- Thomas Spranz-Fogasy / Eva Graf (Universität Klagenfurt/AUT): Requesting Examples in Psychodiagnostic Interviews: Therapists’ Contribution to the Sequential Co-construction of Clients’ Change.
8th International Conference on Conversation Analysis and Psychotherapy, University of Helsinki (FIN), 8 – 10 June 2016
As part of a larger research project on understanding change in helping professions, this paper investigates into therapists’ requesting examples and their interactional and sequential contribution to clients’ change. Requesting examples by therapists in psychodiagnostic interviews explicitly or implicitly criticize the patient’s prior turn as insufficient, i.e. as unclear, vague, or as too general. Such a request opens a retro-sequence (Schegloff 2007) and in the following provides for a depiction that both helps clarify the semantic vagueness and evinces psychic or relational aspects of the topic at hand. While the patient’s insufficient presentation is initiated by a prior request of the therapist, the patient’s example presentation is regularly followed by the therapist’s summarizing comments or by further requests focusing on the patient’s problem. Requesting examples thus are a particular case of requests that follow ‘expandable responses’ as described by Muntigl & Zabala (2008); they follow the same sequential organization, yet, given that they make examples conditionally relevant, they are more specific. With the help of this sequential organization both participants co-construct elements of common knowledge. Such an ‘interplay of understanding’ (Voutilainen & Peräkylä 2014) allows the therapist to pursue the overall aim of therapy, i.e. to increase the patients’ awareness of their distorted perceptions, and thus to pave the way for change. The data comprises of 16 videotaped first interviews following the manual of the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnostics (OPD Task Force 2008). It was collected in cooperation with the Clinic for General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatic at the University Clinic of Heidelberg.
- Thomas Spranz-Fogasy: Standardization as Chimera – Openings in Psychodiagnostic First Interviews.
14th International Conference on Communication, Medicine, and Ethics (COMET), The Danish Institute of Humanities and Medicine (DIHM) at Aalborg University (DEN), 4 – 6 July 2016
In psychodiagnostic first interviews patient and therapist meet for the first time. Both participants therefore need to establish a base for good collaboration, try to clarify therapeutic concerns and to formulate common goals. A major requirement to achieve this is a successful opening. In first interviews based on the concept of the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis (OPD Task Force 2008) openings should be standardized and neutral and avoid problem-oriented or complaint-oriented provisions. Conversation analytic examination evinces that this is seldom the case and that openings in fact differ in many ways. Different aspects and different numbers of aspects are addressed depending on the patient’s self-introduction on the one side, or on the therapist’s assessment of the patient’s condition on the other side. The paper focuses the initial scenes of such first interviews, analyzes different possibilities of openings, and discusses problems of standardization with regard to general interactional conditions. The data consists of 16 interviews that have been collected in cooperation with the Clinic for General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatic at the Heidelberg University Clinic. The interviews are videotaped and used for research purposes to pursue the concept of the OPD. Literature OPD Task Force (Eds.) (2008). Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis OPD-2. Manual of Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. Bern: Hogrefe.