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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tender in the field: A hermeneutic inquiry of psychodynamics within compassion fatigue
by Ananda-Stout, Beth G., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 294; 3702844
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this inquiry was to develop an understanding of psychodynamic perspectives, which would serve as a lens for the conceptualization of clinician compassion fatigue. A Gadamerian hermeneutic methodology provided the process, which also paralleled a psychoanalytic psychological stance. A theoretical description of the psychodynamic nature of the experience of the clinician in terms of self and other in the clinical moment emerged through several themes, which referenced the expanded understanding of compassion fatigue. The results offer a new view of psychodynamic psychology with application to the phenomenon of compassion fatigue.

The intersubjective field was investigated through select depth psychological, nursing, medical, and philosophical textual analyses, which revealed implications of the therapist’s subjectivity, empathy, the therapeutic relationship and presence, compassion, countertransference phenomena, and the analytic field. The hermeneutic nature of this qualitative study concurrently brought the lived experience into the process, which both enriched the process itself and ultimately the findings. The rationale for the inquiry included contributing to the development of psychological theory on the psychodynamic nature of compassion fatigue, in particular with clinical relevance to those treating the traumatized or otherwise suffering, and supporting the development and sustainability of a cadre of clinical providers in the field individually, in the nation, or globally.

Implications of conceptual understanding of psychodynamic processes were illustrated in clinical practice and organizational systems. Suggestions for systems policy development extended the findings to the organizational field. Recommendations for areas of further research including methodological considerations were delineated.

Key words: analytic field, compassion, compassion fatigue, countertransference, empathy, intersubjective, embodied presence, psychodynamic, vicarious traumatization

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yakushko, Oksana
Commitee: Lewis, Christine, Watson, Jean M.
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Compassion fatigue, Countertransference, Embodied presence, Empathy, Nurse, Nursing, Psychodynamic, Vicarious traumatization
Publication Number: 3702844
ISBN: 978-1-321-74351-7
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