Title

Establishing alignment in aphasia couples therapy in a woman with Wernicke’s aphasia: A case study

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Communication Disorders Quarterly

ISSN

1525-7401

Volume

36

Issue

4

DOI

10.1177/1525740114544317

First Page

219

Last Page

230

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

Alignment refers to the interactive use of similar words to accomplish a linguistic and cognitive “common ground” in conversations. Alignment is thought to be unconscious, relying on priming mechanisms. This occurs uniquely in conversational contexts and has been shown in choices of words, grammatical constructions, and even indirect language and gestures. This study reports a couple who demonstrated very little pretherapy alignment, using a couples-based approach. The client realized an increase in utterances and words, and no change in incoherent utterances. Her nonaphasic spouse increased his use of alignment. Naïve observers of therapy sessions perceived later sessions as more positive than earlier sessions.