|Title||Conversation analysis and psychotherapy process research|
|Editor(s)||Omar C. G. Gelo, Alfred Pritz, Bernd Rieken|
|Tag(s)||Psychotherapy, Medical EMCA, Applied|
|Book title||Psychotherapy Research: Foundations, Process, and Outcome|
Applied conversation analytic research seeks to understand the ways in which conversational practices are modified in order to fulfill institutional aims. Psychotherapy is one such institution, and in recent years, a research literature has developed in which conversation analysis has been applied to psychotherapy interaction. This chapter provides an overview of the five main features of talk-in-interaction of interest in conversation analysis: turn-taking, sequence organization, repair, word selection, and action formation. An extract from psychotherapy interaction is explored in relation to each of these five features of talk. The analytic lens of conversation analysis and its conceptualization of key phenomena are different in many respects to that of traditional psychotherapy research. Moreover, when directed towards psychotherapy, selection of material has been, in the main, in accordance with conversation analytically informed, as opposed to therapy-informed, observations. The result is that conversation analytic research may seem psychologically shallow to the psychotherapy community: too removed from basic assumptions about human subjectivity and mute on questions of experiential change which are likely of interest to therapists. However, this therapy-neutral orientation may be a significant strength in allowing conversation analysis to complement and enhance process research through revealing what psychotherapy may not notice about itself.