapeutic context. We set out by considering narrative identity as the interweaving of self-report (self-attributed meanings), narration (meanings attributed by others) an the collection of culturally rooted stories. The aim of psychotherapy can also be considered to 'move' identity, by offering a narration which rhetorically induces a change in the self-report. In order to do so, we use the written task prescription technique, which creates dialectical opposites (i.e. "Write three things you do best and three things you do worst"). The therapist's chosen prescription gives criteria to produce the self-report, representing a sort of change by itself ("You write what I asked you, not what you want"). Thus, we obtain a self-report which is morally bound to the person ("You wrote this"). Now the therapist can use a part of it (e.g. "I wake up too late in the morning", given as the answer to what the person does at his/her worst) to rhetorically argue a narration (e.g. "You are talking about things you should not do, not things you do at your worst") which allows a self-report reconstruction (e.g. "So I confuse things I should not do and things I do worst"). That could also represent the basis for a change of the narrative identity.