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How treatment conditions shape therapist formulations

(2018)
Author
Organization
Abstract
The present study investigated differences in therapists’ (re-)formulations and succeeding responses between two distinct types of psychotherapy offered for patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). These differences manifested in practices through which therapist formulations were constructed and also showed in the responding actions of the patients. Following a 2x2 design, this study included different combinations of patient personality and treatment type. In general, patients with MDD exhibit different types of depression due to underlying personality traits, such as anaclitic depression - characterized by interpersonal issues - and introjective depression - associated with issues of self-definition (Blatt, 2004). For this study, both types of patients were randomly allocated to receive either cognitive-behavioral or supportive-expressive (psychodynamic) therapy treatment, consisting of 16-20 audio-recorded sessions per case. Through selection of extreme cases, i.e. patients with high differential scores between the two personality dimensions, contrasting conversational patterns in the data became observable. Therapist talk primarily consisted of three global types of actions: invitations to report or further elaborate on experiences and feelings, encouragement and demonstration of listenership, and backward-looking actions. This study focused on therapist formulations, which were directed towards preceding patient talk. Since Garfinkel and Sacks’ (1970) initial description of formulations as “saying-in-so-many-words-what-we-are-doing” (p. 351), referring to their meta-communicative function, a substantial amount of research further narrowed down functional and linguistic aspects. By reformulating patient talk, therapists may clarify the implicit and ask for verification of their interpretation but they can also change the direction of or put an end to the conversation (Antaki, Barnes & Leudar, 2005; Heritage & Watson, 1979). This study distinguished between various forms of formulations, such as paraphrases, which appeared as more or less distinct from preceding utterances, abstractions that showed a very selective focus on specific reference points and formulations operating as understanding checks (Deppermann, 2011; Gülich, 2002). By applying a comparative design, this study aimed to determine the diverse practices psychotherapist use in both therapeutic approaches to reformulate patient talk, and also strived to pinpoint practices that are exemplary for particular treatment conditions. Further, examination of the succeeding patient talk allowed investigating how responses to formulations differed in regard to patient personality and treatment condition.

Citation

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MLA
Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne, et al. How Treatment Conditions Shape Therapist Formulations. 2018.
APA
Knol, A. S. L., Huiskes, M., Desmet, M., & Koole, T. (2018). How treatment conditions shape therapist formulations. Presented at the 5th International Conference of Conversation Analysis (ICCA18), Loughborough University, United Kingdom.
Chicago author-date
Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne, Mike Huiskes, Mattias Desmet, and Tom Koole. 2018. “How Treatment Conditions Shape Therapist Formulations.” In .
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne, Mike Huiskes, Mattias Desmet, and Tom Koole. 2018. “How Treatment Conditions Shape Therapist Formulations.” In .
Vancouver
1.
Knol ASL, Huiskes M, Desmet M, Koole T. How treatment conditions shape therapist formulations. In 2018.
IEEE
[1]
A. S. L. Knol, M. Huiskes, M. Desmet, and T. Koole, “How treatment conditions shape therapist formulations,” presented at the 5th International Conference of Conversation Analysis (ICCA18), Loughborough University, United Kingdom, 2018.
@inproceedings{8611038,
  abstract     = {The present study investigated differences in therapists’ (re-)formulations and succeeding responses between two distinct types of psychotherapy offered for patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). These differences manifested in practices through which therapist formulations were constructed and also showed in the responding actions of the patients. Following a 2x2 design, this study included different combinations of patient personality and treatment type.
In general, patients with MDD exhibit different types of depression due to underlying personality traits, such as anaclitic depression - characterized by interpersonal issues - and introjective depression - associated with issues of self-definition (Blatt, 2004). For this study, both types of patients were randomly allocated to receive either cognitive-behavioral or supportive-expressive (psychodynamic) therapy treatment, consisting of 16-20 audio-recorded sessions per case. Through selection of extreme cases, i.e. patients with high differential scores between the two personality dimensions, contrasting conversational patterns in the data became observable.
Therapist talk primarily consisted of three global types of actions: invitations to report or further elaborate on experiences and feelings, encouragement and demonstration of listenership, and backward-looking actions. This study focused on therapist formulations, which were directed towards preceding patient talk. Since Garfinkel and Sacks’ (1970) initial description of formulations as “saying-in-so-many-words-what-we-are-doing” (p. 351), referring to their meta-communicative function, a substantial amount of research further narrowed down functional and linguistic aspects. By reformulating patient talk, therapists may clarify the implicit and ask for verification of their interpretation but they can also change the direction of or put an end to the conversation (Antaki, Barnes & Leudar, 2005; Heritage & Watson, 1979).
This study distinguished between various forms of formulations, such as paraphrases, which appeared as more or less distinct from preceding utterances, abstractions that showed a very selective focus on specific reference points and formulations operating as understanding checks (Deppermann, 2011; Gülich, 2002). By applying a comparative design, this study aimed to determine the diverse practices psychotherapist use in both therapeutic approaches to reformulate patient talk, and also strived to pinpoint practices that are exemplary for particular treatment conditions. Further, examination of the succeeding patient talk allowed investigating how responses to formulations differed in regard to patient personality and treatment condition.},
  author       = {Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne and Huiskes, Mike and Desmet, Mattias and Koole, Tom},
  language     = {und},
  location     = {Loughborough University, United Kingdom},
  title        = {How treatment conditions shape therapist formulations},
  url          = {http://www.icca2018.org},
  year         = {2018},
}