Title page for ETD etd-02182005-112655

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Dreckmeier-Meiring, Magrietha Johanna
URN etd-02182005-112655
Document Title Using high ropes courses in individual psychotherapy: A social constructionist approach
Degree MA (Clinical Psychology)
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Mr L Daws Co-Supervisor
Mr L H Human Supervisor
  • context
  • materiality
  • embodiment
  • discursive analysis
  • action
  • discourse
  • Discursive Psychology
  • Social Constructionism
  • individual psychotherapy
  • high ropes course
  • Adventure Therapy
Date 2004-02-17
Availability unrestricted
The application of Adventure Therapy mediums for therapeutic, recreational and team building purposes have become increasingly popular over the past thirty years. These activities take place in a variety of contexts. One such a context that is designed and built with the explicit aim of providing challenging, adventurous activities is the high ropes course. Documented application of Ropes Courses largely consists of group-focussed application and the use of these courses in contexts where the focus is on the individual has been explored to a lesser degree. In this study analysis focuses on the interaction between a therapist and a client during a shared high ropes activity. At the time of the study, participants were also engaged in an individual psychotherapeutic process independent of the study.

The study is informed by a Social Constructionist approach and in particular by Discursive Psychology. The work of members of the Discourse and Rhetoric Group at the University of Loughborough ( in particular that of Potter and Edwards) forms an integral part of the epistemology and methodology applied in this study. In this approach there is a strong emphasis on the accomplishment and management of action in interaction. Discourse is conceptualised as a resource that functions to accomplish action and discursive analysis focuses on the manner in which discursive resources are employed to achieve action in interaction.

Discursive psychologists view the material context as well as embodiment as important contributors to the construction of action. These aspects are particularly relevant in a Ropes course context where physical activity is prominent. A theory of action in interaction proposed by Charles Goodwin informs the current exploration of the contribution of embodiment and materiality to the organisation of action.

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