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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Therapist Experience: Re-envisioning Politics in Psychotherapy
by Bulow, Jennifer, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2020, 240; 27546874
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research study explores therapists’ personal and professional experiences and clinical exchanges regarding “politics” in psychotherapy. The overarching research question considered how therapists respond to, work with, and conceptualize political material that emerges in psychotherapy sessions. The findings show that heightened external circumstances do impact psychotherapy and the therapist, ultimately enhancing therapist growth and development. Since 2016, the frequency and intensity of political material in psychotherapy sessions has increased. This study finds that sharing in a collective, and at times, traumatic and dysregulating external socio-political reality, challenges therapists to grow professionally and personally by increasing authentic, spontaneous responses which enhance closeness and attunement, from the perspective of the therapist. Therapists do consider both the inner-psychic world, as well real-life considerations, relationships, and impacts when they think about their clients and a relationship to political material. The participants used the interview process to reflect upon their own relationship to the political, including personal political participation, therapeutic interactions, and how the puncture of the therapeutic space by the outside world impacts their own thoughts, feelings and clinical interventions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barish, Samoan
Commitee: Schore, Judith, Ridings, John, Vincson, Jacquelyn, Samuels, Andrew
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work
Keywords: Therapist , Politics , Psychotherapy
Publication Number: 27546874
ISBN: 9798662416567
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