A discursive study of therapy talk : the collaborative approach to therapy
The main goal of this thesis is to describe what happens in the collaborative approach to therapy from a conversation and discursive analytical perspective. The data we worked with are part of collaborative therapy sessions in Mexican Spanish Dialect. Chapter 1 is an introduction to two of the main social constructionist approaches to therapy, the `reflecting team approach' and the `collaborative approach' to therapy. This sets out the theoretical environment in which the therapy was done. Chapter 2 is a review of the state of the art in conversation and discourse studies on therapy talk and related fields, illustrating the type of analysis done up to now. Chapter 3 describes aspects of Mexican population that were part of the context in which the data originated; some notes on translation issues are included here. Chapter 4 is the first analytic chapter and it describes the dynamics in conversation of the English particle `okay' as found in Spanish therapeutic interaction. It shows both the work okay is doing when found in the therapists' discourse and what it is doing when found in the clients' discourse. Chapter 5 presents the analysis of instances of informality that were found in the data, arguing that aspects of an `egalitarian therapeutic stance' can be displayed in the participants' talk. Chapter 6 is a study on questions and therapy, more specifically it shows the questions that can be asked by the clients in therapy talk and the conversational job this is doing. Chapter 7 is an example of research done when taking as a starting point a category that is relevant for therapy and counselling: active listening. In reading through this thesis, the reader will find aspects of the therapeutic approach as displayed in talk. Examples of this are the displays in talk of the philosophical stance, such as being egalitarian in an institutional setting. Besides describing how theoretical assumptions can be displayed in talk, this work describes in detail several aspects of therapy talk.