This brief report presents some preliminary results of part of a study currently being conducted (Gale, 1992, May). The study is a qualitative analysis of a couple's and therapist's perspective of meaningful moments in therapy using Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR) (Elliott, 1986). The methodology of this study involved the collaborators (aka: subjects) in a manner that was self-reflexive and recursive (see Steier, in press). The impact of the study was such that the research interviews themselves were reported to have greater therapeutic impact than the therapy. Following eight sessions of marital therapy, the couple reported that therapy was not helpful, and they were together only because of the children. Following the second IPR interview, which was post-therapy, the couple reported that the interview was very useful and therapeutic. This seemed to occur, in part, from three different factors. These factors include: the relationship of the couple to the researcher; the contextualization of the research talk; and clarifying procedures used by the interviewer.


The author gratefully acknowledges the efforts and assistance of Mark Odell, Paul Gallant, Ph.D., Jennie Manders, Chandra Nagiereddy and Cheryl Williams in their work on the study.

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