What's on the therapist's mind? A grounded theory analysis of family therapist reflections during individual therapy sessions

Peter Rober, Robert Elliott, Ann Buysse, Gerrit Loots, Kim De Corte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The authors used a videotape-assisted recall procedure to study the content of family therapists' inner conversations during individual sessions with a standardized client. Grounded theory was used to analyze therapists' reflections, resulting in a Taxonomy of 282 different codes in a hierarchical tree structure of six levels, organized into four general domains: attending to client process; processing the client's story; focusing on therapists' own experience; and managing the therapeutic process. In addition to providing a descriptive model of therapists' inner conversation, this research led to an appreciation of the wealth of therapists' inner conversation. In particular, the authors found that therapists work hard to create an intersubjective space within which to talk by trying to be in tune with their clients and by using clients as a guide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2008


  • recall procedure
  • family therapist
  • grounded theory
  • reflections
  • client process
  • client's story
  • therapists' own experience
  • therapeutic process

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