TitleTherapist as mother, and mother as therapist
NameRobinson, Laura Carter (author), Skean, Karen Riggs (chair), Toronto, Ellen (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Mother and child
DescriptionThis qualitative study explored the relationship between the professional and mothering lives of female psychoanalytic (psychodynamic) psychotherapists. Nine participants completed semi-structured telephone interviews containing questions about the mutual influence of the roles of mother and therapist and the worldview of participants. Participants ranged in age from 36-57, had an average of between 1 and 2 children, were working from 6-35 hours per week at the time of the study, and were recruited nationally. Data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis, which focused on participants’ unique narratives as well as themes that were common across participants. The 14 themes that emerged from the data were compiled into four master themes: 1) Motherhood changes everything; 2) Insight changes everything; 3) Therapists’ experiences of motherhood are complex; and 4) Therapists have a worldview that encompasses their parenting and professional lives. Findings demonstrated that, in this sample, psychoanalytic therapist-mothers are influenced in their maternal roles by their roles as therapists and are influenced in their roles as therapists by their maternal roles. Results also suggested that psychoanalytic therapists and mothers have several qualities in common, and that there is a way of being in the world that is inherently psychoanalytic for these participants. The study is situated within the following literatures: the subjective experience of mothers; the role of the maternal in psychoanalytic thinking; the influence of work on motherhood and motherhood on work; the personal life of the therapist; personal qualities of psychoanalytic therapists; and psychoanalytic parenting. Further, this study is the first to explore these particular ideas with a sample of psychoanalytic therapists.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Laura Carter Robinson
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.