Dialogical Action Research – About therapeutic listening, creating space for voices to emerge and to be heard


This research is an inquiry into the role of listening in therapy. The author was curious about the relation between a client’s feeling of being heard, a listening therapist and emerging new voices. She invited this client to collaborate through what she called a Dialogical Action Research. The present work is the result of several long conversations, both therapy conversations and research conversations, between the client and the author, as well as the author’s own reflections.

Listening is thought of in terms of a transforming process whereby the person you speak with is influenced through the way you listen. Attentive listening on the part of the therapist offers the client a unique opportunity to develop her inner voices and let them be expressed. This may create new self stories, and less rigid internal and external dialogues.

Theory and the contribution of others are in this project used as ideas to be placed in a ‘ voice-resource-bank’ for later use during the research process. The Russian philosopher Michael Bakhtin’s description of the dialogue, is a main frame of reference for the report, both in terms of the therapeutic relationship, methodology and method.

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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