Loughborough University
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'What d'you think?': a discursive analyis of psychology in therapy talk

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posted on 2011-01-10, 11:46 authored by Nikki Parker
This thesis is an investigation of talk in a therapeutic setting. It takes discursive psychology as the main influence theoretically, and also draws on the rigorous analytical techniques of conversation analysis (CA). The data was collected in various family therapy settings in the U.K., both residential and non-residential videotapes made during those sessions These recordings were made by therapists for their own use initially, and were not produced especially for this project. Videotapes were transcribed according to standard CA conventions, and subsequently analysed. One of the primary research questions has been to examine empirically mental state language as used in the therapeutic setting. Secondly, it has been to examine accounting practices and the production of versions of events as 'fact'. Thirdly, the aim has been to consider the practical implications of asymmetry as a participants' concern. As a unifying and over-arching analytic interest the use of reported speech in each of these other aspects has been investigated to assess its role in their production. The conclusions of the thesis demonstrate that participants themselves orient to one another's minds as accessible and reportable entities, and that speech is treated as reflective of inner thought. Furthermore, where speech is reported in the therapeutic setting, it is frequently used to validate and to evidence claims about other people's 'psyche'.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Nikki Parker

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en