Chapter 4, Literature There is neither a first nor a last word and there are no limits to the dialogical context (it extends into the boundless past and the boundless future). Even past meanings, that is, can never be stable, finalized, ended once and for all – They will always change (be renewed) in the process of subsequent , development of the dialogue. Bakhtin, 1984
Having an interest in the relationship between listening on the part of the therapist and the client’s feeling of being heard and a possible emergence of new ‘voices’, I will focus on the dialogue between client and therapist. I thought of the literature in terms of establishing a voice-resource-bank, by which I mean a use of the theory presented here as a background for my reflections during the research process, described in Chapter 7, Action Process.
4.1. Voice-resource-bank Through the review of the literature I will shed light on how listening has been punctuated through the history of psychotherapy. After that I shall emphasize a kind of approach that I have called dialogical. Bakhtin’s (1981, 1984, 1986) ideas about how we live in and understand the world through the dialogue have been of major importance, informing and inspiring me in my curious search for more understanding of the role of listening in relationships among people. In addition I have strongly appreciated the ideas of Mead (1934), Wittgenstein (1953), Vygotsky (1985), Voloshinov (1994), Billig (1996, 1999) and Shotter (1993, 1999, 2004, 2004a). I have also been inspired by the writings of experienced therapists like Anderson & Goolishian (1988, 1992), Andersen (1992, 1994, 1996), Seikkula & Olson (2003) Roth (1999) and Weingarten (1992, 1998). By looking into the many facets of the dialogue I hope to show how such knowledge can create a thicker understanding of what happens between people, on many levels, in our communication, and the role of listening in this context. This is about how meaning is created, in our thoughts, between individuals and in our social world in a wider sense.
4.2. History Historically listening has had a firm status in what people has experienced as healing. 17
Dialogical Action Research - About therapeutic listening, creating space for voices to emerge and to be heard