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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

On Writing, Playing, and Self Experiencing
by Hagan, Micheline S., Psy.D., Antioch University, 2011, 172; 10807676
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents an object-relational understanding of play, creativity and health, inspired largely by the work of D.W. Winnicott (1971), as a foundation for a rich understanding of the interplay between writing and self experiencing. The impetus for this writing is an awareness that approaching the interplay of writing and self experiencing in a playful manner elicits important questions and suggestions; it both explains and creates possibilities that might otherwise be missed in using writing as a medium for self growth. Play is understood herein as a core activity at any age, synonymous with creative living and essential to feeling alive and real (Winnicott, 1971). The intended audience for this work is fairly broad: those interested in the interface of self and writing, whether for personal or professional reasons. In particular, this writing is an invitation to those who are less familiar with object-relational theory but curious as to how it can shed light on, or shape, writing interventions, individual writing practices, and other writing experiences that are designed for, or elicit, what is traditionally thought of as self growth. The first four chapters present a theoretical review of some object-relational notions of health, growth, language acquisition, and writing as a medium for self growth relevant to the dissertation. These chapters draw heavily upon Winnicott (1971), Bollas (1978, 1989a, 1992), Ogden (1989), Wright (1991), Stern (1985) and Sanville (1991). Chapters 5, 6 and 7 bring this theory into play with a popular understanding of key elements of the writing process including the urge to write, the writing object, writing for and with others, and voice. The conclusion introduces the concept of “playful writing” as a core way to understand writing for self growth. An Appendix offers a review of how this theory is applicable to existing writing paradigms.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Belcher-Timme, Barbara, Ellenhorn, Theodore, Smith, Colborn
School: Antioch University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Rhetoric
Keywords: Object-relations, Play, Self experiencing, Winnicott, D.W., Writing
Publication Number: 10807676
ISBN: 978-0-355-84277-7
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