Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Relational Somatic Psychotherapy: Integrating Psyche and Soma through Authentic Relationship
by Burri, Lori Gentilini, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 208; 10843840
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study addresses the lived experience of participants in a specific somatic psychotherapy practice, relational somatic psychotherapy (RSP). The RSP approach is a biologically based, interpersonal exploration of consciousness and self-awareness through authentic relationship (Hilton, 2007). Following an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology, this study analyzes interviews focused on how participants experienced the somatically based psychodynamic healing modality of RSP through group relational dynamics. This study is grounded in depth psychology in that participants in RSP work with the unknown, repressed energy of the body in order to make behavioral and emotional energetic patterns conscious. It is grounded in somatic psychology in that the focus of exploration is in present moment experiences of the body. Thus, the assumption of this study is that the integration of both traditions creates an embodied approach to psyche. Themes that emerged from this study suggest that awareness is transformed through embodied relational experiences. These themes helped articulate that embodied relational experiences in psychodynamic group process supported individuals in integrating the dissociated parts of themselves into consciousness, suggesting that embodiment practices experienced in the context of authentic relationship help to integrate psyche and soma. Such experiences seem to integrate previous unconscious, implicit memory systems into healing and empowering embodied self-awareness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Glickman, Gary
Commitee: Kilpatrick, Alan, Sieck, Michael
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Neurosciences, Social psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Authentic relationship, Emboded self-awareness, Neuroscience, Psychology, Relational, Somatic
Publication Number: 10843840
ISBN: 978-0-438-23808-4
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