Independent of theoretical orientation therapies of all kind are talk-in-interaction. Influential overall conceptualizations (as e.g. intervention) belong to a certain model of medicalizing the psychotherapeutic endeavor. Talk-in-interaction is the base for applying Conversation Analysis (CA) in psychotherapeutic process research. CA is a powerful tool originating from social science taking data, hypotheses and theories from careful observing in a similar way as infant observers did. The common discovery is that conversation precedes language. Some features of infantile proto-conversation survive in adult life. CA has directed careful attention to processes like turn-taking, repair, conditional relevances, etc. in observing the rules of interaction. However, in studying psychotherapy process turn-by-turn analysis alone does not suffice. It can be completed by a new model of common ground activities and package-by-package analysis turning attention to new objects of observation in therapeutic conversation (allusions, metaphorical framing activities). We propose a methodology for both kinds of analyses based on transcribed examples from the CEMPP-Project. This exploratory designed project (Conversation analysis of empathy in Psychotherapy Process; supported by the Köhler Foundation, Germany) compared psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral treatments in five dyads each taking transcribed sessions from the beginning, the middle phase and the end; our database includes 45 transcribed sessions.
Conversation analysis; Psychotherapy process; Analysis of metaphors; Allusion; Empathy