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‘Beating the Blues’: A critical discourse analysis of a computerised CBT program for depression and anxiety

Bell, Bethany (2013) ‘Beating the Blues’: A critical discourse analysis of a computerised CBT program for depression and anxiety. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous research regarding CBT has focused primarily of the clinical efficacy of treatment, and paid little attention to the ideological practices underpinning the therapy itself. This research aims to contribute to the minimal literature on computerised CBT, and specifically provide insights into the discursive features of the therapy. Critical discourse analysis is used to identify discourses of power, ideology and social practice within the text. A three-staged procedure outlined by Fairclough is adopted for the analysis of three sessions from the program Beating the Blues, which is designed for clients with mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The procedural stages include description, interpretation and explanation of formal features and their connectivity to social phenomena. The relationship between text and social structures is mediated by the researcher’s subjective interpretative procedures. Therefore, a reflexivity is included in the report. Discourses of aggression, criminality, and consumerism are interpreted from the data, and related to wider social practices of capitalism, social control, and consumer ideologies.

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