Negotiating Post-Consultation ‘Homework’ Tasks Between Counselors and Clients

  • Tom StrongEmail author
  • Helen F. Massfeller
Original Article


Counselors frequently conclude consultations with clients with suggestions or prescriptions for clients to follow up on, post-consultation. In this paper, we conceptualize the discussion regarding such post-consultation tasks as negotiations between counselor and client, focusing in particular on what observably occurs and is ‘talked into being’ in those negotiations. Using conversation analysis we examined 12 passages of dialogue wherein counselors and clients concluded a single session consultation by negotiating some ‘homework’ task. Our micro-analyses of three of these homework dialogues shows conversational practices used in negotiating them. We also invited participants in those dialogues to comment independently on their videotaped participation in them. We conclude by relating our findings to training and other considerations where homework dialogues and homework adherence can be a concern.


Counseling Homework Conversational analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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