Publication details [#63618]

Cooren, François, Lise Higham and Romain Huët. 2017. Analyzing online suicide prevention chats. A communicative constitutive approach. Language and Dialogue 7 (1) : 3–25.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This article proposes to mobilize a communicative constitutive approach to analyze sessions that took place in the context of online suicide prevention chats in France. By analyzing the detail of a specific excerpt, it proposes, more precisely, to draw a portrait of various figures that appear to express themselves in what could be called online help in action (see also Bartesaghi, 2014). Beyond the various psychotherapeutic approaches that are supposed to inform what volunteers are saying and doing, the paper's goal is to start with their practices to determine the figures that they implicitly or explicitly stage in their turns of talk to help out the callers. By analyzing the relational aspects of these conversations, it thus shows that these sessions can be compared to a form of modern exorcism, where the callers’ distress, uneasiness or suffering is meant to pass in and through the conversations. It is the conditions of these passages that this article is exploring, especially regarding the tensions that they generate.