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Empathic resonance: an autoethnography.

Gabriel, T. L., 2018. Empathic resonance: an autoethnography. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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GABRIEL, Tina Louise_D.Prof._2017.pdf


Official URL: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences


This thesis developed from infrequent experiences of intense connection with clients during psychotherapy; eventually realised as Empathic Resonance. These profound experiences cultivated the intrigue to understand their occurrences and the implications for clinical practice. The literature did not directly address how empathic resonance occurred, nor its place as evidence of highly skilled and advanced counselling/psychotherapy work. The main aim of the thesis was to address the question of how these experiences happened and develop a model of practice. Clear objectives were advanced to meet the thesis aims. A comprehensive literature review was conducted, representing an original conceptual framework. This required testing via comparison with fieldwork experiences. The data collected had to be anonymised and required a container to contextualise the experiences, therefore, an appropriate methodology was selected. The montage form of autoethnography enabled the fragmented clinical experiences to be set into whole fictionalised clinical stories, representing standalone accounts. A thematic analysis of the stories developed the conceptual framework into a model of practice. The model is an integrative representation of the literature review and fieldwork, it answers the main aim of the thesis, which sought to understand how these experiences occurred. The findings of the thesis clarify the phenomenon of empathic resonance, specifically, how the concepts work together from within a dialogical relationship and facilitate empathic resonance. Empathy and resonance are relational attunement concepts which lead to deepening alignment, communicating to the client knowing awareness of the client’s feeling state. Empathic resonance (alignment) essentially rediscovers dissociated aspects of the self, which become available for emotional processing, linking empathic resonance with the transpersonal literature. The implications of the thesis support a strong argument for the use empathy and resonance when working with trauma, specifically dissociated traumas which can be glimpsed via mindfulness when empathically resonating. The phenomenon aids emotional processing, the alleviation of distressing trauma symptomology, resilience, and emotional regulation as part of the reparative/developmentally needed relationship.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:empathy; resonance; empathic resonance; attunement; projection; projective identification; partial identification; dialogical relationship; mindfulness; transpersonal knowing; participatory knowing; neuroscience
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:30458
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:08 Mar 2018 10:46
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 16:04


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