An exploration of a patient's use of her body within the transference relationship in intensive psychotherapy - towards allowing thoughts to become thinkable

Klingert-Hall, Julie (2015) An exploration of a patient's use of her body within the transference relationship in intensive psychotherapy - towards allowing thoughts to become thinkable. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Full text available

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Abstract/Book Review

The thesis is an exploration of a patient’s use of her body in intensive psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The therapeutic encounter studied is between myself, a child and adolescent psychotherapist working in an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team,and a fifteen-year-old female diagnosed with depression. Pivotal sessions were examined: where significant shifts in the therapy were identified. These consisted of sessions where there was a transformation in anxiety; and the patient was able to verbalise what was otherwise being communicated in a bodily way. The analysis of the data using grounded theory highlighted the importance of visual communication in the therapeutic encounter.The analysis indicated that vision is the receptive point for the beginning of the containment process. The analysis of the data also highlighted that when the patient is communicating intense primitive anxieties, the therapist needs to receive and process the anxieties at a bodily level, when the patient is, perhaps for the first time, coming into contact with the feelings from which they have dissociated. The analysis of the data indicated that mirroring back emotional states that are congruent with those projected by the patient, makes thepatient aware of themselves in terms of the effect they have on others. This suggests the importance of the therapist’s non-verbal responses, which can be observed and introjected by the patient. The study contributes to the understanding of bodily communication in the therapeutic exchange. It raises interesting technical issues about when the therapist should receive and hold the patient’s projective identification at a bodily level and reflect back non- verbally that their communication has been received, and when to make a verbal interpretation. It also highligh ts the use of observation to gauge if the patient has been able to receive the therapist’s communication at a bodily level.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of East London in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents and their Families. Submitted as part of the M80
Uncontrolled Keywords: M80, M80N, Professional Doctorate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents and their Families, Alpha-Function, Container, Countertransference, Persecutory Evil Eye, Benign Internal Eye, Mirror, Mother, Adhesive Identification
Subjects: Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Patient/Therapist Interaction
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 11:43
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2017 15:53
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1126

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