An examination of the relevance of the study of infant observation to psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainings

Prof Doc Thesis

Sternberg, Janine 2004. An examination of the relevance of the study of infant observation to psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainings. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSternberg, Janine
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This thesis examines whether the study of infant observation can be shown to
contribute to the development of the capacities and skills that are needed for
becoming a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Considerable attention is given to
examining what these might be. From looking closely at techniques employed within
a therapy session a set of skills likely to be accepted by the community of
practitioners was created. The views of writers and teachers of infant observation on
the capacities and skills gained from studying it were outlined in detail. It was then
possible to examine whether the capacities and skills needed for psychotherapeutic
work matched those said to be gained from infant observation, and to address briefly
whether child and adult psychotherapists might need different capacities and skills for
their work, in order to see whether infant observation might therefore have different
contributions to make. A number of areas appeared to match in the literature.
To examine this empirically students from four psychoanalytic or
psychotherapy training institutions were interviewed in groups before they had begun
observing infants and again about nine months later. Their discussions were recorded.
The transcripts were examined and the way principles of grounded theory were used
to generate a list of the themes addressed is made explicit. A narrative and a chart
were created showing where there was an increase in relevant dimensions between the
pre and post observation interviews. Careful mapping work was carried out to see in
what ways and to what degree relevant capacities and skills were increased over the
time of the observation period.
An alternative way of looking at the gains using a more holistic approach is
briefly examined. Acknowledging that not all the increases are necessarily the result
of infant observation alone, the thesis concludes that infant observation greatly
enhances many of the capacities and skills valued in psychotherapeutic work.

Publication dates
PrintMay 2004
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jun 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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