Prosody and empathic communication in psychotherapy interaction

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/152613

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Weiste , E & Peräkylä , A 2014 , ' Prosody and empathic communication in psychotherapy interaction ' , Psychotherapy Research , vol. 24 , no. 6 , pp. 687-701 . https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2013.879619

Title: Prosody and empathic communication in psychotherapy interaction
Author: Weiste, Elina; Peräkylä, Anssi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies
University of Helsinki, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies
Date: 2014
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: Psychotherapy Research
ISSN: 1050-3307
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/152613
Abstract: Objective: To investigate the prosodic aspects of therapists’ empathic communication. Method: 70 audio-recorded sessions of cognitive psychotherapy and psychoanalysis were analysed using conversation analysis. Results: Two interactional trajectories where the therapists either validated the clients’ emotions or challenged them were identified. The difference between these trajectories was not evident in the lexical composition of the therapists’ formulations that initiated the trajectory. However, the prosodic features of the formulation already anticipated the direction of the trajectory. The formulations leading up to the validating trajectory were characterized by prosodic continuity and formulations leading up to the challenging trajectory by prosodic disjuncture. The choice between continuous and disjunctive prosody was a key resource for therapists in the construction of formulations as either validating or challenging. Conclusions: The present article emphasizes the relational aspects of psychotherapy communication by considering the prosodic features of the therapist’s talk in relation to the prosody of the client.
Subject: 515 Psychology
emotion in therapy
emotion in therapy; psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy
qualitative research methods
conversation analysis
prosody
5141 Sociology
6121 Languages
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