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Title: Riding the wave of the shadow : how do Maltese psychotherapists experience shadow in their practice and in their lives?
Author: Vella, John
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 3956
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2015
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This collaborative action research study explores six psychotherapists’ experiences and understandings of “shadow” phenomena in their work as clinicians and in their own lives. The data was collected through monthly meetings with participants reflecting on their own clinical work and lives between each meeting. Thus each meeting contained reflective data that fed into the discussion. The aim of the study is to stimulate thinking about Jung’s concept of shadow within the Maltese context, its implications for the practice of psychotherapy, to bring it within local psychotherapeutic community discourse and to show that it is only through experiencing the phenomenon that one can come to some understanding of it and its relation to clinical work and one’s life. The findings that emerged from this research revealed several things. Shadow work implies therapists’ maturation through being able to hold and develop through several opposites in particular that of allowing one to be as much in therapy as one’s patients creating a way of focusing more on relatedness and connectedness. The study also reveals how a close-knit community may need to cater for other components in training and practice. These may be managing dual relationships, de-roling from being a therapist as a space in itself and the necessity for stillness to reflect and have some kind of openness to the phenomenon of spirituality within a specific cultural context. Besides other ways, the phenomenon of scapegoating, a particular manifestation of shadow in groups is also a skill that a therapist needs to learn to deal with especially in negotiating with group and institutional shadow. The thesis concludes with specific suggestions for dealing with several issues mentioned above and some considerations that help shadow issues to be dealt with more thoroughly within the Maltese psychotherapeutic context.
Supervisor: Cotter, Angela Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available