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Why Do You Ask?The Function of Questions in Institutional Discourse$
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Alice Freed and Susan Ehrlich

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306897

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306897.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 April 2021

The Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Reflective Questions in Genetic Counseling

The Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Reflective Questions in Genetic Counseling

11 The Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Reflective Questions in Genetic Counseling
Why Do You Ask?

Srikant Sarangi

Oxford University Press

This chapter, written by Srikant Sarangi, examines reflective questions in genetic counseling sessions. According to Sarangi, such sessions are characterized by an “ethos of nondirectiveness” designed to facilitate “reflection‐based decision making” on the part of clients. Sarangi shows how reflective questions, including hypothetical questions, function to create hypothetical scenarios for clients who are deciding whether they wish to be tested for genetically transmitted diseases, such as Huntington's disease. These hypothetical scenarios extend the clinical setting both temporally and spatially; that is, clients orient not only to the multiple participants present in the here and now of clinic sessions but also to the multiple participants present in the past and future scenarios evoked by the counselor's reflective and hypothetical questions. Sarangi thus demonstrates the value of looking at both past and hypothetical future interactions for what they reveal about what is going on in a present exchange.

Keywords:   reflective questions, hypothetical questions, genetic counseling, Huntington's disease, hypothetical scenarios, reflection‐based decision making

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