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Harvey, C. (2017). The Intricate Process of Psychoanalytic Research: Encountering the Intersubjective Experience of the Researcher-Participant Relationship. Brit. J. Psychother., 33(3):312-327.

(2017). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 33(3):312-327

Research

The Intricate Process of Psychoanalytic Research: Encountering the Intersubjective Experience of the Researcher-Participant Relationship

Clare Harvey

Qualitative research in general and the psychoanalytically informed research interview method specifically, can be emotionally demanding on researchers as they form relationships with participants. This is especially the case when researchers and participants share particular identities and experiences. In this paper I reflect on my experience of interviewing mothers raising children with a visible physical disability about their maternal subjectivity. At times this was an emotionally demanding and ethically challenging process as participants closely identified with certain aspects of my identity, particularly with my visible physical disability and motherhood peculiarities. Often participants unexpectedly reversed our roles, asking me intimate questions. I will deliberate these dilemmas using interview material. I argue for a mindful blurring with participants when this occurs. Using certain psychoanalytic-researcher concepts of inter subjectivity, transference-countertransference and psychoanalytic-researcher thirdness helped me successfully navigate these encounters. I will also explore the rich participant psychic functioning that was generated from this intersubjective relationship between myself and the participants.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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