monash_110254.pdf (5.58 MB)
Whos the friend in the background?: interactional strategies in determining authenticity in calls to a national childrens helpline
journal contributionposted on 2017-05-02, 03:58 authored by Emmison, Michael, Danby, Susan
A significant number of calls made to Kids Help Line are seen by the organisation as not requiring counselling support, but are rather young people testing or checking out the service. Although the status of many of these testing calls is self-evident, determining the authenticity of others presents the helpline counsellors with a dilemma: confronting the caller if they have doubts about the callers reason for calling while, at the same time, avoiding a premature challenge when the call is genuine. We examine the various interactional strategies that the counsellors artfully deploy in their determination of the status of a call. Outright challenges are rare, and counsellors typically will employ devices that announce their suspicions indirectly and which, at the same time, seamlessly accomplish the mundane business of responding to a call in ways which treat the callers with respect. Copyright 2007 Michael Emmison and Susan Danby. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.