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Researcher and Therapist: The Conversations of the Qualitative Interview
Unformatted Document Text:  18 Conversation to be the business suit kind of guy, wear expensive Brooks Brothers suits, driving my . . . P: That is the other end of the spectrum. I: The other end of the spectrum for me! [. . .] It was stifling and it wasn’t what I wanted to do because it didn’t have anything to do with people. [. . .] Ever since kindergarten, my teachers have always said, [name of interviewer] is the kind of person who talks too much.” I was always too social. I was always too worried about the person sitting next to me and how they were doing to get my own work done. P: But yet you view yourself as shy. I: I do. P: So, how can one be that social, and yet shy? This sequence of self-disclosure illustrates how the dialog may serve to reverse the initial roles defined in the research process. As the interviewer responds to the participant’s original questions, (“Do you want to be a therapist because it is something you want? Does it offer you some type of comfort level? Have you ever worked in other fields? Were you ever a bartender or a bag boy at Finast?”), he begins to surrender his role of interviewer. The dialog gradually positions the interviewer as the participant, and the participant as the interviewer. As both parties take up their new roles, the interview assumes a conversational tone until the interviewer later regains his role and redirects the dialog. This reversal of roles disrupts the flow of the interview and gathers information about the interviewer rather than about the participant. It prompts a sense of confusion in the interview and causes the interviewer to lose his concentration. Although the

Authors: Kelly, Nancy.
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18
Conversation
to be the business suit kind of guy, wear expensive Brooks Brothers suits, driving
my . . .
P:
That is the other end of the spectrum.
I:
The other end of the spectrum for me! [. . .] It was stifling and it wasn’t what I
wanted to do because it didn’t have anything to do with people. [. . .] Ever since
kindergarten, my teachers have always said, [name of interviewer] is the kind of
person who talks too much.” I was always too social. I was always too worried
about the person sitting next to me and how they were doing to get my own work
done.
P:
But yet you view yourself as shy.
I:
I do.
P:
So, how can one be that social, and yet shy?
This sequence of self-disclosure illustrates how the dialog may serve to reverse the initial
roles defined in the research process. As the interviewer responds to the participant’s original
questions, (“Do you want to be a therapist because it is something you want? Does it offer you
some type of comfort level? Have you ever worked in other fields? Were you ever a bartender or
a bag boy at Finast?”), he begins to surrender his role of interviewer. The dialog gradually
positions the interviewer as the participant, and the participant as the interviewer. As both parties
take up their new roles, the interview assumes a conversational tone until the interviewer later
regains his role and redirects the dialog. This reversal of roles disrupts the flow of the interview
and gathers information about the interviewer rather than about the participant. It prompts a sense
of confusion in the interview and causes the interviewer to lose his concentration. Although the


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