Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Somatic Empathic Resonance: Subjective and Intersubjective Experiences of the Psychotherapeutic Dyad
by Lovkvist, Mikael, Ph.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2013, 200; 3590023
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research project (a) studied psychotherapists' and clients' subjective and intersubjective experiences of somatic empathic resonance, and (b) made observations on the nonverbal dynamics associated with this phenomenon. The applied definition of somatic empathic resonance was the felt sense of oscillating with another individual's emotions, thoughts, sensations, or experiences. Data were collected through psychotherapy session video recordings and post-session interviews. The interviews were analyzed through Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). IPA findings yielded themes related to tension-release dynamics, sensory-energetic experiences, and body areas associated with empathic resonance. Participants' reports of sensory-energetic phenomena were variously interpreted as nervous system sensations, awareness of sensory flows, awareness of bioelectromagnetic fields, and an experience of nondual consciousness. The nonverbal dynamics present in the video recorded psychotherapy sessions were studied. The observations indicated that various postural, gestural, facial, vocal, breathing, and cross-modal dynamics may be associated with moments of mutually reported empathic resonance. The study's limitations were outlined. Recommendations for future research were offered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Knighton, Edmund
Commitee: Berrol, Cynthia F., Caldwell, Christine M.
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Somatic Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Empathic resonance, Empathy, Nonverbal communication, Psychotherapy, Qualitative research, Somatic psychotherapy
Publication Number: 3590023
ISBN: 978-1-303-29233-0
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