This study explores how psychodynamic psychotherapists think about and experience in-tuition in their clinical work. Although there is very little research on how intuition is used in psychotherapy practice regardless of theoretical orientation, in private conversations many practitioners acknowledge their use of intuition. It is considered to be a valuable way of knowing.
Using van Manen’s method of phenomenological inquiry, five psychodynamic clinicians were interviewed about their use of intuition in therapy. I found that intuition was believed to be an innate characteristic made up of curiosity, sensitivity, receptivity, and an ability to observe things about others. The therapists in the study believed that in-tuition was shaped by and influenced by life experience, relationships with others, aca-demic knowledge, and clinical experience. In professional practice, these worked together to establish an authentic therapeutic relationship, formulate clinical impressions, gain deeper understanding, and strengthen self-awareness. Intuition was relied on as a trusted process and mode of understanding, one that often continued and changed throughout the treatment. Meaning was found in bringing together innate talents and knowledge gained through personal and professional experience; the decision to become a psycho-therapist was an act of self-expression.
The study provides qualitative empirical support for the use of intuition particular-ly in psychodynamic practice where there is emphasis placed on the relationship between a therapist and her clients. Implications for psychotherapy practice, education and re-search are discussed.
|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, Therapy, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Intuition , Psychodynamic therapists|
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