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A case study exploration into the lived experience of a client receiving a positive missing experience in a therapeutic session Westwood, Dianne

Abstract

This study explored the meaning of receiving a positive missing experience during therapy, from the perspective of a client. It was undertaken to expand the theoretical understanding and practice of the intervention. A single case study, with a hermeneutic approach to data analysis was used. A semi-structured interview was conducted with one participant who had received a positive missing experience during a Therapeutic Enactment, (Westwood & Wilensky, 2005), and who had a videotape of the session. The phenomenon of the positive missing experience itself is only one part of the participant's complex, experiential therapeutic session; a session which was enacted within a group. The interview was analyzed using van Marien's (1990) "Methodological Structure of Human Science," creating seven themes that represent the client's experience. A schematic, containing the themes and their relationship to each other, was developed. The themes within the schematic are: longing/receiving, things start moving, alchemy of repair, embodied sense of an intact core, vantage point, things start falling into place, and insight comes. The schematic suggests a flow of experience as well as progression and a sequence over time. While each theme is presented as an important or essential feature of the experience, they could not be easily separated from one another. Each theme arose as distinct from the others.

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