Analyzing Narratives in Psychotherapy: A Formal Framework and Empirical Analyses
Abstract Narration in psychotherapy has become a key area of theoretical and empiri-cal concern. Rationales for this new concern are provided in the context of introducing a three-dimensional model of narrative structure. Numerous measures corresponding to each dimension are operationally defined and used in an illustrative study of 16 pairs of temporally contiguous child-thera-pist stories sampled from Gardner's (1971) Therapeutic Communication with Children. As predicted, the therapist's narratives were more structurally con-nected, more often concerned with protagonists' internal psychological pro-cesses, and more elaborate/complex than the children's narratives. The therapist's narrative measures, however, did not seem adapted to the chil-dren's varying narrative competence, indicated by the absence of significant covariation with the children's narrative measures or with their age. These and additional analyses illustrate how to assess narrative processes in psycho-therapy and suggest future research on and training in the use of narratives in psychotherapy. (Psychology)
Published online: 04 August 2015
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