The “being-with” of psychotherapy: a phenomenological enquiry into the nature of the co-therapy relationship in group psychotherapy

Starodubtsev, Yevgeniy (2016) The “being-with” of psychotherapy: a phenomenological enquiry into the nature of the co-therapy relationship in group psychotherapy. Other thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This thesis explores an intricate relationship between the therapists involved in a conjoint professional work of co-facilitating small group psychotherapy, as described by three separate co-therapy dyads. The practice of co-therapy has been considered to be a common approach to group psychotherapy. However, the co-therapy relationship as an important variable in and of itself appeared to have received little attention from the researchers and clinicians alike. Using a phenomenological method and an unstructured interviewing approach, this qualitative study examined the experiences of the complex relational processes and psychological dynamics encountered in the ‘being-with’ of the cofacilitation. Only fully qualified and highly experienced NHS-based clinicians from the professional fields of psychotherapy and group analysis took part in the study. The co-therapy relationship of each considered co-facilitating dyad had lasted for no less than one year before the research interviews. The interviewing process was distinctively organised and deeply exploratory.

The ‘Descriptive Phenomenological Method in Psychology’ was being used to systematically analyse the data in the form of the transcribed interviews. The results suggested that the nature of the co-facilitating relationship could be understood in terms of: (1) the unique configuration of the co-therapy
relationship within the group matrix; (2) the unspoken communication and the absence of a more real talk about the dynamics in the relationship; (3) the unavoidable experience of being seen; (4) the interrelatedness of differences and associated conflict; (5) and finally, the presence of the implicit or unconscious forms of interacting. The psychological meanings of these five essential themes were further elucidated and critically discussed. The clinical and training implications, including the contribution to the importance of the therapeutic relationship within the wider field of psychological therapy, were given consideration. The study reviewed its limitations and offered suggestions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
B. > Theses
Item ID: 21309
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 16:13
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:28

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