Self-Narrative Elicitation in Counseling: An Exploration of the Usefulness of Selected Interview Methods
Keywords:narrative methods, narrativity, self-narrative inclination, interview
An important element of many forms of counseling is the narrative articulation of the client experience. This article aims to define self-narrative elicitation methods, to explore their use in counseling, and to present a quantitative empirical examination of narrative interview instructions. It examines whether the self-narrative inclination and selected situational factors influence the narrativity level of the utterances when elicited by different types of self-narrative instructions. The results show that the utterances produced by three different types of instructions (open-ended question; photo-elicitation; life-as-book metaphor) do not differ in narrativity level. The narrativity of utterances measured micro-analytically on the lexical level remains independent from the external factors (sequence, topic, type of instruction). Given the level of narrativity and length of response, the three instructions are close to each other. At the same time the narrativity is significantly influenced by self-narrative inclination. It is worth acknowledging personal features that can change the way the story is told in interviews and thus affect the counseling practice.
Angus, L., Lewin, J., Bouffard, B., & Rotondi-Trevisan, D. (2004). What’s the story? Working with narrative in experiential psychotherapy. In: L. Angus & J. McLeod (Eds.), The handbook of narrative and psychotherapy: Practice, theory and research. Sage.
Bruner, J. (1991). Acts of meaning. Harvard University Press
Cermak, I. (2004). “Genres” of life-stories. In D. Robinson, C. Horrocks, N. Kelly, & B.
Roberts (Eds.), Narrative, memory and identity: Theoretical and methodological issues. University of Huddersfield Press.
Chase, S. E. (2003). Learning to listen: Narrative principles in a qualitative research methods course. In R. Josselson, A. Lieblich & D. P. McAdams (Eds.), Up close and personal: The teaching and learning of narrative research, (pp. 79–99). American Psychological Association.
Conway, M. A., & Loveday, C. (2015). Remembering, imagining, false memories & personal meanings. Consciousness and Cognition, 33, 574–581.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage.
Cuijpers, P., Reijnders, M., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2018). The role of common factors in psychotherapy outcome. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 15, 207–231.
Cunha, C., Mendes, I., Ribeiro, A. P., Angus, L., Greenberg, L. S., & Gonçalves, M. M. (2017). Self-narrative reconstruction in emotion-focused therapy: A preliminary task analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 27(6), 692–709.
Dryden, W. & Mytton, J. (1999). Four approaches to counseling and psychotherapy. Routledge.
Fakis, A., Hilliam, R., Stoneley, H., & Townend, M. (2014). Quantitative analysis of qualitative information from interviews: A systematic literature review. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 8(2), 139–161.
Gergen, K. J. (1998). Narrative, moral identity and historical consciousness: a Social constructionist account. In J. Straub (Ed.), Identität und historisches Bewusstsein [Identity and historical awareness]. Suhrkamp.
Glaw, X., Inder, K., Kable, A., & Hazelton, M. (2017). Visual methodologies in qualitative research: Autophotography and photo elicitation applied to mental health research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917748215
Greimas, A. J. (1971). Narrative grammar: Units and levels. Modern Language Notes, 86, 793–806.
Habermas, T., Meier, M., & Mukhtar, M. (2009). Are specific emotions narrated differently? Emotion, 9(6), 751–762.
Habermas, T., & Doell-Hentschker, S. (2017). The form of the story: Measuring formal aspects of narrative activity in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy Research, 27(3), 300–312.
Hardin, P. K. (2003). Constructing experience in individual interviews, autobiographies and on-line accounts: A poststructuralist approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 41(6), 536–544.
Hermans, H. J. M. (1999). Self-narrative as meaning construction: The dynamics of self-investigation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55(10), 1193–1211.
Hermans, H. J. M., Rijks, T. I., & Kempen, H. J. G. (1993). Imaginal dialogues in the self: Theory and method. Journal of Personality, 61(2), 207–236.
Holstein, J. A., & Gubrium, J. F. (2016). Narrative practice and the active interview, In D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative research (pp. 67–82). Sage.
Hunsley, J., & Mash, E. J. (2005). Introduction to the special section on developing guidelines for the evidence-based assessment (EBA) of adult disorders. Psychological Assessment, 17(3), 251.
Kvale, S. (2007). Doing interviews. Sage Publications
Laszlo, J. (2008). The science of stories: An introduction to narrative psychology. Routledge.
Litovuo, L., Karisalmi, N., Aarikka-Stenroos, L., & Kaipio, J. (2019). Comparing three methods to capture multidimensional service experience in children’s health care: Video diaries, narratives, and semistructured interviews. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406919835112
McAdams, D. P. (1995). The life story interview. Retrieved from https://fliphtml5.com/kycl/gvku/basic
McAdams, D. P. (2006). Continuity and change in the life story: A longitudinal study of autobiographical memories in emerging adulthood. Journal of Personality, 74(5), 1371–1400.
McAdams, D. P. (2018). Narrative identity: What is it? What does it do? How do you measure it? Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 37(3), 359–372.
McLeod, J. (2003). Working with narratives. In R. Bayne, I. Horton, J. Bimrose (Eds.), New directions in counseling. Routledge.
McLeod, J. (2009). An introduction to counseling. Open University Press.
McMahon, M. (2018). Narrative career counselling: A tension between potential, appeal, and proof. Introduction to the special issue. Australian Journal of Career Development, 27(2), 57–64.
Miller, J. H. (2010). Evidence-based practice and the future of counseling: The debate revisited. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 23, 4, 425–428.
Mishler, E. (1986). Research interviewing. Context and narrative. Harvard University Press.
Montesano, A., Oliveira, J. T., & Gonçalves, M. M. (2017). How do self-narratives change during psychotherapy? A review of innovative moments research. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 36(3), 81–96.
Naldemirci, Ö., Britten, N., Lloyd, H., & Wolf, A. (2020). The potential and pitfalls of narrative elicitation in person‐centred care. Health Expectations, 23(1), 238–246.
Nelson, L. K., Burk, D., Knudsen, M. L., & McCall, L. (2018). The future of coding: A comparison of hand-coding and three types of computer-assisted text analysis methods. Sociological Methods & Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124118769114
Ochs, E. & Capps, L. (1996). Narrating the self. Annual Review of Anthropology, 25, 19–43.
Schiff, B. (2006). The promise (and challenge) of an innovative narrative psychology. Narrative Inquiry, 16(1), 19–27
Schroots, J. J. F. (2003). Life-course dynamics: A research program in progress from The Netherlands. European Psychologist, 8(3), 192–199.
Schutze, F. (1987). Das narrative interview in interaktionsfeldstudien [The narrative interview in interaction field studies]. In F. Schütze, Das narrative interview in interaktionsfeldstudien: Erzählteoretische grundlagen [The narrative interview in interaction field studies: narrative theoretical bases], (pp. 237–259). Fernuniversität—Gesamtschule in Hagen.
Singer, J. A. (2004). Narrative identity and meaning making across the adult lifespan: An introduction. Journal of Personality, 72(3), 437–459.
Speedy, J. (2000). The “storied” helper: Narrative ideas and practices in counseling and psychotherapy. European Journal of Psychotherapy. Counseling and Health, 3(3), 361–374.
Tantam, D. (2002). Psychotherapy and counseling in practice: A narrative framework. Cambridge University Press
Wiseman, H. & Barber, J. P. (2004). The core conflictual relationship theme approach to relational narratives: Interpersonal themes in the context of intergenerational communication of trauma. In: A. Leiblich, D. P. McAdams, & R. Josselson (Eds.). Healing plots: The narrative basis of psychotherapy. APA.
Sobol-Kwapinska, M., Oleś, P., & Stokłosa, J. (2019). Voices inside me: The relationship between neuroticism and the tendency to engage in internal dialogue in the context of time perspective, Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 32(4), 444-460. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2018.1524318
Tausczik, Y. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2010). The psychological meaning of words: LIWC and computerized text analysis methods. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(1), 24-54.
How to Cite
Copyright for articles published in Narrative Works is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to Narrative Works. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.