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“And I suddenly thought”: ‘On-topic’ topic-markers as devices for reformulations in psychotherapeutic interactions

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Abstract:

This paper provides an ethnomethodologically grounded account of how mental predicates and psychological terms feature in-and-as the doing of psychotherapeutic work. Drawing from an early unpublished formulation by Harvey Sacks concerning the manner in which speakers may come to ‘just have a thought’, and published findings detailing preference organisation with regard to storytelling (that the telling of a first story often invites the telling of a second story) and self-disclosure (that an initial self-disclosure can invite a second), the paper examines how utterances such as ‘I suddenly thought’ might feature in psychotherapeutic interactions. Drawing from a corpus of audio recordings of psychotherapy sessions, I demonstrate that the work of such utterances is anything but to referentially index some kinds of hidden cognitive, psychological mental states or processes. Rather, such utterances can work as extended ‘on topic’ topic markers, and when embedded in a therapist produced, self-disclosive story, can work prospectively to configure future therapeutic talk. I show how this features as an important component of the ordinary work practices that clinicians and psychotherapists engage with, and how this might yield additional insights relating to how the work of therapy gets done.

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thought (55), stori (51), phil (41), line (29), extract (28), interact (25), e.g (25), one (24), work (23), mike (21), might (21), provid (21), psycholog (20), therapist (20), involv (19), sack (19), self (19), 3 (18), 1 (18), sudden (17), client (16),

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ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, psychotherapy, psychology, clinical psychology, mental health
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p241898_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bysouth, Don. "“And I suddenly thought”: ‘On-topic’ topic-markers as devices for reformulations in psychotherapeutic interactions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, Jul 31, 2008 <Not Available>. 2014-12-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p241898_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bysouth, D. , 2008-07-31 "“And I suddenly thought”: ‘On-topic’ topic-markers as devices for reformulations in psychotherapeutic interactions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-12-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p241898_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper provides an ethnomethodologically grounded account of how mental predicates and psychological terms feature in-and-as the doing of psychotherapeutic work. Drawing from an early unpublished formulation by Harvey Sacks concerning the manner in which speakers may come to ‘just have a thought’, and published findings detailing preference organisation with regard to storytelling (that the telling of a first story often invites the telling of a second story) and self-disclosure (that an initial self-disclosure can invite a second), the paper examines how utterances such as ‘I suddenly thought’ might feature in psychotherapeutic interactions. Drawing from a corpus of audio recordings of psychotherapy sessions, I demonstrate that the work of such utterances is anything but to referentially index some kinds of hidden cognitive, psychological mental states or processes. Rather, such utterances can work as extended ‘on topic’ topic markers, and when embedded in a therapist produced, self-disclosive story, can work prospectively to configure future therapeutic talk. I show how this features as an important component of the ordinary work practices that clinicians and psychotherapists engage with, and how this might yield additional insights relating to how the work of therapy gets done.


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