DOI: 10.52403/ijshr.20230445 ISSN: 2455-7587

An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Psychotherapists’ Lived Experience of Body-Subject

Triantafyllia Iliopoulou, Georgios Pilafas, Penelope Louka
  • Automotive Engineering

Cartesian dualism dominates psychotherapy and sociology, displacing the body-subject as described in philosophy. This research explores the experience of body-subject in psychotherapy by conducting a qualitative research based on the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with psychotherapists. The analysis identified 4 superordinate themes and 2 subthemes for each theme. The first theme explores what is a body and how embodiment is expressed. The second theme focuses on somatic countertransference which operates either as a guide to understanding or as another way of communicating. The third theme highlights the contradiction between the freedom and the power of the bodies while the last theme focuses on observation and self-observation which are utilized as a way of understanding or overlooked so that therapists can dwell on experience. The findings suggest that dualism permeates psychotherapy, with the body-object guiding the therapy although some experiences manage to escape it and focus on the body-subject thus giving substance to the lived body. Taking into account the limitations of the study, future research could focus on the experiences of psychotherapists from approaches such as dramatherapy since the body is very active and present. Keywords: body-subject, body-object, IPA, embodiment

More from our Archive