A comparison of audio recordings and therapist's process notes in child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Creaser, Miriam (2015) A comparison of audio recordings and therapist's process notes in child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of East London. Full text available

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Abstract/Book Review

Therapistsʼ process notes - written descriptions of a session produced shortly afterwards from memory - hold a significant role in child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy. They are central in training, in supervision, and in developing oneʼs understanding through selfsupervision and forms of psychotherapy research. This thesis examines such process notes through a comparison with audio recordings of the same sessions. In so doing, it aims to generate theory that might illuminate the causes of significantly patterned discrepancies between the notes and recordings, in order to understand more about the processes at work in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and to explore the nature of process notes, their values and limitations. The literature searches conducted revealed limited relevant studies. All identified studies that compare process notes with recordings of sessions seek to quantify the differences between the two forms of recording. Unlike these, this thesis explores the meaning of the differences between process notes and recordings through qualitative data analysis. Using psychoanalytically informed grounded theory, in total nine sets of process notes and recordings from three different psychoanalytic psychotherapists are analysed. The analysis identifies eight core categories of findings. Initial theories are developed from these categories, most significantly concerning the role and influence of a ʻcore transference dynamicʼ between therapist and patient. Further theory is developed on the nature and function of process notes as a means for the therapistʼs conscious and unconscious processing of the session, as well as on the nature of the influence of the relationships – both internal and external – within which they are written. In the light of the findings, a proposal is made for a new approach for learning about the patient and clinical work, ʻthe comparison methodʼ (supervision involving a comparison of process notes and recordings), and, in particular, for its inclusion within the training of psychoanalytic psychotherapists. Further recommendations for research are also made.

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 Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Uncontrolled Keywords: M80
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents - Psychotherapy
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 15:19
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2017 13:42
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1353

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