Unlike the short and specific advice of service-encounters, advice in counselling settings is longer and more complex. In these interactions, it is known that advice is initially resisted in all languages. Scholars have tried to explain this phenomenon in terms of ‘face loss’ (Brown and Levinson 1987; Goldsmith 1992, 1994; Hinkel 1994; Murakami 1994); premature delivery (Heritage and Sefi 1992); the inappropriateness of the advisors (Jefferson and Lee 1992); or discrepancies in the interpretation of a problem (Murakami 1994). One of the difficulties in counselling or therapeutic settings is that the giving of advice in these interactions is a ‘process’ that is long and complex. In order to understand advice resistance, it is essential, first and foremost, to identify the characteristics of advice and how it is delivered. The present analysis of Japanese radio phone-in programs focuses on advice in order to identify its formal characteristics and also to try to understand the factors that determine its acceptance or resistance.