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Countertransference in qualitative research: a critical appraisal

Holmes, Joshua T (2014) 'Countertransference in qualitative research: a critical appraisal.' Qualitative Research, 14 (2). pp. 166-183. ISSN 1468-7941

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Abstract

The adoption of countertransference, an idea drawn from psychoanalytic theory, by qualitative researchers is examined. It is argued that its definition in the qualitative research literature has often been muddled due to the too-simple mapping of a clinical concept into the research setting. Most definitions either examine countertransference in terms of feeling states or behaviours that participants 'put into' or 'project' into researchers, or make a sharp distinction between this interpretation of countertransference and another that involves the activation of the researchers' own neuroses. Various manifestations in the research setting that have been described as potentially containing elements projected from the participant are outlined, such as changes in feeling and bodily states, or 'mistakes' on the part of the researcher. Alternative suggestions for the use of the researcher's feeling and bodily states are put forward. These include, cross-comparing these data with other elements and seeing them as potentially created in the intersubjectivity between participant and researcher.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: projective identification; psychoanalysis; countertransference; intersubjectivity; research methods; psychosocial studies; reflexivity
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0500 Psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2015 16:08
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2015 16:08
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14282

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