Using conversation analysis to develop reflective practice in social work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The need for professional reflection has been argued extensively in social work literature. A separate literature has demonstrated the potential of using conversation analytic research (CA) in interventions seeking to inform professional practice in social and health care. Nevertheless, we know little about how social workers actually do ‘reflection’ and how CA can be used to facilitate reflection, specifically. The objective of this paper is to examine how CA can be used in interventions that develop reflective professional practice. Our dataset consists of audio recordings of 21 mutual learning and innovation platforms, taking place as part of a collaboration between researchers and five Danish social work agencies. We use CA to examine how researchers and professionals reflect on social work interactions. We find that the use of CA (a) makes professionals aware of aspects of practice that are often performed in routinised ways and (b) provides concrete starting points for the non-evaluative reflection on such practice. The paper has implications for researchers and professionals looking to utilise CA in developing reflective practice as it outlines one model for intervention, demonstrates the detailed ways in which reflection may be accomplished in interaction and discusses the organisational requirements of such interventions.

Translated title of the contributionBrug af samtaleanalyse til at udvikle reflekterende praksis i socialt arbejde
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1290-1307
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • conversation analysis
  • knowledge mobilisation
  • reflective practice
  • talk-in-interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Using conversation analysis to develop reflective practice in social work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this