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A New Conceptual and Empirical Approach to Stuttering Based in Psychoanalysis.

Ingram, R.J. (2022) A New Conceptual and Empirical Approach to Stuttering Based in Psychoanalysis. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Although in this thesis stuttering is also considered from the perspective of the drives, it is mainly explored from within the object relational framework of Klein and Bion. Based principally on psychoanalytic case-studies of people with a stutter, an understanding emerges of stuttering as a problem associated with the containment of psychic experiences, leading to words being expressed in a fragmentary form. However, since people engaging in analysis typically have other underlying problems, it is necessary to find out whether there is support, or not, for this hypothesis in a non-clinical population. It is suggested that in the empirical research the quality of containment can be inferred principally by the participant’s capacity, or not, to respond fully to the emotional issues implicit in a targeted projective task, and by the nature of the object relations portrayed. A story stem technique that stimulates participants to tell stories proves very useful in producing appropriate research data. The responses of the participants are analysed using an object relations scale and by using a thematic analysis. Differences are found between children with a stutter and children with no stutter. The children with a stutter have difficulties responding fully to the emotional issues implicit in the stems. There are also problems for the children with a stutter to differentiate between characters in their stories, and the responses of children with a stutter have scant dialogue. I argue that these results, along with defences such as agglomeration and the nature of the object relations portrayed in the responses of children with a stutter provide tentative support for the usefulness of Bion’s concept of a containing relationship. Although the findings are based on a small sample, this project helps to consolidate a place within the psychoanalytic framework for an account of stuttering from an object relations perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Raymond Ingram
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2022 16:18
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2022 16:18
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32485

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