A review of conversational practices in psychotherapy
Conversation Analysis and Psychotherapy
The aim of this chapter is to present a systematic overview of some of the research results presented in this book. An overview like this cannot cover all that was important in the preceding chapters, but it will bring out something from each. We present the key results in Table 11 .1. We then unpack the contents of the table, and, by setting them against earlier conversation analytic research on psychotherapy, set the contributions of this book in context. In order to summarize the research
... ize the research findings in a meaningful way, we have had to choose one analytic dimension from which to consider them. We have chosen one that is the cornerstone of all conversation analytic research: sequence organization (see Schegloff, 2007). We have chosen, from the wealth of material in each chapter, to emphasize what we learn about the ways in which the utterances of one participant are linked to utterances of the other(s) in the interaction. The apparently simple conjunction of one person's utterance with another's is a site at which many therapy-relevant phenomena happen. There are two distinctions that we have made in organizing the research results of the book on the basis of the conjunction of utterances. One is the distinction between initiatory and responsive actions. An initiatory action is one that calls for, or makes relevant, a response from the co-participants. Responsive action is, of course, such a response. As Schegloff (2007) amply demonstrates, the organization of talk-in-interaction is not exhausted by initiations and responses but is far more complex . Many actions that have been analysed in the chapters of this book are, in fact, both initiatory and responsive: they occupy the initiatory position with regard to one thing and are in a responsive position with regard to something else. However, for the purposes of this summary, we will stick to the basic differentiation between initiation and response. The other distinction that has helped us to organize the material in the preceding chapters involves what therapy is about more directly, i.e.