The intersubjectivity grid as “magnifying screen” for microanalyses of interactions in telepsychotherapy

Carlo Galimberti, Eleonora Brivio, L. Haddouk, S. Bouchard, A Trognon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Conducting psychotherapy with videoconference technologies has become a solution to deliver mental health services when it is difficult or impossible to meet in face to face. During videoconferencing psychotherapy (VCP), the interactions between the client and the therapists are influenced by telepresence and acceptance of the technological setting. In previous work, our group described acceptance of the technological setting in VCP as a multidimensional process that involves verbal, nonverbal, para-verbal and proxemic cues from both interactants. The goal of the present study is to illustrate the intersubjective dynamic processes occurring in psychodynamicoriented VCP via traditional communication channels. The long-term goal is to describe how intersubjective processes enhance the level of acceptance of the technological setting in VCP. We used a formal interactional approach to analyze intersubjectivity and acceptance during an excerpt from a video recording of a VCP session. We analyzed the following layers of interactions to evaluate intersubjectivity and acceptance: interactional modalities, cooperation modalities, intersubjective modalities. Our results show a dynamic process of accordance between different layers of interactions, related to intersubjectivity process. Despite the perceptual deprivation, caused by the screen in a videoconference telepsychotherapy framework, the screen can allow a dynamic and multimodal communication. Much like a magnifying glass, our micro-analysis revealed a dialogic communication occurring on the video screen where several natural communicative registers converged into a dynamic unified system, increasing the expressiveness of the psychotherapeutic dialogue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • conversation
  • intersubjectivity
  • telepsychotherapy


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