Protocol: A qualitative linguistic framework for analysing empathic and empowering communications in classical person-centered therapeutic interactions

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Empathy and empowerment are crucial person-centered therapeutic processes that are interrelated and co-constructed in discourse by therapist-client dyads. Recently, research recommendations have been made for linguistic analyses of therapeutic processes. The interrelatedness of processes has often been overlooked when these recommendations have been progressed. Research so far has also tended to favor therapist discourse instead of focusing on the co-construction of processes. The publication of protocols enables researchers and therapists to access information about emerging research. Protocol publication can reduce dissemination bias and promotes credibility and trustworthiness of qualitative methodologies. The proposed development and application of a linguistic framework for analyzing empathic and empowering communications by therapist-client dyads in person-centered therapy is described in this protocol. The present status of the study is given, including why and how hybrid linguistic features identified in discourse analysis, pragmatics, and conversation analytic approaches are included. Information about the therapeutic transcripts used as data for framework development is also given for illustrative purposes. The anticipated theoretical and methodological contributions of this research are summarized. Suggested applications of the research outcomes for practice are also described, including their usefulness for trainee person-centered therapists, or for person-centered therapists or researchers who are interested in linguistic methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-95
Number of pages19
JournalPerson-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Linguistic framework
  • empathy
  • empowerment
  • qualitative methods

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