Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Efficacy of Distance Psychoanalysis: A Qualitative Study
by Gibbs, Paul J., Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2020, 126; 27958454
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the use and efficacy of already established synchronic distance technologies in psychoanalysis. With a growing facility of technological use, especially amongst the younger generation, and with ever-increasing demands that such services being provided – be they from physical, emotional, or psychological limitations of clients or be they from pandemic concerns such as the current coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, which has created the new normal of social distancing – use of distance technology in psychoanalytic treatment offers a necessary growth edge for the practice.

This study was qualitative in nature and attempted to capture the lived experience of psychoanalysts who have integrated distance technologies ranging from cell phones to videoconferencing into their practices. The goal of this study was to discern whether distance sessions are as effective as in-person, traditional sessions, or whether something critical gets lost when analyst is not in the room with analysand.

Literature was reviewed that relates to the significance of the technological movement not only within the psychological community but also within the psychoanalytic community. In it, key terms within psychoanalysis were spelled out and explored. The growing need for psychoanalysis in a rapidly changing world was discussed. Clinical issues were extrapolated. Seven central themes of psychoanalysis were garnered.

Six psychoanalysts were recruited from Southern California. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, recorded, and transcribed. The interviews focused on the seven central themes relative to the use of distance technology as taken from the literature review: the psychoanalytic frame, the working alliance, interpretations, free association, transference and countertransference, ethical concerns, and overall effectiveness. There was a twofold analysis of data. First, emergent themes from each of the main themes were brought to light and committed to a table. Second, experiential meaning units were lifted directly from portions of the interviews that appear in the results section, Chapter 4, of this project and that best exemplified the lived experience of conducting psychoanalytic sessions via distance technology. They were also committed to a table. In the end, the majority of participants in the research project found distance technology highly useful and highly therapeutic.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sterling, Sean, Schultz, Donald
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Applied Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Distance, Psychoanalysis, Technology, Telehealth
Publication Number: 27958454
ISBN: 9798645498672
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