Table_1_The Communicative Modes Analysis System in Psychotherapy From Mixed Methods Framework: Introducing a New Observation System for Classifying Verbal and Non-verbal Communication.pdf

Communication represents the core of psychotherapy. The dynamic interaction between verbal and non-verbal components during patient-therapist exchanges, indeed, promotes the co-construction of meanings bringing about change within a process of reciprocal influence of participants. Our paper aims to illustrate the building of a new observational instrument of the therapeutic discourse, the Communicative Modes Analysis System in Psychotherapy (CMASP), and its reliability study from Mixed Methods framework. The CMASP is a single classification system analyzing the communication features within therapeutic exchanges. Born to overcome the limits of traditional psychotherapy research which considers verbal and non-verbal dimensions of communication as in polar opposition, the CMASP building was based on the performative function derived from the Speech Act Theory. We used this function as a comprehensive theorization to interpret the communication components in psychotherapy as an integrated and interacting system. In fact, the instrument detects and classifies, at the overall and dimension level, the verbal and extra-linguistic components of psychotherapeutic communication implemented by the therapist and patients in the form of communicative modes. From the observational methodology framework, it was built an instrument able to record and analyze verbal, vocal and interruption behaviors by combining elements of qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The sample consisted of 30 psychotherapy audio recordings and verbatim transcripts of psychotherapy sessions (for a total of 8327 speaking turns). Four main dimensions were elaborated (Verbal Mode-Structural Form, Verbal Mode-Communicative Intent, Vocal Mode, and Interruption Mode) according to the agency role of communication components. The instrument is a field format combined with category systems. For each dimension, we built a category system that is exhaustive and mutually exclusive. From all dimensions, we have a total of 33 categories. Intra-and inter-judge reliability among four independent judges was computed on a total of 503 speaking turns coded through Cohen’s κ and Krippendorff’s canonical agreement coefficients (Cc), respectively. The CMASP showed high intra-and inter-judge agreement at the global, dimensional, and categorical level providing researchers and professionals with a single and flexible classification system, able to give multiple and concurrent information about the psychotherapy process.