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October 2021

Body and gaze formations and the communicational alliance in couple-therapist triads

Author(s): FivazDepeursinge, E., Stern, D. J., Darwish, J., CorbozWarnery, A.

Journal/Book: Psychother Res. 2000; 10: Great Clarendon St, Oxford Ox2 6DP, England. Oxford Univ Press. 30-46.

Abstract: In order to establish and maintain what we have named a communicational alliance in marital therapy, couples and their therapist generally (a) signal their affective involvement with each other, and (b) coordinate their behaviors to constantly maintain this triadic frame of involvement. In this paper, we empirically examine the manner in which this communicational alliance was elaborated and maintained using two approaches: (a) a behavioral and micro-analytic approach based on the coding of body and gaze formations; and (b) a global assessment approach based on external judges' assessments. Results indicated the two approaches to be compatible. In the case where the judges considered the communicational alliance to be high, overall observations of body formations and gaze formations indicated that (a) everyone was included, (b) each participant adhered to his or her role, and (c) these signals were congruent. Once a communicational alliance had been established, the trend was that. It was maintained throughout the therapy. The clinical and scientific importance of studying interactive indicators of the therapeutic alliance are discussed.

Note: Article de Roten Y, Univ Lausanne, Ctr Etud Psychotherapies Psychanaly, Tunnel 1, CH-1005 Lausanne, SWITZERLAND


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