Working with dialogical self in psychotherapy

Authored by: Agnieszka A. Konopka , Wim van Beers

Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory and Psychotherapy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138503670
eBook ISBN: 9781315145693
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Compositionwork (Hermans, 2014; Konopka & van Beers, 2014) is a contemplative-artistic method of work with identity and emotions, used in therapy, counseling, coaching, and training. It is based on Dialogical Self Theory (DST) (Hermans, 2003; Hermans & Hermans-Konopka, 2010), as a creative way of working with the landscape of mind populated by the multiplicity of I-positions. The method is also inspired by contemplative traditions, especially the tradition of Japanese Zen gardens (Berthier & Parkes, 2000). The contemplative aspect encourages an attitude of openness and receptivity to the multiplicity of self as it emerges in one’s experience. The artistic aspect is a process of expressing and shaping this plurality in a creative form, within which different elements are composed. Emphasized in contemplative traditions, and later on in Gestalt therapy (Perls, Hefferline, & Goodman, 1951), the present moment oriented, receptive attitude comes together here with acknowledging an agentic role in creating one’s experience, as in constructivist perspective (Neimeyer, 2009). Taking into account the important role of emotions in self organization and change (Greenberg, 2011), the method also incorporates some recent developments in the psychology of emotions as presented in emotion-focused therapy and the dialogical view on emotions, as part of DST.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.