Marital Therapy and Self-Reflexive Research: Research and/as Intervention Jerry Gale, Mark Odell, and Chandra S. Nagireddy
Chandra S. Nagireddy University of Georgia In this chapter we describe how utilizing clients as self-reflexive research collaborators can engender therapeutic gain. Our study initially began as an exploratory inquiry examining the benefits of Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR) in marital therapy. As part of the study, a couple was also interviewed after treatment regarding both the IPR interview and their therapy experience in general. What developed from this post-therapy Reflexive Process Analysis (RPA) interview was the clients stating that the research interviews were more "therapeutic" than the marital therapy itself. Although research as intervention has been discussed previously in the literature (Gale, 1992; Gilgun, 1992; Heath, 1992; McNamee, 1989; Rubin & Mitchell, 1976; Steier, 1992a; Wright, 1990), no studies have provided an analysis of how that change process may occur. This chapter presents four key elements of the change process that were developed from analyses of the first session of marital therapy and three research interviews, and the clinical and research implications of these themes.