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Requesting examples in psychodiagnostic interviews: Therapists’ contribution to the sequential co-construction of clients’ change

  • As part of a larger research paradigm on understanding client change in the helping professions from an interprofessional perspective, this paper applies a conversation analytic approach to investigate therapists’ requesting examples (REs) and their interactional and sequential contribution to clients’ change during the diagnostic evaluation process. The analyzed data comprises 15 videotaped intake interviews that followed the system of Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis. Therapists’ requesting examples in psychodiagnostic interviews explicitly or implicitly criticize the patient’s prior turn as insufficient. They also open a retro-sequence and in the following turns provide for a description that helps clarify meaning and evince psychic or relational aspects of the topic at hand. While the therapist’s prior request initiates the patient’s insufficient presentation, the patient’s example presentation is regularly followed by the therapist’s summarizing comments or by further requests. Requesting examples thus are a particular case of requests that follow expandable responses regarding the sequential organization; yet, given that they make examples conditionally relevant, they are more specific. With the help of this sequential organization, participants co-construct common knowledge which allows the therapist to pursue the overall aim of therapy, which is to increase the patients’ awareness of their distorted perceptions, and thus to pave the way for change.

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Author:Thomas Spranz-Fogasy, Eva-Maria Graf, Johannes C. Ehrenthal, Christoph Nikendei
Parent Title (English):Communication & Medicine. Special Issue: Understanding Change in Psychotherapy
Place of publication:Sheffield
Editor:Joanna Pawelczyk, Eva-Maria Graf
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2020
Date of Publication (online):2020/09/16
Tag:Change; operationalized psychodynamic diagnosis; requesting examples; sequentiality
GND Keyword:Gesprächsforschung; Psychologische Diagnostik; Psychotherapie
First Page:129
Last Page:141
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Gesprächsforschung / Gesprochene Sprache
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG