CHAPTER 11 Interactive Reasoning


This section has discussed skills and processes central to interactive reasoning such as therapeutic use of self, including using one’s EI, and building and main taining relationships. We now turn to considering interactional reasoning in prac tice, paying particular attention to the aspect of interactional reasoning relating to understanding clients’ experiences.

THE IMPORTANCE AND USE OF INTERACTIVE REASONING IN PRACTICE Using interactive reasoning in practice requires a range of strategies and processes. These include understanding clients and their lives, engaging them and their signif icant others, and creating a shared vision of hope. In addition to the interpersonal skills noted previously, interactive reasoning relies on narrative reasoning to un derstand the clients and their lives. It also requires conditional reasoning whereby the therapist imagines possible futures for the client in the context of family, en vironment, and culture. We find it impossible to discuss interactive reasoning in terms of understanding the person as a person and their experience of illness and disability without referring to their broader life context, because imagining the person in their life context is so central to occupational therapy. Understanding Clients as People Within Specific Life Contexts Occupational therapists conceive of clients as people who live in specific circum stances, with varied preferences, values, and resources. They seek to establish a deep understanding of their clients’ goals and priorities and what is important to them in their life contexts. An in-depth and holistic picture must accompany an understanding of components such as medical history, and physical, cognitive, emotional, and social abilities, because any intervention chosen must “both ac commodate the person’s environmental and personal contexts and seek to make positive changes to, or maintain, valued aspects of the person’s daily life” (Copley & Kuipers, 2014, p. 81). Gathering information about clients’ lives requires a sensitive and attentive in terviewing style. Gentle questioning can be used to create vivid pictures of clients’ lives, including their daily activities and interests, what is working well in their

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