The Recording Cure: A Media Genealogy of Recorded Voice in Psychotherapy

Hadar Levy-Landesberg*, Amit Pinchevski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the relationship between psychotherapy and sound reproduction technologies from the early 20th century to the present. Subscribing to a media genealogy approach, it traces the changing status of the recorded voice in therapy as set against broader transformations in the field of mental health. Delving into the recorded voice’s diverse applications across psychotherapeutic approaches, it demonstrates how technology worked to unravel the temporal and spatial formations of the therapeutic setting, thereby unsettling established hierarchies, terminologies, and techniques while at the same time supporting the integrity of the therapeutic situation. The article points to sound media’s capacity to bifurcate the voice into somatic and expressive elements and reassemble them in various configurations, thereby producing the ‘psyche’ through alternative access points. The story of the recorded voice in therapy provides a glimpse into the way technological affordances inform therapeutic concepts and practices, which in turn implement technology in study, training, and treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)125-146
Number of pages22
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • datafication
  • media genealogy
  • psychotherapy
  • self
  • sound
  • sound recording
  • voice


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