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3.1 Maladaptive and adaptive variants of the model

So far you have been presented with a very simple version of the model. However, to get the maximum advantage from working with it a bit more complexity needs to be added. Birtchnell (2014) developed the basic model of the interpersonal circle to take into account the fact that there are both ‘adaptive’ and ‘maladaptive’ versions of behaviour – an idea that was researched in a policing context by Alison et al. (2013), who developed their model of rapport based on coding many hours of police suspect interviews. The interpersonal circles they developed from this research are shown in Figure 2 below.

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Figure 2 The adaptive and maladaptive interpersonal circles taken from Alison et al.’s (2013) ORBIT model (Observing Rapport Based Interpersonal Techniques) Downloadable version available [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

This more complex version of the model takes into account the fact that there are ways of relating that help to facilitate communication (adaptive behaviours) and those that tend to inhibit communication (maladaptive behaviours). The following video explains this idea further.

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Video 4 Adaptive and maladaptive variants of the interpersonal circle (Alison et al., 2013)
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