Using Discourse and Conversation Analysis to Study Clinical Practice in Adult Mental Health

  • Nikki Kiyimba


The discipline of clinical psychology has emerged from a largely positivist approach to understanding human behaviour (Kiyimba, 2015), and applied research for clinical psychologists has, for the most part, followed the quantitative tradition. Psychology, in the wider sense, historically positioned itself within the sciences, and as such the quantitative approach to measuring phenomena has tended to predominate (Peters, 2010). Thus, the move towards using qualitative approaches within psychological research has been relatively recent, despite the rich pedigree of this paradigm (Howitt, 2010). One of the aspects of this new appreciation of qualitative research has been an acknowledgement of the important role that understanding the processes in therapeutic encounters plays. This line of enquiry has facilitated an integration of the scientific ideals of good-quality research with actual clinical practice (Rhodes, 2011).


Mental Health Psychological Therapy Mental Health Setting Conversation Analysis Therapeutic Change 
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. • Antaki, C, & Jahoda, A. (2009). Psychotherapists’ practices in keeping a session ‘on-track’ in the face of clients ‘off-track’ talk. Communication & Medicine, 7(1), 11–21.Google Scholar
  2. • Lester, J., and O’Reilly, M. (2015). Is evidence-based practice a threat to the progress of the qualitative community? Arguments from the bottom of the pyramid. [Special issue; 20th Anniversary edition] Qualitative Inquiry, 21(7), 628–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. • Martinez, C, Tomicic, A., & Medina, L. (2012). Dialogic discourse analysis of psychotherapeutic dialogue: Microanalysis of relevant psychotherapy episodes. International Journal for Dialogical Science, 6(1), 99–121.Google Scholar

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© Nikki Kiyimba 2016

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  • Nikki Kiyimba

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