Advice-implicative Interrogatives: Building “Client-centered” Support in a Children’s Helpline

Butler, Carly W., Potter, Jonathan, Danby, Susan, Emmison, Michael and Hepburn, Alexa (2010) Advice-implicative Interrogatives: Building “Client-centered” Support in a Children’s Helpline. Social Psychology Quarterly, 73 3: 265-287. doi:10.1177/0190272510379838

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Author Butler, Carly W.
Potter, Jonathan
Danby, Susan
Emmison, Michael
Hepburn, Alexa
Title Advice-implicative Interrogatives: Building “Client-centered” Support in a Children’s Helpline
Journal name Social Psychology Quarterly   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0190-2725
Publication date 2010-09-03
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0190272510379838
Volume 73
Issue 3
Start page 265
End page 287
Total pages 23
Place of publication Washington, D.C. U.S.A.
Publisher Sage for the American Sociological Association
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Interactional research on advice giving has described advice as normative and asymmetric. In this paper we examine how these dimensions of advice are softened by counselors on a helpline for children and young people through the use of questions. Through what we term “advice-implicative interrogatives,” counselors ask clients about the relevance or applicability of a possible future course of action. The allusion to this possible action by the counselor identifies it as normatively relevant, and displays the counselor’s epistemic authority in relation to dealing with a client’s problems. However, the interrogative format mitigates the normative and asymmetric dimensions typical of advice sequences by orienting to the client’s epistemic authority in relation to their own lives, and delivering advice in a way that is contingent upon the client’s accounts of their experiences, capacities, and understandings. The demonstration of the use of questions in advice sequences offers an interactional specification of the “client-centered” support that is characteristic of prevailing counseling practice. More specifically, it shows how the values of empowerment and child-centered practice, which underpin services such as Kids Helpline, are embodied in specific interactional devices. Detailed descriptions of this interactional practice offer fresh insights into the use of interrogatives in counseling contexts, and provide practitioners with new ways of thinking about, and discussing, their current practices.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 34 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 41 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 16 Nov 2010, 21:03:09 EST by Dr Michael Emmison on behalf of School of Social Science