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Title: An examination of the relevance of the study of infant observation to psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainings
Author: Sternberg, Janine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 4925
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examines whether the study of infant observation can be shown to contribute to the development of the capacities and skills that are needed for becoming a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Considerable attention is given to examining what these might be. From looking closely at techniques employed within a therapy session a set of skills likely to be accepted by the community of practitioners was created. The views of writers and teachers of infant observation on the capacities and skills gained from studying it were outlined in detail. It was then possible to examine whether the capacities and skills needed for psychotherapeutic work matched those said to be gained from infant observation, and to address briefly whether child and adult psychotherapists might need different capacities and skills for their work, in order to see whether infant observation might therefore have different contributions to make. A number of areas appeared to match in the literature. To examine this empirically students from four psychoanalytic or psychotherapy training institutions were interviewed in groups before they had begun observing infants and again about nine months later. Their discussions were recorded. The transcripts were examined and the way principles of grounded theory were used to generate a list of the themes addressed is made explicit. A narrative and a chart were created showing where there was an increase in relevant dimensions between the pre and post observation interviews. Careful mapping work was carried out to see in what ways and to what degree relevant capacities and skills were increased over the time of the observation period. An alternative way of looking at the gains using a more holistic approach is briefly examined. Acknowledging that not all the increases are necessarily the result of infant observation alone, the thesis concludes that infant observation greatly enhances many of the capacities and skills valued in psychotherapeutic work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available