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Reformulating and mirroring in psychotherapy : a conversation analytic perspective

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Abstract
The conversational actions of reformulating and mirroring constitute some of the core intervention techniques of psychotherapy. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the way in which therapists in cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy (PDT) use reformulating and mirroring strategies to return patients' prior talk and how their differential usage can be viewed in light of the respective manualized recommendations. A mixed methods approach was applied using qualitative data that derived from a RCT. The data collection consisted of 200 excerpts assembled from both treatment conditions. The method of Conversation Analysis was used to determine the practices that accomplished instances of reformulating and mirroring, and to examine their distinct implications for subsequent talk. The quantitative analysis revealed that cognitive-behavioral therapists are significantly more likely to use reformulations, which is in harmony with what is suggested in CBT's treatment manuals. Psychodynamic therapists' frequent use of transformative formulations is, by contrast, unexpected in regard to the suggestions of the treatment protocol, as these interventions steer toward topical closure. Compared to the CBT condition, psychodynamic therapists were still significantly more likely to rely on mirroring strategies, which are in line with PDT's theoretical preference. Our findings raise the question whether alleged differences in treatment styles, as they are imposed by RCT methodology, are actually tangible in manual-guided clinical practice.
Keywords
General Psychology, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, conversation analysis, RCT, mirroring, reformulating, psychotherapy process research, FORMULATIONS

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MLA
Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne, et al. “Reformulating and Mirroring in Psychotherapy : A Conversation Analytic Perspective.” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 11, 2020, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00318.
APA
Knol, A. S. L., Huiskes, M., Koole, T., Meganck, R., Loeys, T., & Desmet, M. (2020). Reformulating and mirroring in psychotherapy : a conversation analytic perspective. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00318
Chicago author-date
Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne, Mike Huiskes, Tom Koole, Reitske Meganck, Tom Loeys, and Mattias Desmet. 2020. “Reformulating and Mirroring in Psychotherapy : A Conversation Analytic Perspective.” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00318.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne, Mike Huiskes, Tom Koole, Reitske Meganck, Tom Loeys, and Mattias Desmet. 2020. “Reformulating and Mirroring in Psychotherapy : A Conversation Analytic Perspective.” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 11. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00318.
Vancouver
1.
Knol ASL, Huiskes M, Koole T, Meganck R, Loeys T, Desmet M. Reformulating and mirroring in psychotherapy : a conversation analytic perspective. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. 2020;11.
IEEE
[1]
A. S. L. Knol, M. Huiskes, T. Koole, R. Meganck, T. Loeys, and M. Desmet, “Reformulating and mirroring in psychotherapy : a conversation analytic perspective,” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 11, 2020.
@article{8652747,
  abstract     = {{The conversational actions of reformulating and mirroring constitute some of the core intervention techniques of psychotherapy. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the way in which therapists in cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy (PDT) use reformulating and mirroring strategies to return patients' prior talk and how their differential usage can be viewed in light of the respective manualized recommendations. A mixed methods approach was applied using qualitative data that derived from a RCT. The data collection consisted of 200 excerpts assembled from both treatment conditions. The method of Conversation Analysis was used to determine the practices that accomplished instances of reformulating and mirroring, and to examine their distinct implications for subsequent talk. The quantitative analysis revealed that cognitive-behavioral therapists are significantly more likely to use reformulations, which is in harmony with what is suggested in CBT's treatment manuals. Psychodynamic therapists' frequent use of transformative formulations is, by contrast, unexpected in regard to the suggestions of the treatment protocol, as these interventions steer toward topical closure. Compared to the CBT condition, psychodynamic therapists were still significantly more likely to rely on mirroring strategies, which are in line with PDT's theoretical preference. Our findings raise the question whether alleged differences in treatment styles, as they are imposed by RCT methodology, are actually tangible in manual-guided clinical practice.}},
  articleno    = {{318}},
  author       = {{Knol, Antje Sien Lisanne and Huiskes, Mike and Koole, Tom and Meganck, Reitske and Loeys, Tom and Desmet, Mattias}},
  issn         = {{1664-1078}},
  journal      = {{FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{General Psychology,psychodynamic therapy,cognitive-behavioral therapy,conversation analysis,RCT,mirroring,reformulating,psychotherapy process research,FORMULATIONS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{12}},
  title        = {{Reformulating and mirroring in psychotherapy : a conversation analytic perspective}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00318}},
  volume       = {{11}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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