An existential formulation of transformative experiences in nature

Macgregor, Charlotte Kearsley (2013) An existential formulation of transformative experiences in nature. DProf thesis, Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling. [Thesis]

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This was a qualitative research study looking at transformative experiences in nature. The aim was to explore and describe these experiences and reflect on their place and impact from an existential perspective, considering implications for psychotherapy and counselling theory and practice. This research was a heuristic study, born from the researcher's personal experience, and focusing on the accounts of the researcher and eight research participants. The interviews were conducted and analysed during the immersion period, though data was analysed using Moustakas' modification of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method (Moustakas 1994). The main findings were presented in two parts: a textural-structural description of each person's experience followed by a universal thematic account of the phenomenon. Key findings showed transformative experiences in nature as powerful life experiences that impact long-after the particular moment; that sense of self and emotional awareness are experienced differently from more day to day life in these moments so that we might begin to consider emotions as being defined more in relation to in-the-world; that there is an increased connection with and awareness of embodiment; that people feel freer from social constraints and therefore more connected to their self as a locus of meaning; that transformative experiences in nature connect the physical and the spiritual dimensions; that our current language and meaning construction sometimes make talking about and documenting these experiences challenging. The implications of this research are that place and the physical dimension should be reconsidered in therapy practice more centrally as part of the content of experience, rather than the stage on which therapy and life is set; that being in place offers a different and creative avenue of exploration; and that future investigation would be beneficial to further consider the relationship between emotional experience and place.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Item ID: 32999
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2021 15:00
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:50

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