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Title: Being conceived (of) : triadic relating in parent-infant psychotherapy
Author: Ratke, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 785X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This study examines the following incongruity: to a large extent the psychoanalytic theories underpinning parent-infant psychotherapy are rooted in theoretical concepts privileging the mother-infant dyad yet the relational constellations in parent-infant psychotherapy are manifestly triadic. This is because the 'parent' in parent-infant psychotherapy implies the relationship of the parental couple to the infant rather than just that of the primary carer to the infant. In addition, the position of the therapist vis-à-vis the dyad leads to the formation of a relational triangle. A qualitative study is presented. It explores the position of the therapist in relation to the triad of mother, father and infant. The Parent and Infant Project at the Anna Freud Centre (London) provides the context of this study. The data comprises short sequences of transcribed video-recorded session material, which are studied using the method of thematic analysis in conjunction with an interpretative framework based on psychoanalytic theory. A spatial metaphor (tetrahedron) is employed to conceptualise a therapeutic space in which the therapist is positioned as a third in relation to three dyadic pairs (mother-infant, father-infant and mother-father) and as a fourth in relation to the triad (mother-father-infant). The study concludes that by actively connecting relational themes which characterise the dyads with the functioning of the family as a whole, the therapist creates the sum out of seemingly separate parts. Thus the triad (or family) is conceived (of) - as is the self in relation to two united others.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available