Interaction in guidance encounters
Our research group is interested in social interaction in guidance encounters – especially in student guidance, career counselling and rehabilitation. How the counsellor and the client create a working alliance and mutual understanding about the ongoing activity? What kind of actions (e.g. counsellor’s questions, client’s narration, counsellor’s advice and reformulations of the client’s talk) are found from the encounters and what are their interactional consequences? The theoretical and methodological framework of our studies is conversation analysis where the data are videorecorded guidance encounters. We study in detail the turn-by-turn progress of the interaction, with the aim to describe how guidance works as an institution and how the participants collaboratively create the guidance encounter.
We have the following studies in progress:
Discussing the client’s self in study/career counselling
We study how the study/career counsellor refers to the client’s characteristics or describes them in different phases of the counselling, and how the counsellor responds to the client’s characterizations of themselves. In particular, we are interested in the situations where the counsellor praises the client or responds to the client’s self-deprecations. Through these situations we discuss how assessments function in relation to the institutional aims of counselling, particularly in terms of supporting the client’s positive self-image and agency and defining the competencies and opportunities of the client. Furthermore, we are interested in the epistemic positions taken in the assessments: how knowledge is displayed and justified.
Setting goals in study/career counselling
We study how the participants achieve shared understanding of the focus and goals of working in different types of study and career counselling. Setting goals is a central activity considering building of the working alliance, finding a shared focus, and achieving results. While goal setting has been studied in other contexts such as psychology and psychiatry, less is known how it is done in the context of guidance and counselling.
Guidance counselling in Finnish schools
We examine the encounters between guidance counsellors and students in Finnish schools. The study is part of the research project TEHEKOP, which studies intensive personalized guidance counselling in schools through the study of everyday practices. The study is in the data collection phase. Our aim is to study what kinds of social actions are found from the guidance interactions and how institutional aims of the guidance are performed through them. Our study is the first one to apply conversation analysis to study guidance in Finnish schools.
Building agency in rehabilitation
In my Phd dissertation” Building agency in the context of the goal setting in rehabilitation” I study how the concept of the agency is connected with the interaction in the context of the rehabilitation. My aim is to understand how and by which conditions agency is built during the individualized goal setting. I approach the construction of agency as observable goal-setting interaction practices, as well as goal-setting as subjective and cultural meanings associated with it by the parties. Setting a goal is important part of the successful and effective rehabilitation process. However, it is not known how negotiating goals builds or destabilizes a rehabilitates agency.
Mari Kantanen, Phd researcher
Supervisors Sanna Vahviläinen and Sanni Tiitinen, Institute of Rehabilitation, Jamk University of Applied Sciences Institute of Rehabilitation | Jamk