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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24912

Title: Structural Metaphor: An Exploration of the Subjective Experience of Psycho-analytic Essence
Authors: Whyte-Earnshaw, Christina Elizabeth
Advisor: Miezites, Solvegia
Department: Human Development and Applied Psychology
Keywords: Psychoanalysis
Structural Metaphor
Delicate Empiricism
Clinical Practice
Qualitative Research
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: In this study the subjective experience of psycho-analytic essence is approached through an examination of conscious and unconscious representations of self-in-work (Dreyfus, 1991). The study begins with an heuristic identified as the psycho-analytic moment, a transitory self-state arising in the course of conducting a psycho-analysis and felt to correspond to occasions of right, expert, good or exemplary therapeutic practice. The study advances to an examination of the lived experience of clinical psycho-analysis through a set of structured and unstructured interviews with two psycho-analysts. The study’s general approach incorporates a revised version of Goethe’s delicate empiricism as adapted by Hoffman (1989). The methods for interviewing participants and for analyzing transcripts were designed to access unconscious communications regarding subjective experience. Interview procedures combined phenomenological and free-associative narrative techniques: Procedures for transcript analysis were developed from literary studies, psycholinguistics, psycho-analysis and grounded theory. The analysis of participants’ utterance led to the hypothesis that an unconscious configuration of inference and memory gives shape to the subjective experience of composite elements of psycho- analytic practice. This hypothesized coherence of unconscious memory and process structures is identified as a structural metaphor. The structural metaphor is posited to underwrite the verisimilitude of lived experience, personal idiom and aesthetic within the clinical encounter. Thus, the structural metaphor is hypothesized to shape not only the psycho-analyst’s representations of his or her way of being-in-work and linguistic deportment within the interview setting, but to also shape the subjective experience of psycho-analytic practice. Thus reconsidered, the psycho-analytic moment is viewed as an existential moment in the ongoing phenomenology of lived experience, occasioned by a convergence of unconscious identity and experience within the clinical field. This existential moment is taken to be indicative of the presence of something essential about self, work or self-in-work, as a result of a set of psychological, affective and visceral factors that arise in this moment of convergence. However, the psycho-analytic moment is assigned little epistemic value in identifying properties of psycho-analysis as a discipline or a practice, instead reflecting the structural metaphor that underlies the experience of that practice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24912
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology - Doctoral theses

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