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Power Relations in Service Delivery

As a helping profession, Speech–Language pathology is an intervention-oriented endeavor. Speech–language therapists spend the majority of their professional time in therapy sessions with individuals who have been diagnosed with a communication disorder, and they may work with these individuals within the therapeutic context for months or even years. It is within these sessions (i.e., service delivery) that the central activities of Speech–Language pathology happens and that the successful remediation of communication impairments occurs. Therefore, investigations of all kinds of therapeutic interactions have provided an increased focus on the complexity of therapy, including power relations (i.e., how power is distributed in social settings). When considered as the social action between a Speech–Language therapist and a client to improve the client’s communicative abilities, therapy involves verbal discourse ...

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