Dialogue analysis of a filmed Gestalt therapy session: an introduction to a method
Psychotherapy process research takes us beyond answering the question, ‘does psychotherapy work?’ This area of research aims to study the hows and whats that happen within the psychotherapeutic session that potentiate change. The psychotherapeutic dialogue is an important source of data for psychotherapy process research. Micro-analyses of dialogical turns within the therapeutic session support the understanding of the therapeutic method. This paper introduces the Helbig Method of Dialogue Analysis. This method is founded upon four pillars: 1) that dialogue is implicit action between persons that is supported by explicit verbally uttered content; 2) that the individual’s mode of interaction within the dialogical dyad reflects the person’s relationship patterns; 3) that dialogue is an intersubjective process that leads to the development of new intersubjective configurations; and 4) that the observer-researcher’s phenomenological involvement plays a part in the analytical process. In this study, Bob Resnick’s video-recorded Gestalt therapy session entitled ‘A Rose on the Grave of my Family’ was selected. The transcription of the session was coded using the instrument, the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme – Leipzig/Ulm. Results obtained from this study are quantified graphical representations of the developing relationship between therapist and client. Simple to operate, scalable and practical, this method is designed for use by therapists and researchers who are interested in tracking, comparing and/or contrasting the developing psychotherapeutic alliance in a single or in multiple psychotherapy sessions.
Keywords: psychotherapy process research, dialogue analysis, psychotherapeutic alliance, Gestalt therapy.
Chew-Helbig, N. (2022). Dialogue analysis of a filmed Gestalt therapy session: an introduction to a method. The British Gestalt Journal, 28(2), 40–49.
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