Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Psychotherapist’s Use of Associations to Cultural Experience
by Blumenthal, Ellen R., Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2016, 451; 10746464
Abstract (Summary)

This research inquiry employed a psychoanalytic case study methodology to explore the ways in which the psychoanalytic listener utilizes her associations to cultural experience in the service of increased understanding of her patient’s non conscious process. Its question was founded on the premise that cultural objects are a fundamental and essential component of one’s internal and external life, and that they hold the potential to function as condensed imagery much as in dream-work, and hold the capacity to elucidate a textured set of affective elements. Five seasoned psychodynamically oriented psychotherapists participated in three 90-minute in-depth interviews with this question as their focus. Data analysis was structured by first formulating five case studies elucidating categories of meaning that emerged in each participant’s narrative. This was followed by a cross case analysis in which common themes as well as idiographic motifs were culled with the intention of making meaning of the research question across participants’ narratives. The study’s findings elucidated in granular detail the nature of the psychoanalytic listener’s engagement with herself and her client in their dyadic enterprise. Findings include the fundamental notion that cultural experience has the capacity to function as a vehicle for unconscious communication, conveying affective resonance and relational data. In this way cultural objects provide a vehicle through which the clinician is able to both receive and offer essential conscious and non conscious communications within the therapeutic dyad.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tolleson, Jennifer
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Case studies, Psychotherapists, Psychoanalytic listener, Idiographic motifs, Unconscious communication, Cultural experience
Publication Number: 10746464
ISBN: 9798664746419
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