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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Common factors in the facilitation of the reliving process across three cathartic therapies Gilbert, Joanne S.


The purpose of this study was to determine what common factors/ behaviours/conditions were involved, in the facilitation of the reliving process, across three different types of cathartic therapy: Cathartic Hypnotherapy, Primal Therapy and Bioenergetics. In this study, the reliving process was found to be a key element, across three cathartic therapies, in the resolution of emotional pain. Reliving is defined as the re-enactment of repressed trauma. A total of 15 qualified psychotherapists were interviewed for this study: 5 Primal therapists, 5 Bioenergetic therapists and 5 Cathartic Hypnotherapists. The selected methodology was the Critical Incident Technique. The 15 psychotherapists were interviewed about their experiences in therapy regarding which factors/behaviours/conditions facilitate the reliving process. The 15 interviews were transcribed and 3 independent raters selected all critical events from the transcriptions. All the selected observations were then transcribed onto index cards and categorized by the researcher and one of the independent raters. These categories provided descriptions of the factors/behaviours/conditions which facilitate the reliving process. Percentage of agreement, across the three raters, was used as an index of reliability. Seventeen common and four crucial factors/behaviours/conditions were identified. As a result of this research, recommendations for further study into cathartic therapy are offered. As well, guidelines are presented for both counsellors and clients who want to become involved in cathartic therapy. Also, this study provides a more comprehensive understanding of the reliving process.

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