Dialogue and Representation
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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We examine therapist nods in terms of how they display and maintain affiliation with clients in contexts in which therapists reformulate clients’ prior talk. We found that therapist nods functioned to maintain affiliation with clients irrespective of whether clients aligned (e.g., confirmed) or disaligned (e.g., disconfirmed) with the therapist’s prior reformulation. Further, we found that the sequential placement of a therapist’s nod was influenced by the quality of alignment; that is, in aligning contexts, nods were found to be contiguous to the client’s confirmation. In disaligning contexts, by contrast, therapists delayed the production of nods to a point at which the client either ‘fully’ disconfirmed or displayed an affectual stance regarding a personal event. We argue that these forms of delay index a practice in which therapists may successfully secure realignment with clients.


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