The Clip Approach: A Visual Methodology to Support the (Re)Construction of Life Narratives

Riikka Talsi*, Aarno Laitila, Timo Joensuu, Esa Saarinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Major life changes may cause an autobiographical rupture and a need to work on one's narrative identity. This article introduces a new qualitative interview methodology originally developed to facilitate 10 prostate cancer patients and five spouses in the (re)creation of their life narratives in the context of a series of interventive interviews conducted over a timespan of several months. In "The Clip Approach" the interviewees' words, phrases, and metaphors are reflected back in a physical form ("the Clips") as visual artifacts that allow the interviewees to re-enter and re-consider their experience and life and re-construct their narratives concerning them. Honoring the interviewees as authors facilitates autobiographical reasoning, building a bridge between the past and the future, and embedding the illness experience as part of one's life narrative. The Clip Approach provides new tools for both research and practice-potentially even a low-threshold psychosocial support method for various applicability areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-803
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • life narrative
  • illness experience
  • autobiographical rupture
  • autobiographical reasoning
  • narrative identity
  • interview methodology
  • visual artifact
  • interventive interview
  • prostate cancer
  • spouse
  • psychosocial support method
  • qualitative
  • narrative-hermeneutic method
  • Finland


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