Discourse correlates of the therapeutic method and patient progress



Publication Details

Moore, A. R., Butt, D. G. & Henderson-Brooks, C. 2012, 'Discourse correlates of the therapeutic method and patient progress', in D. G. Butt, J. Haliburn, T. Korner, R. Meares, D. Mears & B. Nick (eds), Borderline Personality Disorder and The Conversational Model – A Clinician’s Manual, New York: Norton & Company: 267-290., 1 edn, Norton, New York. pp. 267


The choices a speaker makes in grammar and in lexis accumulate in ways that are not clear or accessible to the speaker in a sustained interaction, for example, in an hour of interaction between a psychotherapist and a patient. Yet this consistency-that is, a regularity beyond the typical threshold of human powers for tracking-is what the psychotherapist and the discourse analyst alike attune to in their respective work. The purpose of this chapter is to describe and illustrate tools that can track consistencies and departures in meaning, and to show how such tools can be used to characterize how patients diagnosed with BPD and their therapists talk to each other in therapy based on CM. Our aim is to enhance the resources that practitioners and students possess for interpreting and tracking significant aspects of their patients' states of mind. These resources can then help practitioners predict, promote, and explain changes in inner state on the basis of their own analyses of patients' "outer" language, in conjunction with other forms of meaningful nonverbal behavior, such as gaze.

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