Olga Sutherland

Therapeutic Collaboration: Conversation Analysis of Couple Therapy

by Olga Sutherland, M.A.
The University of Calgary
July, 2008

The research of this dissertation is grounded on the assumption that change in counselling is afforded by the conversational interactions of therapists and clients. I approach interaction micro-dynamically, highlighting conversational devices and practices used by the co-participants to collaborate or to develop mutually acceptable interaction in therapy. Drawing on the tradition of discursive research, notably discursive psychology and conversation analysis, I examine how collaborative construction of interaction was accomplished in one session of couple therapy. I conclude the dissertation by discussing the results of this study in light of existent literature and by specifying the study’s limitations and implications for future research and theory development.