The Evolution of Communicative Intentions During Change Episodes and Throughout the Therapeutic Process

Submitted: July 10, 2012
Accepted: December 28, 2012
Published: February 17, 2013
Abstract Views: 1127
PDF: 873
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The present study examines the heterogeneity of the therapeutic process through the analysis of the conversation between therapists and clients in psychotherapy. The Communicative Intentions dimension of the Therapeutic Activity Coding Sys-tem (TACS) was applied to 69 change episodes taken from 100 sessions that belong to five brief psychotherapies. Depending on what the participants are trying to achieve with their communication, the TACS distinguishes three types of Communicative Intentions: Exploring, Attuning, and Resignifying. Client and therapist verbalizations corresponding to these categories were analysed searching for differences between (a) both speakers, (b) initial, middle and final change episode stages, and (c) initial, middle and final phases of the whole therapeutic process. Results indicate that, in general, therapists resignify and attune more frequently, while clients explore more often. The analysis of Communicative Intentions within change episodes and during the whole therapeutic process reveals that there is an evolution in both: Even small therapy segments, as change episodes are, show that the process is not homogeneous, since in initial stages, the use of Exploring is more frequent than the use of Resignifying, especially for clients, while during the end of the episode clients and therapists increase their use of Resignify-ing. The analysis of the whole process confirms that Resignifying surpasses the use of Exploring in the final phases of therapy.

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Dagnino, P., Krause, M., Pérez, C., Valdès, N., & Tomicic, A. (2013). The Evolution of Communicative Intentions During Change Episodes and Throughout the Therapeutic Process. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 15(2), 75–86. https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2012.107

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