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Title: The complex world of hide and seek : investigations into the use and meaning of hide and seek play and how it is related to processes of change within a looked after boy engaged in psychoanalytic psychotherapy
Author: Coyle, Anne-Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 6914
Awarding Body: Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2015
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The aim of this study has been to investigate the significance of hide and seek play as a central feature within the intensive psychoanalytic psychotherapy of one looked after child, whose referred symptom of separation anxiety improved during the course of treatment. A mixed methods modified form of thematic analysis has been used to analyse the data and Max QDA has been introduced for data organisational purposes and to support analytic rigour. This single case study is approached from a Critical Realist stance and key findings support the argument for the validity of extending the relationship between the theoretical paradigms of Complexity Theory and Psychoanalysis,beyond the metaphorical towards the methodological with implications for efficiency, triangulation and generalisability of findings; issues which have been historically problematic in single case study research. The mixed methods analytic approach has allowed for the quantitative tracking of frequency and quality of a single marker of change, in the form of hide and seek play, across the course of the treatment. This has revealed an overall pattern in the form of a trajectory, containing properties of a self-organising complex dynamic system. Two levels of abstraction have been identified and investigated demonstrating the presence of sel-similar functioning across different levels of complexity. A ‘period of oscillation’ between variables has been identified which is associated qualitatively to a period of psychological growth and development within the child. This finding is consistent with emerging evidence in the broader field of psychology for the occurrence of a period of critical instability associated with positive treatment outcome. A key qualitative finding is the evidence for the four different sub-types of hide and seek play. This may have implications for the understanding of hide and seek play in every day life and significantly in the lives of looked after children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Prof.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychoanalysis ; Attachment/Affectional Bonds ; Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy