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utterances a ’just understanding’. I believe I might have been the one who has filled this purpose for Meercat. When the word is heard it does not need to be searching indefinitely.

7.5 Fourth Research Dialogue (part of a therapy conversation) 7.5.1. My Reflections When Meercat returned to therapy after a long break because of Christmas I saw that much had changed. She said that she felt better and that her need for therapy was not so strong any more. For us, the team and I, it was remarkable how her outer appearance had changed. She was radiant and gave signs of energy and agency. After a while Meercat was offered a full time job and decided to take a longer break in therapy with a view to finishing it.

This therapy conversation was not intended as a research dialogue, but since there was to be an interval in the therapy we used some time to talk about what had happened in the course of this therapy and we also talked about the research part of it. Again, I got the impression that Meercat confirmed that our talks had been useful. She said something that particularly struck me about the session where we had talked about her childhood: “I wanted it to be out, but I didn't want it to be out. And I was surprised, or shocked really, um. But that's what the therapy has obviously done, hasn't it Anna, I mean. I know that sometimes I felt in the sessions, I am here, I know that and I've never said it before because um, I didn't feel to be understood there.”

Meercat explained why the story had come: “I’ve moved on? As they say, I mean, I’m not the little 3-4 year old girl anymore… But I remember feeling, um, like I was the little girl, like I was back there. I wanted to make myself understood. Because no one ever did I was never heard as a child, I was never allowed to speak let alone be heard.”

My understanding is that Meercat said that the little girl, who nobody had ever listened to, was eventually heard. The story was hard to tell, but as Seikkula (2003) might put it, the not yet said, the inexpressible, was expressed. I understood it as an expression of liberation, the feeling she had at last was ‘relief, release’ and she expressed a new self-story: “I feel grown up in many ways… the counselling…enabled me to become a lot, lot stronger, definitely, in many areas…. I do get the odd still where I feel really down and think you know, why does it have to be this and, but then I do kind of snap out again 56

Dialogical Action Research  

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

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