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An heuristic enquiry into clients' and therapists' experiences of emotional connection in therapy

This was a qualitative study looking at the experience of emotional connection in therapy from both clients’ and therapists’ perspectives. The aim was to see whether and how the experience of emotional connection was the same or different for each party; and whether and how it was connected to client change. It was an heuristic enquiry and explored the experiences of five client/therapist pairs including the researcher and the researcher’s therapist. The client and therapist in each co-researcher pair were interviewed separately about a session (chosen by the client) where both had experienced an emotional connection with each other (the researcher pair had a mutual dialogue about the experience). The interviews were then analysed using heuristic processes of immersion, incubation, illumination, explication and creative synthesis. The main findings were: (1) emotional connection was experienced on two different levels: a conscious, articulated level (the ‘manifest level’) and an unarticulated, subliminal level (the ‘hidden level’); (2) emotional connection was connected to client change on both levels; (3) the main ‘work’ of therapy took place on the manifest level; (4) however, healing of the client’s deepest, or primary hurt, took place at the hidden level; (5) at the hidden level there was a good emotional match between the client and therapist. The implications of this research are that the healing mechanisms within therapy may not always be under our conscious control and that for deep healing work it may be important for there to be a good fit at an emotional level between client and therapist.
Date January 2010
CreatorsLodge, Rosemary
ContributorsWorrall, Mike
PublisherRegent's University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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