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Researcher and Therapist: The Conversations of the Qualitative Interview
Unformatted Document Text:  14 Conversation P: I think it goes back to their original parenting. Some people start out, I mean everybody starts out as a child, but children grow into adults who are still seeking approval. It depends on how they are parented and how they learn to solve problems and how they learn to express themselves when they are hurt, or angry, or whether they were taught to suppress things and not to make a scene or be noticed. I think it depends on a lot of different things. I know you certainly have the choice when you come into adulthood to find those skills for yourself. It depends on the input that you had before if you are able to access those skills or not. This exemplar is interesting both for what is does and what it does not do. The participant offers a lengthy response to the interviewer’s query about work. (“How does work fit into lesbian identity?”). This response contains both positive (“For me personally, I have had great experience with work and being who I am. I haven’t had to pretend that I am someone that I am not.”) and negative (“But I can come home and have to deal with the exact opposite situation if one of her co-workers called or comes by or something and it makes me angry.”) elements of the participant’s experience. Rather than recognize the negative elements of the participant’s experience, the interviewer utilizes a reflective strategy to align with the positive aspects of the utterances (“It sounds like you don’t think that being gay or lesbian is bad.”) and positions the participant as someone who has been able to interact positively with the environment (“What makes this easier for you than someone else?”). The interviewer offers this image through a seamless implementation of reflective listening (“It sounds like you have had all the experiences that the other people have gone through.”) and probing questions (“What is the difference? What makes

Authors: Kelly, Nancy.
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background image
14
Conversation
P:
I think it goes back to their original parenting. Some people start out, I mean
everybody starts out as a child, but children grow into adults who are still seeking
approval. It depends on how they are parented and how they learn to solve
problems and how they learn to express themselves when they are hurt, or angry,
or whether they were taught to suppress things and not to make a scene or be
noticed. I think it depends on a lot of different things. I know you certainly have
the choice when you come into adulthood to find those skills for yourself. It
depends on the input that you had before if you are able to access those skills or
not.
This exemplar is interesting both for what is does and what it does not do. The participant
offers a lengthy response to the interviewer’s query about work. (“How does work fit into lesbian
identity?”). This response contains both positive (“For me personally, I have had great experience
with work and being who I am. I haven’t had to pretend that I am someone that I am not.”) and
negative (“But I can come home and have to deal with the exact opposite situation if one of her
co-workers called or comes by or something and it makes me angry.”) elements of the
participant’s experience.
Rather than recognize the negative elements of the participant’s experience, the
interviewer utilizes a reflective strategy to align with the positive aspects of the utterances (“It
sounds like you don’t think that being gay or lesbian is bad.”) and positions the participant as
someone who has been able to interact positively with the environment (“What makes this easier
for you than someone else?”). The interviewer offers this image through a seamless
implementation of reflective listening (“It sounds like you have had all the experiences that the
other people have gone through.”) and probing questions (“What is the difference? What makes


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