Research enables us to attempt to understand the incomprehensible. In doing so, we collaborate with others – facilitating a context to communicate. Our dialogues gather up the complexity of what it means to have lived particular lives or to have had particular experiences over time. Ultimately, research aids our connection to others and leads us to the curiosity to ask what comes next and consider what needs to change... This sounds a lot like therapy. In this article, we revisit a question asked by Maxine Birch and Tina Miller in their paper Inviting intimacy: the interviews as therapeutic opportunity (2000): “Can the invitation to narrate past and present experiences, together with future hopes, avoid offering potential therapeutic opportunities?” (p. 189). We will explore some of these ideas as inspired by the reflections offered by couples being interviewed as part of a broader research project using narrative inquiry. Within this project, we found participants were inspired to start therapeutic conversations through the invitation to participate in research. Other participants talked of the present- moment usefulness of talking and how therapeutic such opportunities could be in and of themselves. And others were inspired to consider what could come next for them – to continue these dialogues outside of the research context and to encourage change further afield. Throughout, we invite the reader to consider the ways in which they themselves invite others to open-up dialogues.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationContext
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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