On the use of formulations in person-centred, solution-focused short-term psychotherapy
Keywords:conversation analysis, formulations, nondirective, psychotherapy, reflecting back
AbstractAccording to Carl Rogers, therapy must be nondirective in order to be effective. This means that the therapist needs to be trained to work within the clients’ frame of reference and do so in their practice. Conversation analytic research, however, suggests that therapists who claim to practise non-directive, non-authoritarian therapy nevertheless exercise subtle means of influencing their clients (e.g. through active listening, see Fitzgerald and Leudar 2010). The questions are: what in practice counts as being non-directive and how (relatively) nondirective psychotherapy is accomplished in practice. The present paper focuses on formulations which are one of the therapist’s most useful tools and we demonstrate how these are used to guide clients to think along lines conducive to change.
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