Clients’ resistance to therapists’ proposals: managing epistemic and deontic status

Ekberg, Katie and LeCouteur, Amanda (2015) Clients’ resistance to therapists’ proposals: managing epistemic and deontic status. Journal of Pragmatics, 90 12-25. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2015.10.004

Author Ekberg, Katie
LeCouteur, Amanda
Title Clients’ resistance to therapists’ proposals: managing epistemic and deontic status
Journal name Journal of Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-2166
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.pragma.2015.10.004
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 90
Start page 12
End page 25
Total pages 14
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1203 Language and Linguistics
3310 Linguistics and Language
1702 Artificial Intelligence
Abstract This paper uses conversation analysis (CA) to examine client resistance in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions for clients with depression. Analysis focuses on clients’ responses to therapists’ proposals for behavioural change. Typically, clients displayed active resistance to such proposals by drawing on one of three types of ‘inability to comply’ account: (1) appeals to restrictive situational factors; (2) appeals to fixed physical states; (3) assertions of previous effort to do what the therapist was proposing. Each type of account involved clients utilising knowledge from personal experience as their reason for resisting the proposal. In formulating their accounts, clients’ turns were designed in ways that displayed their epistemic stance in relation to the situation under discussion. By indexing their superior epistemic authority in the domain of their experience, clients were able to invoke their ultimate right to reject the therapist's proposed course of action. The implications for CBT practice are discussed.
Keyword Conversation analysis
Client resistance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 27 Nov 2015, 19:50:15 EST by Katie Ekberg on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences