Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Re-establishing Connections: Listening to Women Psychology Students Talk about Recovery
by Schewe, Elizabeth Marie, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 236; 10257962
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation seeks to understand how five women currently enrolled in doctoral level psychology programs emotionally and relationally experience the process of recovery from an eating disorder. Contemporary interdisciplinary discourses are inconsistent in their discussion of recovery, with differing accounts of what constitutes recovery and the typical course of recovery. Using a voice-centered and relational approach, I interviewed five female doctoral-level students in the fields of clinical and counseling psychology about their experience of recovering from eating disorders. Interview data was analyzed using the Listening Guide Method (Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Gilligan, 2015) in order to emphasize the emotional and relational qualities of informant voices. My interest in this subject is, in part, inspired by my personal eating disorder history and doctoral training experiences. Although my personal experiences no doubt shaped what I asked and how I listened to the women in this study, I found that these courageous and honest women independently corroborated three interrelated themes. One, these women’s stories each directly addressed a controversial issue in the literature: What is the nature of eating disorder recovery? Is it an end-state or an ongoing process? Two, connection and disconnection from the self and others, which in many respects is perpetuated by societal pressures and expectations placed on women, plays a critical role in the development of eating disorders. And three, the informants highlighted the potentially critical role of self-disclosure in addressing the sensed disconnections from self and others, within both clinical-therapeutic and professional-academic relationships.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rohde-Brown, Juliet
Commitee: Gilligan, Carol, Thomson, Paula
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Behavioral psychology, Womens studies
Keywords: Eating disorders, Feminism, Graduate psychology training, Listening guide method, Relational psychoanalysis, Self-disclosure
Publication Number: 10257962
ISBN: 978-1-369-60861-8
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