This study addresses the experience of knowing a life from within by using the Life-Study application of the Intensive Journal method of Ira Progoff (1983). To explore the experience of what Progoff calls the "Journal Trustee," the one who writes the journal in the name of a deceased creative person, the heuristic methodology developed by Moustakas (1990) was employed. This approach utilizes the concepts and processes of identifying with the focus of the inquiry, self dialogue, tacit knowing, intuition, indwelling, focusing, and internal frame of reference. The five phases of heuristic research are initial engagement, immersion, incubation, illumination, explication, and creative synthesis.
Five participants (co-researchers) were selected from volunteers at two Life-Study workshops. They were interviewed with the open-ended question, "Describe as fully as possible your experience of knowing a life from within by using the Life-Study process." These interviews were analyzed, yielding individual depictions of the experience, a composite depiction of the experience, two exemplary portraits of the experience, and a creative synthesis of the experience.
The findings, seen in the composite depiction of the experience, indicate that the process is one of selecting, comparing, identifying with the person, differentiating from the person, being mentored for the Journal Trustee's needs, having an inner relationship with the person, and experiencing changed perspectives. In addition to validating previous understandings of the benefits of Life-Study, this research showed that Life-Study provides psychic energy to do one's own psychological work. Life-Study provides the resources to describe and evoke both what Progoff calls the depth dimension (dreams, twilight imagery) and the meaning dimension (the sense of connection or disconnection with a sense of meaning beyond ourselves), techniques which are not always available in other approaches. Discussion included the experience of the autonomous psyche, imaginal dialogues, and identificatory processes.
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 58/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychotherapy, Developmental psychology, Personality|
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