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Title: An exploration of a patient's use of her body within the transference relationship in intensive psychotherapy : towards allowing thoughts to become thinkable
Author: Klingert-Hall, Julie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 6973
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 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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Prof.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy ; Patient/Therapist Interaction