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How professionals deal with clients' explicit objections to their advice

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2022, 14:05 authored by Steven Bloch, Charles Antaki

Previous literature on advice-resistance in medicine and welfare has tended to focus on patients’ or callers’ inexplicit resistance (minimal responses, silence and so on). But clients also raise explicit objections, which put up a firmer barrier against the advisor’s efforts. In a novel look at resistance, we show that one important distinction among objections is their epistemic domain: whether the client’s objection is in their own world (e.g. experiencing pain), or in the world of the practitioner (e.g. difficulties in making appointments). We show that the practitioner may try to manoeuvre the objection onto grounds where their own expertise will win the day, in five ways: conceding the objection’s validity as a preface to moving on; proposing a ‘work-around’ that effectively repeats the original advice; selecting an aspect of it that could be remediated; correcting the client’s understanding of the challenges of the advice; and stressing the urgency of the original course of action. We discuss the distinction between objections to solicited and unsolicited advice, and the role of objections in revealing, and affirming, a service-user’s personal life-world contingencies.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

Discourse Studies

Volume

24

Issue

4

Pages

385 - 403

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by SAGE Publications under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Acceptance date

18/11/2021

Publication date

2022-07-13

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

1461-4456

eISSN

1461-7080

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Charles Antaki. Deposit date: 18 November 2021