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The Alliance as a Discursive Achievement: A Conversation Analytical Perspective

  • Adam O. Horvath
  • Peter Muntigl
Chapter
Part of the The Language of Mental Health book series (TLMH)

Abstract

We show how the working relationship between therapist and client can be realized, maintained, and, if necessary, repaired discursively. Therapists come to each session with intentions rooted in theoretical premises and clinical experiences, but the clinical praxis, the unfolding of therapy itself, involves interactive and sequential responsiveness. Our project involves the use of the conceptual and methodological resources of Conversational Analysis to systematically explicate how different aspects of the relationship between therapist and client and among the clients themselves are managed discursively. As an example of how such approach can serve to better understand the development of the alliance and the achievement of therapeutic change, we provide an analysis of a family therapy consultation by Dr. S. Minuchin and two clients. Methodological and clinical implications of our work are provided.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam O. Horvath
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Muntigl
    • 1
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.University CatolicaSantiagoChile

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