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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


The goal of this study was to conduct a qualitatively based clinical outcome study of the patient's experience of a psychoanalytic treatment and to explore how the analysis impacted the patient's life post treatment. Much of what is known about analytic treatments comes from analysts in the form of case reports or journal articles. the goal of this study was to directly obtain patient's views of their analysis. in order to do this a heuristic phenomenological research design was used. the phenomenological approach puts a focus on the experience of the participant of a particular phenomenon in the case of this study psychoanalysis. in addition, by utilizing a heuristic research approach meant both the participant and researcher needed to be immersed in the experience of an analysis. by means of snowball sampling a purposeful sample was recruited of ten adult former patients (N=10) who had completed an analytic treatment. Three in-depth interviews were conducted of which the last interview functioned, in part, as a member checking process to verify the emergent research themes. in the data analysis individual portraits were created for each participant followed by composite depictions, exemplary portraits and finally a synthesis was formed of the research findings. the goal in keeping with the heuristic research method was to maintain a balance between the experience of individual participants and to also focus on the themes that emerged from the group as a whole. the data indicates that patients who report high levels of satisfaction with their treatments stated that the relationship that developed with the analyst was of paramount importance. Participants who reported having high levels of satisfaction with their analysis also described having a corrective emotional experience with the analyst over the course of the treatment. Patients who experienced low levels of satisfaction with the analysis report that the analyst was not able to successfully negotiate cycles of rupture and repair in the treatment. in addition, the analyst displayed a sense of clinical inflexibility and tended to not be able to acknowledge having made errors in the analysis.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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