Client Attitudinal Stance and Therapist-Client Affiliation: A View from Grammar and Social Interaction

Submitted: September 1, 2012
Accepted: December 17, 2012
Published: February 17, 2013
Abstract Views: 1149
PDF: 700
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Although it is widely acknowledged in psychotherapy research that the de-velopment and maintenance of positive relational bonds are central to the therapeutic process, the ways that therapists and clients become affiliated through discourse and interaction has not received very much attention. Taking up this concern from a conversation analytic perspective, this paper explores how therapists and clients negotiate affiliation around clients’ affective and evaluative talk or attitudinal stance. In order to illustrate the application of our method, we have chosen to analyze audio- and video-recordings of two clinically relevant interactional contexts in which client stance constructions frequently occur: (1) client narratives; (2) client disagreements with therapists. We show that therapist responses to client attitudinal stances play an important role not only in securing affiliation and positive relational bonds with clients, but also in moving the interaction in a therapeutically relevant direction.



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Supporting Agencies

standard research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (410-2009-0549)

How to Cite

Muntigl, P., Knight, N., Horvath, A. O., & Watkins, A. (2013). Client Attitudinal Stance and Therapist-Client Affiliation: A View from Grammar and Social Interaction. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 15(2), 117–130.

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