Free association and qualitative research interviewing: perspectives and applications

Archard, Philip, O'Reilly, Michelle and Sommantico, Massimiliano (2024) Free association and qualitative research interviewing: perspectives and applications. Qualitative Research Journal . ISSN 1443-9883

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Purpose: This paper contributes to a dialogue about the psychoanalytic concept of free association and its application in the context of qualitative research interviewing. In doing so, it also adds to wider discussion regarding the relationship between clinical psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy and qualitative research. Design/methodology/approach: Critical consideration of different perspectives on the application of free association in the qualitative research interview, extending earlier work addressing this issue. Differences and similarities in the way the concept of free association is articulated are examined regarding its framing in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy. Findings: Whether researchers see themselves as borrowing, applying or drawing inspiration from free association, there is scope for muddling distinct ways of viewing it as it is conceived in psychoanalysis. Originality/value: Considerations are outlined for researchers interested in psychoanalytically informed methods to be mindful of.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Free association, Free association narrative interview method, Narrative interviews, Psychoanalytically informed methods, Qualitative research interviewing
Subjects: Research, Tests, Assessments > Assessment/Interviews
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychological Research
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychotherapy Research
Department/People: Research

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