Some Call it Love: Exploring Norwegian Systemic Couple Therapists' Discourses of Love, Intimacy and Sexuality

Prof Doc Thesis

Øfsti, Anne Kyong Sook 2008. Some Call it Love: Exploring Norwegian Systemic Couple Therapists' Discourses of Love, Intimacy and Sexuality. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsØfsti, Anne Kyong Sook
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This thesis is a qualitative study based on interviews and video material, of five therapists
conducting couple therapy. Norwegian systemic couple therapists' discourses about love and
intimate relationships have been explored with the aim of shedding light on couple therapy as
a professional field in which discourses about love, sexuality and intimate relationship are
drawn on, exchanged and negotiated. The method of analysis is discourse analysis, and
poststructuralist theory has informed the design and underpinned my epistemological stance.
A main issue has been to explore how systemic couple therapists occupy a position of power
as clients' expectations of them as professionals are linked to notions of objective knowledge.
This is simultaneously a challenge because most couple therapy issues are discursive. I have
looked specifically at how a discursive dynamic has unfolded in couple therapy and how
dominant discourses of love, as for instance 'the romantic,' stabilize and reproduce
heteronormativity. This analysis is intended to provide new insight into the field of systemic
couple therapy practice in relation to the importance of self-reflexivity. The limitations of the
study are discussed, reflexivity issues are explored and ideas for further research are
proposed. The implications of the study for therapeutic work with couples and training of
couple therapists has been elaborated.

Publication dates
PrintMay 2008
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Jul 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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