Applying Conversation Analysis to Family Therapy Process Research

Electronic versions


  • Stefania Pethica

    Research areas

  • D Clin Psy, Psychology - dissertation


This manuscript explores the application of Conversation Analysis, an empirical approach to the study of naturally occurring everyday interactions, to the field of family therapy process research. Conversation Analysis is claimed to have the potential to benefit family therapy process research by providing evidence of effective therapist-family interactions and producing evidence of in-session change. However, these claims have rarely been substantiated by references to occasions in which this has been the case. This manuscript aims to address these claims in two ways: firstly by reviewing all the literature on family therapy process research that has adopted Conversation Analysis as a methodology of choice; secondly by providing an example of how Conversation Analysis can be used to explore the interactional consequences of a specific therapeutic strategy, psychoeducation, within the context of a feasibility study for a novel family therapy intervention. Finally, this manuscript provides a reflection on future research directions, theoretical developments and the clinical implications of using this methodology, thus providing a comprehensive picture of the application of Conversation Analysis in the field of family therapy process research as well as some evidence of its potential practical utility.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award dateMay 2017