UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conversational resources of two-person psychotherapy Katz, Bruce Allen


The research reported here takes as its data tape-recordings and transcripts of a number of two-person psychiatric interviews, conducted by two psychiatrists with a number of patients of both sexes. The transcripts are analysed by reference to speech acts as units, and the emphasis is on properties common to all speech in natural language. An attempt is made to show (a) that by reference to such unit acts, psychiatric events can be made intelligible, and (b) that an analysis along these lines is in principle capable of "explaining" the interactional mechanisms of the psychiatric interview, without recourse to psychiatric theory as part of the analytic apparatus. Among issues given special attention are (1) the opening of the psychiatric interview and its consequentiality for further developments, (2) the negotiated character of topics and the availability of interactional devices for controlling topical development, and (3) the accomplishment of "treatment" through "talk". Findings are reported with respect to each of these issues, but the report should be read chiefly as an exercise in the application of a method of socio-linguistic analysis to a type of data usually reserved for substantive treatment in the area of social psychiatry.

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