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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.400
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.750

CiteScore 2018: 0.61

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.305
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.670

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Volume 28, Issue 3


Different place, different action: Clients' personal narratives in psychotherapy

Fabrizio Bercelli / Federico Rossano / Maurizio Viaro
Published Online: 2008-05-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.014


This paper deals with clients' personal narratives in psychotherapy. Using the method of conversation analysis, we focus on actions and tasks accomplished through clients' narratives. We identify, within the overall structural organization of therapeutic talk in our corpus, two different sequential placements of clients' narratives and describe some of their distinctive features. When they are placed within an inquiry phase of the session and are solicited by therapists' questions, the clients' narratives mainly provide information for therapists in the service of their inquiring agenda. When placed within an elaboration phase of the session, personal narratives are regularly volunteered by clients and produced as responses to therapists' reinterpretations, i.e., statements working up clients' circumstances as previously described by clients. In this latter placement, they mainly offer further evidence relevant to the therapists' reinterpretations, and thus show how clients understand therapists' reinterpretations and what they make of them. The import of these findings, for both an explication of therapeutic techniques and a better understanding of the therapeutic process, is also discussed.

Keywords:: conversation analysis; psychotherapy; therapeutic interaction; personal narrative; sequential organization

About the article

Dipartimento di Discipline della Comunicazione, Università di Bologna, via Azzo Gardino 23, 40122 Bologna, Italy.

Published Online: 2008-05-27

Published in Print: 2008-05-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 28, Issue 3, Pages 283–305, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.014.

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