Psychotherapists, who use their communicative skills to assist people, review their dialogue practices and improve their skills from their experiences. However, technology has not been fully exploited for this purpose. In this study, we analyze the use of head movements during actual psychotherapeutic dialogues between two participants—therapist and client—using video recordings and head-mounted accelerometers. Accelerometers have been utilized in the mental health domain but not for analyzing mental health related communications. We examined the relationship between the state of the interaction and temporally varying head nod and movement patterns in psychological counseling sessions. Head nods were manually annotated and the head movements were measured using accelerometers. Head nod counts were analyzed based on annotations taken from video data. We conducted cross-correlation analysis of the head movements of the two participants using the accelerometer data. The results of two case studies suggest that upward and downward head nod count patterns may reflect stage transitions in counseling dialogues and that peaks of head movement synchrony may be related to emphasis in the interaction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas