ABSTRACT

There are four main ways in which language use enters into ‘mental health’ once we understand that language (both talking and thinking) arise externally in our social and discursive worlds. First, language uses arise from difficult-to-see social contexts, so people often behave in non-useful ways when dealing with their problems through language. Second, therapists primarily use language to intervene. Third, talking in bad situations often gets punished because of the first point, and so these discourses become thought rather than said out loud. Finally, we primarily solve problems and change our worlds through other people via talking. The first historical approach in modern therapy was to try and get the person to say their hidden thoughts out loud, with many believing that this alone would change things or produce a ‘cure’. There are many effects of praying and many ways of doing praying. There is a really interesting Quaker tradition of listening to our ‘voices’ and working with those voices.