The intersubjective arena of the psychotherapy for psychosis: a phenomenological account of therapists’ experiences

Thesis


Vassiliou, A. 2017. The intersubjective arena of the psychotherapy for psychosis: a phenomenological account of therapists’ experiences. Thesis Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC) Psychology
TitleThe intersubjective arena of the psychotherapy for psychosis: a phenomenological account of therapists’ experiences
AuthorsVassiliou, A.
Abstract

New exciting literature that points to the significance of considering intersubjective processes in therapeutic work with people diagnosed with psychosis has been recently developed in the realms of phenomenological psychology and psychiatry. However, the research literature reveals an emphasis towards the exploration of clients’ processes and an underestimated inclination towards the in-depth exploration of therapists’ experiences that work from an intersubjective/interrelational perspective with this client group. Given this particular limitation, we therefore need a more detailed exploration of what this work is like, and how therapists make sense of this work considering this intersubjective turn. This project has therefore attempted to shed light on the intersubjective processes of psychotherapy for psychosis from the therapists’ point of view while emphasising how the therapeutic praxis can be grounded upon firm existential-phenomenological principles. The study explored the subjective experiences of six counselling psychologists and/or therapists who identified themselves as working intersubjectively with psychosis. After careful consideration, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was employed as the most suitable methodology in order to explore the interviews and to gain insight into participants’ lived experiences of their relationships with clients. The analysis of data revealed four key themes: the primacy of sense-making, a relational approach to therapy, therapists’ processes in the rupture of relatedness and the lived experience of being-with. Despite the congruence with the limited literature on therapists’ lived experiences of their intersubjective work with psychosis, the results of this study also shed light on some neglected areas of consideration with regards to the therapeutic process, while encouraging the consideration of existential/phenomenological contributions towards both the understanding and clinical praxis of the psychotherapy for psychosis. This piece of work consists therefore of a significant contribution to the limited literature on phenomenological and intersubjective work with psychosis and is an essential addition to counselling psychology literature.

LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Publication dates
Print16 Feb 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Feb 2017
Accepted07 Jan 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/86x44

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