Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The pregnance of space: A depth perspective on the merits of conscious enactment toward a phenomenological experience of psychical growth in the psychoanalytic setting
by Albro, Pamela, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 244; 3500699
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to explore the lived experience of analysts who have consciously participated in the dynamics of enactment toward the psychical growth of their patients within their psychoanalytic practice. The study employs a phenomenological design, resulting in an exploration of the essential descriptions of this phenomenon provided by analysts who support the clinical merit of conscious enactment.

Building upon the post-Jungian metaphor of the alchemical process, it is the position of this study that the unique dynamic of enactment within the psychotherapeutic relationship offers a potent vessel for the transformational force of psyche's creative function. While challenging classical psychoanalytic theory regarding clinical abstinence and its prescriptions against engaging with the patient's psychical material, this study seeks to open the scope of clinical and theoretical examination to explore the question: What does the lived experience of the merits of conscious enactment have to contribute to the discussion regarding the psychotherapeutic role of affective engagement, as opposed to abstinence, in clinical practice?

Based on a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the essential descriptions provided by the participants of this study, the findings of this study support the therapeutic merit of conscious enactment within the psychoanalytic relationship. The psychoanalytic frame, while fundamental in its function of preserving the integrity of the therapeutic relationship, may also, at times, become prohibitive in its restrictions. It is, therefore, important to the field of clinical psychology to allow a space for flexibility within the therapeutic relationship to address the unique capacities and needs of the patient, rather than imposing a single frame through which all relationships must navigate.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bishop, Allen
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Physiological psychology
Keywords: Abstinence, Conscious enactment, Psychical growth, Psychoanalytic relationship
Publication Number: 3500699
ISBN: 978-1-267-21987-9
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