Should they stay or should they go? Alliances and rapport in child-caregiver-therapist SLT sessions

Bracha Nir, Gonen Dori-Hacohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The study investigates how participants in the institutional interaction between caregiver-child-therapist negotiate rapport-building. This setting, which is usually taken as a dyad, is an actual triad. Method: We focus on examples taken from five speech-language therapy (SLT) open-ings, analyzing the resources that lead to alliances as rapport-building through the turns of talk. We connect these alliances to the configuration of the setting. Results: The analyses highlight different dyadic participant alliances within the tri-adic constellation: child-therapist, caregiver-therapist, therapist-child. These alliances are formed through complaints regarding the participants’ investment in the therapy. The therapists concentrate their efforts on the child, whereas the parents focus on creating rapport with the therapist. Discussion and conclusion: The balancing act of rapport-building in the therapeutic triad of SLT is complicated, since the family is not composed of equal members. Therefore, ‘ironing’ the creases of the caregiver-child-therapist into a pseudo-dyad either ignores the differences that exist between a parent and a child or does not work.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)430-455
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2023


  • alliances
  • dyad
  • openings
  • rapport
  • speech-language therapy
  • triad

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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