• Robert L. Russell
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


When Anna O., an early patient of Breuer’s and of considerable concern to Freud, naively labeled her treatment a form of talking cure (Breuer, 1981; Brill, 1972), she correctly anticipated what in popular opinion would be grasped—sometimes for ridicule, sometimes for praise—as an essential feature of psychotherapeutic care. Popular opinion, however, is not alone in attributing a pivotal position to the talk in psychotherapy: in comparison to the behavioral (i. e., proxemic or kinesic) or physiological constituents of psychotherapeutic interaction, the talk which transpires between therapist and client has consistently been in the critical limelight—in psychotherapy research, theory and practice. Today, the idea that a clinician’s talk is instrumental in facilitating client change is as little contested as the idea that clients’ talk can be a helpful indicator of their psychological well-being. The identification of what is said in psychotherapy with what is done in psychotherapy is, thus, a practice of professionals and nonprofessionals alike. Is this consensus in any way justified? How might its evidential base best be discovered? Can such queries, pursued empirically, reasonably hope to render clinical practices more efficacious, and in what ways? These are some of the questions the reader will want to put to the following chapters, each of which presents a distinct approach to the analysis of talk in psychotherapeutic settings.


Speech Sample Content Category Popular Opinion Psychotherapy Research Therapist Talk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Auld, F., Jr. & Murray, E. J. (1955). Content analysis studies of psychotherapy. Psychological Bulletin, 52, 377–395.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Breuer, J. (1981). Case 1: Fraulein Anna O. In J. Breuer & S. Freud, Studies on hysteria (J. Strachey, Ed. & Trans.), pp. 21–47. New York: Basic Books. (Originally published in 1893).Google Scholar
  3. Breuer, J. & Freud, S. (1981). Studies on hysteria (J. Strachey, Ed. & Trans.) New York: Basic Books. Originally published in 1893).Google Scholar
  4. Brill, A. A. (1972). Basic principles of psycho-analysis. New York: Washington Square Press.Google Scholar
  5. Chafe, W. S. (1970). Meaning and structure in language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cook, W. A. (1979). Core grammar: development of the matrix model (1970–1978). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Forrester, J. (1980). Language and the origins of psychoanalysis. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Frank, J. (1961). On the history of the objective investigation of the process of psycho-therapy, Journal of Psychology, 15, 89–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kiesler, D. J. (1966). Some myths of psychotherapy research and the search for a paradigm. Psychological Bulletin, 65, 110–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kiesler, D. J. (1973). The process of psychotherapy. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  11. Labov, W. & Fanshel, D. (1977). Therapeutic discourse: psychotherapy as conversation. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. MacCabe, C. (1981). The talking cure: essays in psychoanalysis. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  13. Marsden, G. (1965). Content analysis studies of therapeutic interviews: 1954 to 1964. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 298–321.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Marsden, G. (1971). Content analysis studies of psychotherapy: 1954–1968. In A. E. Bergin & S. L. Garfield (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Rogers, C. R. (1942). The use of electrically recorded interviews in improving psycho-therapeutic techniques. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 12, 429–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Russell, R. L. (1986). The inadvisability of admixing psychoanalysis with other forms of psychotherapy, Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 16, 76–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Russell, R. L. & Stiles, W. B. (1979). Categories for classifying language in psychotherapy. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 404–419.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Smith, J. H. (Ed.). (1978). Psychoanalysis and language: Psychiatry and the humanities (Volume 3). New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Stiles, W. B. (1979). Verbal response modes and psychotherapeutic technique. Psychiatry, 42, 49–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Strupp, H. H. (1973). Foreword. In D. J. Kiesler (Ed.), The process of psychotherapy. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations