• ‘She needs a smack in the gob’: negotiating what is appropriate talk in front of children in family therapy

      O'Reilly, Michelle; Parker, Nicola; University of Leicester; Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Spring Road Centre (Wiley, 2012-06-11)
      Tackling the day-to-day challenges of family therapy can prove difficult for professionals. A particular issue arising in family therapy is the notion of what is appropriate for children. Families report events from their social world, out-there to the therapy in-here. There are occasions where the content is ‘adult’ in nature and this has to be managed in front of the children. On some occasions family members use derogatory or negative descriptions of their children while their children are present. Drawing upon naturally occurring family therapy sessions, we present a discourse analysis of how this is managed through a range of discursive resources. We show that adult family members construct what is inappropriate for children to be exposed to by positioning blame with others. This has implications for how family therapists deal with inappropriateness when children are present while maintaining the equilibrium of therapeutic alliances.