McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
conversation analysis, psychotherapy research, change in psychotherapy
The study utilizes conversation analysis to describe changes at the level of talk-in-interaction across four points of time (beginning, middle, late, and ending sessions) in four different psychotherapies: two “successful” psychotherapies and two “unsuccessful” ones, with the author of this study conducting the psychotherapies in each case. The analytic domains, practices, and sequence types of interest were not pre-defined at the outset, though the analysis showed alignment to be of principal interest. Patients whose therapies were “successful” progressively aligned with therapeutic activities over time, with a difference revealed in how quickly this alignment occurred according to the ‘type’ of activity in question: requests for confirmation, formulations, and other activities that proposed understandings that partially modified patients’ talk were regularly aligned with by the mid-point of the trajectory of the patient’s overall psychotherapies; interpretations, reinterpretations, and other proposals of understanding that were displayed as coming from the therapist’s own perspective were modestly aligned with at the “late” period of the patients’ psychotherapies, though the patients continued to display “complex resistance” in response to these actions. Patients whose therapies were “unsuccessful,” in contrast, showed high disalignment throughout their treatments, and the study demonstrates that the therapist—myself—was also implicated in disaligning with the patient’s actions (e.g., storytellings).
Bekkeli, K. (2019). Towards Collaboration: A Comparative, Longitudinal, Conversation Analysis of Change in Talk-in-Interaction in Psychotherapy (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1835