Steve Potter

Talking with a Map: A Cognitive Analytic Approach to Everyday Conversational Awareness


Talking with a Map takes cutting-edge techniques for structuring and navigating conversations out of the therapy room and into everyday life, describing a versatile method that anyone can use to develop better skills, interactions and relationships.



This book explores the interplay between how we talk and how we relate. We learn to relate before we learn to talk, and every conversation depends on making sense of our interactions as much as our language. Conversation has the potential to bring us a deeper and clearer perspective, but we are also capable of getting lost or into a mess.

Tackling this and offering a means to improve conversational skill for those who depend on it (e.g. teachers, nurses, managers) as well as anyone seeking the courage, compassion and curiosity to have better conversations and relationships, Talking with a Map presents a series of simple steps for making word maps of discussions as they develop.

These maps track the hidden patterns in what we say and how we relate to each other while speaking, making visible the links and gaps in our discussions and helping us to achieve a shared understanding of conversations.


STEVE POTTER is a psychotherapist who is teaches and supervises Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and its application to reflective practice in the UK and internationally. His central interest is in the co-creative process of
relational mapping, and how it allows us to see and say things that otherwise might be too complex to hold in mind. He is co-editor of the International Journal of Cognitive Analytic Therapy and Relational Mental Health.


Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

Publication Date: End of June 2022

ISBN: 9781914010866


Table of Contents

Foreword by Elizabeth Wilde McCormack
1: Setting the scene
2: Mapping what we are doing and feeling
3: Mapping roles and relationships
4: Conversational story telling
5: Managing a session of talking with a map
6: Conversational awareness
7: Writing, mapping and voicing words
8: Mara, the mother of tongues
9: Conversational poverty
10: Therapeutic conversations with a map
11: Conversational awareness at work, at school, in love or in the arts
12: Talking politics with a map
13: Conclusion




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