From ‘Talking Cure’ to ‘Bedlam’ : a study of the factors impacting on the construction of UK factual psychotherapy programming 1999 to 2013

Blaker, L 2017, From ‘Talking Cure’ to ‘Bedlam’ : a study of the factors impacting on the construction of UK factual psychotherapy programming 1999 to 2013 , PhD thesis, University of Saford.

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This thesis extends research on UK factual television by investigating programming that has not previously been studied, and by utilising a mixed-method research design that situates textual analysis within broader cultural, professional and industrial contexts. It presents the findings of research into how factual television constructs representations of the psychotherapeutic process. It examines how constructions of the psychotherapeutic process changed during the 2000s; specifically, how established ways of making factual psychotherapy programmes with the cooperation of psychotherapeutic institutions changed during this decade, leading to new kinds of representations of the psychotherapeutic process. The study begins with a consideration of the contextual factors that led to this development. It identifies legislative, industrial, technological and professional developments in UK television, including the emergence of reality television programming, the introduction of new television channels, and the breakdown of traditional production roles and practices. It identifies influential developments within the psychotherapeutic domain, including the rise of cognitive behavioural therapy. This study argues that it is the combination of these factors that led to the psychotherapeutic process becoming more amenable and attractive to programme-makers and audiences. The central section presents the results of detailed textual analysis of the sampled programmes, culminating in case studies that exemplify the phenomenon under study. This analysis identifies how representations of the psychotherapeutic process are constructed differently in programmes that are made without the direct involvement of psychotherapeutic institutions. The findings of this analysis reveal the emergence of new areas of tension, particularly around narrative closure.

The study concludes with an examination of how representations of the psychotherapeutic process have continued to evolve into the 2010s. It argues that while there was a return to programming that utilises the institutional setting, this development continues to reflect the changes that took place within factual psychotherapy programming during the mid-2000s.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: L Blaker
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 09:40
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 09:40

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