The main goal of this thesis is to describe what happens in the collaborative
approach to therapy from a conversation and discursive analytical perspective.
The data we worked with are part of collaborative therapy sessions in Mexican
Spanish Dialect. Chapter 1 is an introduction to two of the main social
constructionist approaches to therapy, the `reflecting team approach' and the
`collaborative approach' to therapy. This sets out the theoretical environment in
which the therapy was done. Chapter 2 is a review of the state of the art in
conversation and discourse studies on therapy talk and related fields, illustrating
the type of analysis done up to now. Chapter 3 describes aspects of Mexican
population that were part of the context in which the data originated; some notes
on translation issues are included here. Chapter 4 is the first analytic chapter and
it describes the dynamics in conversation of the English particle `okay' as found
in Spanish therapeutic interaction. It shows both the work okay is doing when
found in the therapists' discourse and what it is doing when found in the clients'
discourse. Chapter 5 presents the analysis of instances of informality that were
found in the data, arguing that aspects of an `egalitarian therapeutic stance' can
be displayed in the participants' talk. Chapter 6 is a study on questions and
therapy, more specifically it shows the questions that can be asked by the clients
in therapy talk and the conversational job this is doing. Chapter 7 is an example
of research done when taking as a starting point a category that is relevant for
therapy and counselling: active listening. In reading through this thesis, the
reader will find aspects of the therapeutic approach as displayed in talk.
Examples of this are the displays in talk of the philosophical stance, such as
being egalitarian in an institutional setting. Besides describing how theoretical
assumptions can be displayed in talk, this work describes in detail several aspects
of therapy talk.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.