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Title: Blame and accountability in family therapy: Making sense of therapeutic spaces discursively
Authors: O'Reilly, Michelle
First Published: 5-Aug-2014
Publisher: American Psychological Association, Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (a Section of APA Division 5)
Citation: Qualitative Psychology, 2014, 1 (2), pp. 163-177 Special Section: Applied discursive Psychology
Abstract: Systemic family therapy promotes a systemic reframing of individual problems to an understanding of the familial processes influencing family functioning. Parents often attend therapy identifying their child as the key problem which raises issues of accountability and blame. In this paper, we explored the discursive practices used by parents for constructing themselves as ‘good parents’. Using the basic principles of conversation analysis and discursive psychology, we analysed actual therapeutic sessions and found that parents used a range of strategies to display their good parenting and manage blame. This included directly stating it, illustrating how they act in their child’s best interests, showing that they parent in appropriate ways and by making appeals to scientific rhetoric. It was concluded that in family therapy, the therapists have a challenging task in managing competing versions of events and dealing with blame. We discuss the implications for practice.
DOI Link: 10.1037/qup0000011
ISSN: 2326-3598
eISSN: 2326-3601
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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