Defense Date

6-22-2012

Graduation Date

2012

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Clinical Psychology

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Russell Walsh

Committee Member

Will Adams

Committee Member

Eva Simms

Keywords

Archetypal, Dialogue, Focusing, Hermeneutic, Phenomenological

Abstract

This study presents a qualitative analysis of six accounts of focusing, a method of embodied reflection. Six expert practitioners were interviewed, and each participant`s account was brought under two rounds of analysis. First, a modified descriptive phenomenological analysis was performed on a portion of the interview in which the participant described a particular focusing experience. This was followed by an interpretive phenomenological analysis of the participant`s interview as a whole. Analyses resulted in the identification of explicit and implicit themes that were constitutive of focusing experiences across participants. Several themes that were identified include: the importance of social support and validation for experiences that depart from the norms and values of materialist culture, the exquisite gentleness and receptivity of the focusers` attitude toward their experiences, and the dialogical qualities of the practice. The details and significance of the dialogue, which is a synesthetic exchange between the focuser and responses arising in her perceptual field, is explored in the discussion. Attention is paid to the fluid and at times ambiguous self-other experience suggested by the dialogue, and an archetypal framework for interpreting this dialogue is introduced. Additionally, the two phenomenological methods employed are reviewed and compared for their relative merit in the study of focusing.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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