Communicating emotion in doctor-patient interaction

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We present a multidimensional single-case analysis of a research interview between a doctor and a patient in an epilepsy centre, focusing on two sequences which illustrate the complex process involved in the conversational treatment of fear. The patient talks about extremely painful/frightening events in her life without explicitly naming emotions. However, closer examination shows that a connection between past emotions and reconstructed events can be indicated without relying on explicit naming of emotions. In the case at hand the interplay of different communicative resources allows the doctor to connect the patient’s communicative behaviour to fear. Through their joint effort, doctor and patient come to understand that the emotion is part of the depicted events.


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