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The Value of Using Discourse and Conversation Analysis as Evidence to Inform Practice in Counselling and Therapeutic Interactions

  • Nikki Kiyimba
  • Michelle O’Reilly
Chapter

Abstract

The evolution of both discourse analysis and conversation analysis (henceforth DA and CA, respectively) has been a progressive movement from their inception as an inductive focus and unmotivated interest in how language works and what it accomplishes. From their early beginnings, quite sophisticated structures and frameworks have been developed to understand how people use language in interactions to accomplish social actions. With this framework in place, more latterly attention has turned towards the possibility of how these principles might be usefully applied to different settings (we refer you to Chapter 1 of this volume — Lester & O’Reilly — for a good overview). With this second wave characterised by a greater focus on the real-world usefulness of CA and DA findings, there is an exciting opportunity for researchers using these methodologies to interrogate the nuances of institutional interactions in order to make recommendations for changes in practice. This chapter is situated within this cutting-edge movement, which is transposing the scientific rigour and credibility of CA and DA findings into real-world applied settings and evidence-based practice (see, e.g. Kiyimba, Chapter 2, this volume). In our contemporary culture, a primary concern for practitioners across a range of institutional contexts, and particularly within therapy and counselling, is to work within evidence-based models of care and demonstrate efficacy and cost-effectiveness of interventions. We therefore seek to demonstrate that both DA and CA have a great deal to offer the evidence base in this field. It is thus extremely timely and salient for this discussion to take place in a handbook such as this one.

Keywords

Mental Health Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Family Therapy Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Child Mental Health 
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.

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Recommended reading

  1. • Drew, P., Chatwin, J., & Collins, S. (2001). Conversation analysis: A method for research into interactions between patients and health-care professionals. Health Expectations, 4(1), 58–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. • Kiyimba, N. (2015). The value of discourse analysis: A clinical psychologist’s view. In M. O’Reilly & J. N. Lester (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of child mental health (pp. 42–58). Basingstoke: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  3. • O’Reilly, M., & Kiyimba, N. (2015). Advanced qualitative research: A guide to contemporary theoretical debates. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. • Spong, S. (2010). Discourse analysis: Rich pickings for counsellors and therapists. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 10(1), 67–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. • Strong, T, Busch, R., & Couture, S. (2008). Conversational evidence in therapeutic dialogue. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34(3), 388–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. • Tseliou, E. (2013). A critical methodological review of discourse and conversation analysis studies of family therapy. Family Process, 52(4), 653–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Nikki Kiyimba and Michelle O’Reilly 2016

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  • Nikki Kiyimba
  • Michelle O’Reilly

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