Being a therapist in difficult therapeutic impasses: A hermeneutic-phenomenological analysis of skilled psychotherapists’ experiences, needs, and strategies in difficult therapies ending well
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The aim of this thesis is to explore from the first person perspective the experiences of processes involved in difficult therapies that are resolved constructively. The methodological approach towards this aim is qualitative inquiry. The participants are twelve highly skilled psychotherapists from various theoretical affiliations, who were interviewed in-depth about their experiences. The data material of the thesis comprises the recalled experiences from specific difficult therapy processes that turned out well. A hermeneutic-phenomenological framework guides the study, with a strong emphasis on researcher reflexivity in the process of designing, sampling, carrying out, analyzing and presenting the findings. The findings of the thesis are presented in three separate articles, two of which are already published in scientific journals and one that is currently under review. The individual articles present different parts of the rich data material, as well as different perspectives on the therapists’ subjectivity in resolving therapeutic impasses. The first article reports core categories in the inner work the participants undertook during the impasses. The second article reports the extra-therapeutic needs and strategies that the participants experienced during the most difficult period of the impasses. The third article reports the experiences of the patient as an active agent in the healing process through the impasse situations.
Paper I: Psychotherapy Research 20, Moltu, C.; Binder, P.E. & Nielsen, G.H., Commitment under pressure: Experienced therapists’ inner work during difficult therapeutic impasses, p. 309-320. Copyright 2010 Society for Psychotherapy Research. Published version. Full text not available in BORA. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10503300903470610Paper II: British Journal of Clinical Psychology, Moltu, C. & Binder, P. E., The Voices Of Fellow Travellers: Experienced Therapist’s Strategies When Facing Difficult Therapeutic Impasses. Copyright 2010 The British Psychological Society. Submitted version. Full text not available in BORA. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/014466510X514355Paper 3: Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, Moltu, C.; Binder, P. E. & Stige, B., Collaborating with the patient in the struggle toward growth: Skilled psychotherapists' experiences of the patient in difficult therapies ending well. Submitted version. Full text not available in BORA.