What happens before we say 'Hello? An exploration of psychotherapists’ experiences of the emerging implicit during the assessment process

Thesis


Blythe, C. 2017. What happens before we say 'Hello? An exploration of psychotherapists’ experiences of the emerging implicit during the assessment process. Thesis Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute Psychology
TitleWhat happens before we say 'Hello? An exploration of psychotherapists’ experiences of the emerging implicit during the assessment process
AuthorsBlythe, C.
Abstract

This research explored psychotherapists’ emergent implicit experiences during assessments. It was concerned with unconscious processes occurring during the assessment session and how therapists made sense of and used these experiences clinically, either implicitly or explicitly. The aims of the research were threefold: (1) to understand what and how therapists’ experience the emerging implicit during assessment, (2) to explore how therapists understand their experiences of the emerging implicit, how they use these experiences in the therapeutic work (or don’t) and (3) to explore how therapists put words and meaning to them.
Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were carried out with five senior psychotherapists. The interviews offered in-depth exploration of the psychotherapists’ subjective experiences of the implicit emerging in their conscious awareness during assessment sessions. Verbatim transcripts of the interviews were then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
Three main themes emerged: (1) A dramatic and powerful experience that stands out, (2) What’s going on? and (3) Difficulty in naming the experience. This research found that therapists experienced the emerging implicit as dramatically standing out from other experiences at assessment. The emerging implicit was experienced as a rapid process that came without warning and could not be anticipated or created at will. The therapists’ thinking and responses to the emerging implicit were complex and full of dilemmas. The therapists understood this as an intersubjective and dynamic experience. This research highlights the difficulty in studying common implicit experiences, and in trying to discuss these often profound experiences with verbal language, which is fraught with definitional and meaning issues. The hope was that this research would encourage dialogue concerning the importance of the implicit dimension in assessment sessions.

LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Metanoia Institute
Publication dates
Print07 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Aug 2017
Accepted03 Aug 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/871y4

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