Between suspicion and dialogue- Psychoanalysis & qualitative research

A. Govrin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Between suspicion and dialogue- Psychoanalysis & qualitative research Psychoanalysis and qualitative research are characterized by love-hate relationships. At first glance, it seems that they share opposing worldviews. For example, in qualitative research the ‘real' focus is participant's ordinary speech, whereas psychoanalysis emphasizes the hidden unconscious meaning behind the manifest content. Using psychoanalytic methods in qualitative research raises challenging questions such as: Does the researcher have a right to challenge the patient's own perspective, or to point out the contradictions and inconsistencies within a participant's narrative? Nevertheless, there are many shared interests between the two. In this lecture, I will show three ways by which qualitative researchers benefit from psychoanalytic approach: using selected facts (Bion) for analyzing data (Midgley, 2006), using projective identification as a way to understand what might be going on for the subject of a research (Holmes, 2013), and applying the free association method to elicit the kind of narrative that is not structured according to conscious logic and rational intentions (Kvale 1999). My conclusion is that we can enrich our understanding of qualitative research by using psychoanalytic concepts in a playful and dialogical way without psychoanalyzing our participants and our data. Holmes, J. (2013) Using Psychoanalysis in Qualitative Research: Countertransference-Informed Researcher Reflexivity and Defense Mechanisms in Two Interviews about Migration, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 10:2, 160-173, DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2011.586451 Kvale, S. (1999): The psychoanalytic interview as qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry 5/1: 87_113. Midgley, M. (2006) Psychoanalysis and qualitative psychology: complementary or contradictory paradigms?, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3:3, 213-231.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018
Eventמחקר איכותני בפסיכותרפיה: אתגרים כיוונים ותרומות - Ramat-Gan, Israel
Duration: 28 May 20181 Jun 2018


Conferenceמחקר איכותני בפסיכותרפיה: אתגרים כיוונים ותרומות


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