I am very interested in studying processes and outcomes in therapy. More specifically, I am fascinated with how discursive methodologies afford us a unique lens to study how we accomplish common therapeutic practices (eg., collaboration, multipartiality, cultivating common ground). These methods allow us to look closer at how we actually “do” these concepts as we join others in conversation.
See below for more details on why I am drawn to this method of research.
A LENS TO STUDY THE CO-CONSTRUCTION IN THERAPEUTIC CONVERSATIONS
For me discursive methods often capture the generative nature of the creative, interactive process of therapy. They allow me to honour the two-way nature of therapeutic conversations in my research. As such, I can replace traditional linear models with an interactive (cyclical) focus which is a strong fit with my family systems perspective. I work from a social constructionist orientation and I find a discursive lens sort of “puts legs” on our conversational constructions. Rather than understanding therapy as delivered by the psychologist I examine interventions in therapy as co-developed as psychologists orient and respond to clients.
USEFUL IN PRACTICE
I have found I have evolved into a more reflexive, responsively involved practitioner after doing and reading this type of research. The detailed descriptions (conversational behaviours are transcribed to the tenth of a second) of interactions are intended to heighten therapists’ sensitivity and abilities to orient to how they can co-develop this movement with families. In my analysis I examine how the therapist together with their client did or accomplished their work. Rather than simply discussing these endeavours (conceptually or theoretically) as facilitative and making general efforts to practice it, practitioners can use discursive research to inform how they might accomplish it.
PUTTING "LEGS ON" CONVERSATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Utilizing a detailed lens to investigate the "taken for granted" ways we join clients to accomplish common therapeutic practices
KARL TOMM'S PRACTICE
Reflections and analysis of the work of Karl Tomm the director of the Calgary Family Therapy Centre
TEACHING SYSTEMIC PRACTICE
Inviting new practitioners to view their work through the "IPscope" at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre
STUDYING THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS
Surveying the needs of adolescents to provide the base for guidance and counselling programming