Reflective practices in Open Dialogue meetings: Reporting and inferential ‘My side tellings’

Karen Nissen Schriver*, Niels Buus, Camilla Blach Rossen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper reports a conversation analytic study of video-recorded, Open Dialogue psychotherapy sessions. Open Dialogue sessions are organized as network meetings between a client, members of the client's social network, and varying mental health professionals. In the analysis, we focus on a 10-min “reflection” taking place at the end of each network meeting, where two ‘reflecting’ therapists assess and comment on what was said in the first part of the meeting. First, we describe two types of ‘my side tellings’ found in the reflections. In ‘reporting my side tellings’, the ‘reflectants’ claim to report what they have heard the clients say during the meeting. In ‘inferring my side tellings’, the reflectants claim to present their own cognitive connotations and points of view. Second, we show how these two strategies may be related to ‘recognition’ and ‘interpretation’ as have been described in earlier research on psychotherapy. The empirical findings are discussed in relation to my side tellings in everyday conversation, and to the therapeutic context in particular. My side tellings can be viewed as strategies for expressing both caution and authority when it comes to representing the client's reality, and they may help represent the different ‘voices’ in the sessions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Conversation analysis
  • Mental health
  • My side tellings
  • Open Dialogue
  • Psychotherapy


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